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Making Friends with the Hydra European Expectations of the EU–Korea Free Trade Agreement

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In October 2009 the European Commission (EC) and South Korea initialled a free trade agreement (FTA); this article seeks to determine to what extent the expectations of the EU business community in Seoul regarding the impact of the FTA are aligned with the motivations and benefits identified in the academic literature. We conclude that there is considerable overlap in terms of the anticipated economic, political and diplomatic benefits such as an increase in trade and investment, the implementation and enforcement of international commercial regulations, and the enhancement of the European Union's (EU's) position and profile in Korea and within the region. Additionally, interviews with the EU business community revealed that their main expectation of the FTA was that it would herald the development of a 'relationship of intent', enhance mutual understanding and provide new tools to resolve the problems they faced in the Korean market.

Affiliations: 1: University of Sheffield, UK;, Email:


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