EU predict gains in Asia30 July 2007
It says South Korean imports of leather would increase by 5.2% if current negotiations lead to just a partial FTA, while the EU is expected to gain a 1% share of the total gains. Furthermore, the EU's market share of leather imports to South Korea would rise from the current baseline of 27.6% to 34.5%, a 7% increase, if a partial FTA is implemented. Driving growth would be a phased reduction in tariffs, which currently stands at 9% for South Korean leather imports to the EU, and 7% on EU imports to South Korea. A planned EU-India FTA would see tariffs on leather items imported into the EU reduced, while Indian exports of textiles, leather and fabrics are projected to increase to US$3.6 billion, according to another study by the Commission. The biggest gains for leather manufacturers and distributors are likely to come from an EU-ASEAN FTA. Based on projections by the Commission in Brussels, the full implementation of the agreement would see leather production by 2020 surge by 16.7% in Malaysia, 22.3% in Singapore, 1.9% in Thailand, and by 17.78% in Vietnam. However, the impact of the FTA would negatively influence Indonesia and the Philippines. If an ASEAN agreement was implemented at the same time as FTAs between the EU and South America's Mercosur, and ASEAN and other, non-EU industralised countries, leather production in Malaysia would grow by 39.67%, 45.7% in Singapore, and by 12.54% in Vietnam, which would suffer from overseas competition.