Despite the anticipated effects of the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement, the nations trade balance for the European Union last year posted a deficit for the first time in 15 years, according to the Korea Customs Service.
Korea-EU exports, since they turned positive in 1998, had always remained in the black until the second half of last year.
The key reason for the loss was the effects of the European financial crisis and a fall in the export of key strategic items such as ships, mobile phones and semiconductors.
On the other hand, the import of European wine, designer clothes and deluxe cars soared during the same period.
According to the trade deal, which was signed in 2009 and effectuated in 2011, Korea and the EU are to gradually abolish 98.7 percent of their mutual import tariffs by 2016.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org