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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement of President Barroso following the 5th EU-Korea Summit
Joint press conference with Mr Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mr Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea
Brussels, 6th October 2010
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today's Summit was a clear illustration of the broadening and inspiring relationship between the European Union and the Republic of Korea and their strategic partnership.
I would like to thank President Lee for his constructive leadership and partnership on all the issues of mutual interest we discussed today.
We signed today a very ambitious European Union - Korea Free Trade Agreement. This agreement is by far the most important trade deal ever concluded by the European Union with one country and the first Free Trade Agreement with an Asian country. It is expected to double bilateral trade in long term by eliminating tariff and non tariff barriers in trading goods and by creating new opportunities for service providers.
It is also a 21st century FTA which creates deep and lasting integration of our economies and fulfils Korea's and the European Union's commitments to open markets. It gives a strong signal ahead of the G20 Summit which Korea will be hosting.
It speaks also for our joint political will to upgrade our relationship. Our Free Trade Agreement breaks new ground in delivering market access for European companies as well as in the way regulatory issues are addressed.
It speaks also for our common outlook of the global economic recovery. Our Agreement demonstrates our strong belief in open markets.
It also speaks for the European Union's firm engagement in Asia both at bilateral and multilateral levels. Our trade agreement is, I hope, the first of an important series of new generation agreements.
Let me recall that earlier in May we signed our Framework Agreement with Korea. With this, we also have a sound basis for enhanced cooperation on major political and global issues.
We have now all the tools to further and deepen our strategic relationship. We have no excuse not to make the most of them. This positive momentum has to be maintained.
And in fact we will have a very important opportunity to translate this special relationship - it is in the G20 Summit in Seoul next November.
It was high time that G20 leaders met in Asia, and I am sure that President Lee will chair this summit with wisdom and foresight.
I will represent the European Union together with President van Rompuy, and in Seoul we will do everything for the success of this Summit.
We are now at a turning point. We have to shift from immediate crisis management to longer-term global economic sustainability and coordination.
I am happy to say that we have an excellent convergence of views with our Korean friends. I particularly share President Lee's wish to make development one of the major topics of the G20 work.
We also need to give clear political impulse for a conclusion of the Doha round negotiations.
In conclusion: after today's Summit, we still have a full agenda ahead of us! Together we need to deliver, not just for the sake of the European Union and Korea, but for the sake of a better future for the citizens of the world.
Thank you for your attention!