The European Union
and South Korea said
last week that they had reached an agreement aimed at allaying European concerns that South Korean shipyards charged unfairly low prices. The EU and South Korea have held several rounds of talks in the last few months after the EU accused South Korea of using western subsidies to sell ships at below construction cost and of putting European rivals out of business. EU and South Korea said in a joint statement that they had reached an agreement which aims to promote "fair and competitive market conditions in the world market". The two sides pledged to work together to stabilize the market "and thereby help raise the level of ship prices to ones that are commercially sustainable". The agreement focuses on non-subsidization, banking
, financial transparency, commercial pricing practices and an effective consultative mechanism, the joint statement said.