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France - Organic cosmetics producer finds success in South Korea

EU-South Korea trade agreement has enabled French SME to boost international exports

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Laboratoire Soniam creates and produces a wide range of plant extracts for the cosmetics industry. The small company, situated in the heart of the Creuse region of France, is a perfect example of the opportunities created for small businesses as a result of EU trade agreements.

The EU-South Korea trade agreement reduced both tariff and administrative barriers to trade. This enabled the SME to begin tackling the South Korean market where there is a growing demand for both French and organic products.

With limited financial and human resources, the small seven-member team has no lawyer or advisor to help it in its international endeavours. The improved business environment as a result of the EU's trade agreement has thus been essential to Laboratoire Soniam's success.

Bolstered by an Ecocert certification for organic produce and their 'made in France' label, Soniam has seen its exports to South Korea increase by 20% throughout 2016.

The company's presence in South Korea has also provided the opportunity to expand into neighboring markets, namely Thailand, Malaysia, China and Vietnam.

Soniam's ambitions are not limited to Asia, however. The company now seeks to enter Columbia, Chile and Peru, all countries with which the European Union presently has trade agreements in place.

Find out more about the EU's trade relations with South Korea