S Korea, EU for bridging car gap in trade | autos | Hindustan Times
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S Korea, EU for bridging car gap in trade

autos Updated: Oct 15, 2007 09:21 IST

South Korea and the European Union will try to narrow differences in the hotly contested area of automobiles in a round of free trade talks that opened on Monday in Seoul.

The two are trying to reach a deal by the end of the year that some studies said would boost their $80 billion a year in annual trade by about 25 percent, but previous rounds have hit snags over lowering tariffs, especially on cars.

If South Korea strikes a deal with the EU its second-largest two-way trading partner after China it would be larger than a free trade agreement Seoul reached in April with the United States after 10 months of talks, experts said.

The free trade pact with the United States, which will phase out tariffs on nearly 95 percent of their two-way trade in consumer and industrial goods within three years, has not been approved by legislatures in either country.

Talks on a free trade deal with the EU began in May and the current round is expected to run through Friday, a South Korean trade official said.