On 21 September 2017, EU Trade Commissioner Malmstrm in a speech to the EU-Korea Business Forum, while visiting South Korea in the context of an EU-ASEM meeting, applauded the EU-Korea FTA which has been in force since mid-2011. She noted that many trade barriers (including in the area of cars, cosmetics and cheese) were resolved recently but that Korea needs to do more to fully implement the agreement, notably in the area of sustainable development and labour rights.

On 20 October 2017, the Commission issued its 5th annual report on the implementation of the FTA in which these comments were reflected in more detail.