Monday, July 16, 2007

FTA Destinations

The second round of KR-EU FTA negotiations started today in Brussels and I found this ad board about KR-US FTA on the underground. Metro has been a conventional window to publicise the Korean government's affairs so you can still find a small sticker encouraging the public to report a suspect espionage, and for other forms, there are tax payment, using public transport etc. I'm normally uncomfortable with these, and this recent ad on KR-US FTA didn't make me dream of colourful destinations of KR-US FTA.

Each number and colour on circles refers to five metro lines in Seoul indeed, but this time the destinations to which we are led are not specific locations but expected results from the Agreement. Let us see in details: Line no. 1 'USA: the market of 1,700 billion USD (the world's largest)'; Line no. 2 'Export: 2.3 billion USD increase (average yearly in the next 10 years)'; Line no. 3 'Agriculture: 2.03 trillion KRW support (for five years since '05)'; Line no. 4 'Foreign Invest: maximum additional 3.2 billion USD (average yearly in the next 10 years)'; Line no. 5 'Public Welfare: 2 trillion KRW increase (expected in 2018).

Since I haven't thoroughly researched the recent and current FTA negotiations, it's a little early to comment my own opinion. Looking at this poster, however, I became rather negative about all the results the government is promising. I don't think we are so ignorant to be manipulated by large numbers.

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