Message from Secretary-General of the European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Korea continued during the past year to rely on a strong and long-standing partnership, underpinned by a deep and mutually beneficial trade and investment relationship, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and of a more confrontational world trading environment. It is precisely when circumstances are difficult that such partnership reveals its strength. The EFTA-Korea relations prove solid and reliable.
In 2021, we will celebrate the 15th year of the entry into force of the EFTA-Korea Free Trade Agreement. During the last one-and-a-half decade, Korea has exported over 200,000 cars and over 9 million cell phones to the EFTA States. In return, EFTA States altogether have exported over US 15 billion worth of machinery and over 9 million watches to Korea. Therefore, the Agreement represents a great example of the mutual benefits of trade.
While the Agreement has proven a success for both EFTA and Korea, it is important to continue efforts to ensure that it remains an up-to-date and dynamic tool which meets the needs of our respective economic operators. Digital trade, sustainable development, health-related issues, to name just a few, were not as prominent issues when the agreement was concluded as today.
2020 saw the 7th EFTA-Korea Joint Committee meeting taking place, during which the modernization of the Agreement has been discussed and where the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) had contributed greatly by providing background information regarding the business and latest policy trends. I am confident that in 2021 the EFTA-Korea relationship will continue to flourish.

I would like to thank the ECCK for its valuable work with the European business community in Korea, and its active role in fostering closer economic relations between Europe and Korea. I would also like to express my gratitude for the ECCK´s continued interest in EFTA and for the sustained exchanges between the ECCK and the EFTA Secretariat.
I would also like to thank the ECCK for the 2020 edition of its White Paper. It is a very valuable contribution to our further endeavours. Our cooperation is very much appreciated, and I look forward to our continued collaboration in 2021 to promote the interests of EFTA businesses in Korea.

Henri Gétaz
European Free Trade Association