Colombia celebrates trade deal with Korea

Korea was the first Asian country to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia and it entered into force on July 15. Colombian Ambassador Tito Saul Pinilla hence held a seminar to promote the Latin American country in Korea.

About 120 representatives from key Korean companies were present at the "Implementation of the FTA between Colombia and Korea" designed to explain the different business sectors of Colombia with an introduction of products that have high potential when exported here. The highlights were agriculture and agro-industry.

"The FTA between our countries will provide more opportunities for us to connect, grow and develop," the ambassador said.

For his country, the agreement with Korea was the "strongest step to diversify trade in Asia," opening up new opportunities to develop its agricultural sector.

Korea is a major importer of these products, he added. The FTA will also give Colombian companies access to raw materials and capital goods produced by the Republic of Korea, which will enable them to increase their competitiveness.

"There are good opportunities for Korea as well in coffee, flowers, beef, sugar, bananas, fruit, vegetables … as well as jams and jellies, juices, cookies and candies," the envoy said.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, tariffs will be eliminated immediately for 4,000 export items. About 2,700 items will get lower tariffs.

Colombia is the third Latin American country to sign an FTA with Korea after Chile and Peru. Korea and Colombia officially signed the deal in February 2013. Korea's exports to Colombia totaled $1.1 billion last year, while imports marked $800 million.


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