Korea-U.S. FTA Key to Korea¡¯s Int¡¯l Trade

New KITA Chmn. Han assures his best to make sure new FTA is for Korea¡¯s benefit

New Chairman Dr. Han Duk-soo of Korea International Trade Association(KITA), said the most urgent task to him as the new chairman is to see that the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement(FTA), which goes into force on March 15 will be implemented without problems.
At a meeting with reporters following the general conference of the KITA following his official inaugural as the new KITA chairman, Chairman Han, who is a former prime minister and the Korean envoy to Washington, said he felt that the persuasion based on reality was the strongest weapon than any overall and idealistic persuasions when he was making rounds to secure the U.S. Congress approval for the FTA.
Han said he will provide information on the FTA based on reality for correct public understanding in a campaign and share dialogue with those opposed groups to the trade instrument until the end.
Han said it is true that some hold negative views about the FTAs as the world economy slows down, but rabbits need a small patch of grasses, but lions have to go out to wild fields to do their roles as we have to expand our exports, stressing the crucial importance of exports to the national economy.
With the Korea-U.S. FTA going into force on March 15, around 61 percent of Korea¡¯s exports will be under FTAs including those with EU, India and ASEAN and many countries including Japan? have positive views on Korea¡¯s FTAs with a number of large trading countries.
The KITA chairman also said he will steer KITA to provide support to SME exporters to strengthen their exports and expand trade infrastructure in cooperation with the government and other related organizations.
He said that he will see that a system to collect difficulties faced with the trading community and solve them as soon as possible.
Han, a well-established expert in the field of international trade, now takes the reins of the nation¡¯s largest traders¡¯ organization which is set to usher in an era of $2 trillion in trade. He previous held a series of key public offices including Minister for Trade, Minister of Strategy and Finance, Prime Minister and Ambassador to U.S.
He successfully won endorsements from in and out of Korea¡¯s trading circles thanks to his commanding leadership that will play a pivotal role in fast-forwarding the $2 trillion era by continuously expanding the existing market and exploring new ones.
Chairman Han started his public service at Korea Customs Service and has closely cooperated with the nation¡¯s trade sector throughout his career while serving at the Korean Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Trade Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Strategy and Finance. In particular, during his latest tenure as the Ambassador to U.S., Han contributed substantially to the benefit of the Korea¡¯s trade market by helping to secure ratification of the Korea-U.S. FTA in U.S. Congress.
This marks the second time in KITA¡¯s 67-year history that a former prime minister assumes control after Nam Duk-woo. Many expect his previous career will add momentum to redressing the existing grievances of some 70,000 trading firms and cementing ties with the government.
In his inauguration speech, Han said ¡°we need to enlarge Korea¡¯s trade market and I believe FTA will play a decisive role to this end¡±. He added ¡°we will seek to resolve issues facing exporters with the implementation of the FTA such as an issuance of certificate of origin. Also, we will initiate a campaign to rightly promote the nature of the trade pact.¡± nw

Chairman Han Duk-soo gives a speech at a recent? gathering on international trade hosted by Korea International Trade Association.

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