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Germany - Sparkling wine producer from Trier celebrates breakthrough in South Korea

Trade agreement removes tariffs – small company increases exports fifty-fold.

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  • South Korea
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Saar-Mosel-Winzersekt GmbH (SMW) is a German wine producer from Trier. The company benefited from the 2011 EU-South Korea trade agreement because reduced tariffs enabled its products to be sold at more competitive prices.

The company exported nearly 31,900 bottles to South Korea in 2015, a fifty-fold increase in sales figures from before the agreement in 2010. Turnover has also increased by roughly 45% since the trade deal was signed, rising to €1.3m in 2015.

SMW has also been able to hire an additional employee, 36-year-old Leszek Rakus. The wine cooper completed an internship at SMW before he was offered the job when the firm’s exports – and with them workloads – started growing.

Since trade barriers came down, the winery has had little trouble finding South Korean importers for its products. Adolf Schmitt, CEO of SMW, says: “The agreement with South Korea has changed our business dramatically.”

SMW is just one of many small businesses that benefit from trade relations with South Korea. The total value of German sparkling wine exports to the East Asian country has increased from €178 000 to €841 000, which is an increase of about 370% since the agreement came into force in 2011.

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