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EUROPE/SOUTH KOREA: Free trade agreement sees beer imports soar – report

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Imported beer brands to South Korea are reaping the rewards from last year's free trade agreement with the European Union, according to local reports.

In a report today (15 February), Asia Pulse cited South Korean retail outlet E-Mart Co as claiming that sales of beers from abroad leapt by 56% year-on-year between 1 January and 13 February. In the same period, domestic beer sales fell by 3.2%, with soju sales holding steady, down by 0.1%.

Lotte Mart Co, the third-largest discount chain store, told Asia Pulse that imported beer sales increased by 4.6% over the six weeks.

The trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and South Korea was sealed in October 2010, and took effect from 1 July last year. The agreement required both the EU and South Korea to eliminate 98.7% of duties in trade value for both industry and agriculture within five years, and to eliminate remaining tariffs almost fully over longer periods.

South Korea is the EU's eighth-largest trading partner.


Sectors: Beer & cider

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