South Korean consumers think free trade pacts will help improve the country’s overall economic health and competitiveness, a poll showed Tuesday.
The nationwide survey by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) showed 70.2 percent of all respondents saying open trading systems will improve economic health by fuelling fair and constructive competition.
Only 10.8 percent of those polled said free trade agreements (FTAs) will not help the economy.
The findings also revealed 71.2 percent of consumers believing FTAs with countries such as the United States, the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will improve consumer choice in picking products, with 63.2 percent saying the agreements will strengthen ties with trading partners.
Of the 500 people checked, 60.0 percent said FTAs will buoy global competitiveness of local industries and businesses, the KCCI said.
The latest poll, meanwhile, showed that it will take time for the full impact of the EU FTA that went into effect in July 2011 to be felt in the market.
It said 55 percent of those checked said any impact of the trade agreement will take 2-5 years to reach ordinary consumers. A further 27.0 percent said the impact could take up to 5-7 years, with only 7.2 percent of people expecting results within two years of implementation.