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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, international trade and exports are an important source of growth and employment in Europe. The Free Trade Agreement that we are debating today will strengthen the competitiveness of the European Union and will provide our enterprises with significantly better access to a highly dynamic region of growth. Both the European and the Korean economy will benefit considerably. Our gross domestic product will increase. That could lead to the creation of new jobs. Our exports to Korea will double in the next few years according to all the forecasts because duties and non-tariff barriers to trade will be abolished; the relief in terms of duties alone will amount to EUR 1.6 billion per year. For the European Union there will be a substantial new trade in goods and services with a value of up to EUR 19 billion. I am particularly pleased that, in the negotiations, the Commission took full account of the negotiation recommendations expressed by the European Parliament in the Martin Report from 2008. I am also pleased that the European Commission took account both of the concerns expressed by Parliament and also of those coming from industry and it was also able to dispel some concerns just in the last few weeks. Something that I have never experienced before in the area of foreign trade is positive feedback even coming from the agricultural sector, which is usually more likely to be a problem for us in the area of trade negotiations. In the area of agriculture, the agreement will facilitate access to South Korea for European agricultural products from 1 July 2011. Up to now, only 2% of our agricultural products reach the South Korean market duty free. For pork, annual duties amounting to EUR 240 million are paid, and for milk and milk products the figure is around EUR 100 million. All of these barriers to market access for our domestic agriculture will now be removed. I would be pleased if, for this area in particular, the European Commission would consider how we could set up some kind of market access programme, not only for small and medium-sized enterprises, but also for agriculture in the countries that will profit from the Free Trade Agreement. Above all, I would be pleased if we were also to ensure that our partners in South Korea now actually implement the trade facilitation measures promised in the agreement. I call for it to be clearly monitored whether new barriers to trade are introduced, and I would, in particular, like to congratulate the Commission. What the Commission has achieved and what Parliament’s rapporteurs have achieved, particularly in the trialogue negotiations, is an example to us all. I hope that we will have a broad majority in favour of this agreement in this House tomorrow."@en1

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