South Korea pursues economic ties with LatAm

South Korea’s foreign minister expressed his desire to get closer to LatAm in matters of trade during a Korea-Latin America Partnership Forum.

The Korea-Latin America Partnership Forum, which went from the 29th of June to the 1st of July, demonstrated some interesting positions from members of both the South Korean and the Latin American delegations. The forum brought together over 1000 participants, that included government officials, businessmen and students.

The big takeaway however, is that Korea and LatAm must strengthen their economic ties, as Yun Byung-se, Korea’s Foreign Minister, categorically declared. “Central and South America form an important pillar in our promotion of connectivity through global networking diplomacy.”

The declarations are particularly important for LatAm as South Korea, an economy heavily focused on exports, has spent most of this century looking for agreements to put itself in privileged positions within international markets. They are currently taking advantage of 52 free trade agreements, including one with Perú and one with Chile.

"In promoting connectivity with Central and South America, an important element we can't miss is the free trade agreements with small regional groups or at the bilateral level."

This month, another agreement with Colombia is set to come into full force. As negotiations with Central America, which participate as a bloc, and Mexico are underway and show a considerable chance of going through successfully.

"South Korea, which is working to create new growth engines, and Central and South America, which are pursuing sustainable economic growth while seeking inclusive growth and tackling inequality, can expand their mutually complementary partnerships," Yun said.

To finish his statement, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, called upon the governments of Latin America to aid them against North Korea, which continues it displays of nuclear force.

Latin American governments see an example of well executed development in Korea, which 35 years ago had identical living standards and economic indicators to those seen in LatAm. Since then, Korea’s indicators have taken off dramatically and standards of living are some of the highest in the world. Whether the continuous adoption of agreements is beneficial or not is still to be seen, but what is clear is that with Korea being an export focused economy, opportunities for Latin American countries to achieve sizable export deals into Korea are slim.

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