Bilateral FTA between Colombia, Korea entering into force

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-07-21 13:00:00 – Seoul

The bilateral free trade agreement between Colombia and Korea entered into force which will serve as a gateway to Asia-Pacific for Colombian firms and a bridge to Latin America for Korean enterprises, signaling an enhanced level of economic cooperation in the future, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

The accord, which had been pending congressional ratification in Bogota, is the Latin American country’s first such agreement with an Asian economy. Colombia is going through a historical moment in its life as an independent country, said Colombian Ambassador Tito Saul Pinilla at a press conference at the KITA in Seoul on Thursday.

Under the FTA, over the next 10 years, the two sides will knock down tariffs on over 96 percent of goods and roughly 98 percent of imports by volume.

For joint ventures, promising sectors are textiles, automobile and auto parts manufacturing, machinery and electronics, home appliances, fishery, forestry, marine transport, energy and minerals, pharmaceuticals, information communications technology and tourism.

Colombia will now concentrate its efforts to boosting development, building infrastructure and providing education and housing, the ambassador stressed there would be a more productive economy, more trade and investment and more ways to make the most out of them.

According to the KITA, the two countries have complementary trade structures -- with Colombia producing raw materials and Korea making industrial goods -- that can be harmonized for bilateral commerce and export to third markets.

Colombia’s economy has expanded at over 4 percent annually over the last decade, bolstered by 47 free trade agreements worldwide, including with Korea, the United States, the European Union and the subregional bloc Mercosur, which comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy advised establishing joint industrialization strategies and business models that combine Korea’s advanced technologies, marketing know-how and cultural content with Colombia’s natural resources, abundant labor and Latin American market acumen. Investment agency ProColombia is affiliated with the embassy and provides up-to-date information for potential investors.

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