Textile and clothing industry leaders from South Korea and the EU have called on WTO members to remove tariff peaks and high tariffs in order to open up new markets for their products.

They also appealed for removals of non-tariff barriers to trade in textile and clothing products.

The consensus was reached at a meeting earlier this week between a delegation from the South Korean Textile and Clothing Federation (KOFOTI) led by its vice-chairman, Mr Young-Kie Ahn, and the European Apparel and Textile Organisation (Euratex) led by its president, Filiep Libeert.

Speaking after the meeting, vice-chairman Young-Kie Ahn stressed that the meeting had been a valuable opportunity for an in-depth discussion of issues that were crucial for the future of his country's industry.

Filiep Libeert welcomed the initiative taken by the Korean delegation to visit Euratex in Brussels. "South Korea is a major trading partner for the EU textile and clothing industry, and, in addition to the multilateral WTO matters which we have debated, the KOFOTI visit has also provided us with the opportunity to discuss bilateral relations too," he noted.

The South Korean and European industries have agreed that they will remain in close contact during the course of the Doha Round negotiations and seek to achieve genuine market access for their products on hitherto closed markets.