Thank you Chair. Let me be a part of others in welcoming Jeongil KIM, Deputy Minister for International Trade and Legal Affairs and his crew from the Republic of Korea and categorical our gratitude to his Government and to the WTO Secretariat for his or her respective reviews. Let me additionally thanks, Chair, and our distinguished discussant, Mathias Francke, for facilitating this Trade Policy Review and his insightful feedback.
Chair, it’s a pleasure to attend a Trade Policy Review of one of the United Kingdom’s most valued and like-minded buying and selling companions.
The Republic of Korea is one of the nice success tales of the worldwide buying and selling system; the first nation to transition from aid-recipient to help donor. As Trade Minister Yeo expressed in a current presentation right here in Geneva, and likewise throughout a session at this yr’s Public Forum, Korea’s expertise gives priceless classes on the function of commerce in attaining a rustic’s improvement objectives. We heard from Minister Yeo just lately on Korea’s nationwide expertise in turning into a buying and selling nation, and the numbers are right here as an example this success story: Korea ranks as the world’s seventh largest exporter, and the ninth in phrases of world commerce, a sworn statement of its sturdy participation in the multilateral buying and selling system. The United Kingdom welcomes Korea’s sturdy contribution to the WTO, its deep experience and its capability to work collaboratively and pragmatically with Members. Including ourselves, of course.
Chair, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea share shut financial ties. Despite the pandemic, Korea stays one of our high 5 buying and selling companions in Asia Pacific, with bilateral commerce between our nations totalling over £11 billion in 2020. This yr, we additionally rejoice the profitable implementation of our bilateral FTA, and the UK seems ahead to beginning work to improve and improve this settlement earlier than the finish of 2022. It is our view that there’s important potential to develop commerce between our two nations in areas resembling digital commerce, a precedence for the UK in the Asia Pacific area, the place technological innovation and the digital economic system are rising exponentially. We have been happy to see the strategic significance Korea locations on these sectors as properly, one other indicator of our alignment.
Korea’s hard-working WTO crew, led by our distinguished colleague, Ambassador Lee, needs to be proud of their contributions throughout this reporting interval. We have witnessed Korea’s lively participation throughout totally different information in the WTO and overlaying a wide-range of points, which others earlier than me have talked about. We worth Korea’s priceless engagement in the plurilateral Joint Statement Initiatives, and stay up for working carefully collectively to modernise the WTO Rulebook to make it match for the third decade of the twenty first century. Services, digital, commerce and improvement, commerce and well being and commerce and the setting, all these areas are ripe for dialogue and we stay up for persevering with to collaborate with Korea on these (and different) agendas on this Organization. On that be aware, we’d additionally wish to recognise Korea’s contribution to the ongoing work on WTO reform as a fellow member of the Ottawa Group.
The UK has engaged carefully with this TPR, which is a sign of the numerous and extremely built-in nature of our buying and selling relationship. I wish to contact on three areas of explicit curiosity to us.
Firstly, we commend Korea’s determination in October 2019 to forgo entry to Special and Differential therapy in present and future WTO negotiations. This is an instance of a Member taking up commitments commensurate with their present stage of financial improvement, and is consistent with Korea’s outstanding journey to change into the financial chief it’s as we speak. We encourage Korea to proceed to serve for instance to different nations searching for better ranges of financial improvement, significantly concerning market entry for agricultural items.
Secondly, monetary providers is a serious space of commerce between our two nations, and we welcome steps to facilitate companies working on this sector. Financial providers is a dynamic sector, benefiting from the development of fin-tech and new applied sciences. We are significantly all in favour of how Korea will utilise these applied sciences as half of the nation’s “innovation-led growth strategy”, as a standard theme underpinning Korea’s insurance policies by way of the reporting interval. We have posed a number of questions in regard to those points and thank our Korean pals for his or her responses.
Lastly, as COP26 President, we warmly welcome Korea’s efforts to scale back emissions. We stay up for Korea’s announcement of a revised Nationally Determined Commitment on emissions reductions at Glasgow, in step with the 2050 Net Zero ambition. We encourage Korea to try for the highest doable local weather ambition, in-line with the suggestion of the IPCC that world emissions should halve, by 2030, so as to restrict world warming to 1.5 levels Celsius. It is our view that commerce coverage is a vital software in attaining this goal, and we belief it shall type a central element in Korea’s Green New Deal. We have been happy to see so many references to Korea’s Green New Deal technique as we speak and the emphasis Korea locations on this transition, and thus in view of COP26 we encourage Korea’s lively cooperation with companions to satisfy its formidable local weather commitments, significantly when decarbonising the economic system.
In closing, Chair, I thank our Korean pals for his or her optimistic engagement, their responses to our questions, and for his or her optimistic function and important management in strengthening the multilateral buying and selling system. I want them a profitable Trade Policy Review, and stay up for working carefully collectively as we search to reform and revitalise the WTO and improve our already sturdy bilateral commerce relationship.