S. Korea to hold fresh round of FTA negotiation with six Central America

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-05-23 12:00:00 – Seoul

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between S.Korea and Central America were launched in September 2015 after the two sides noted a need for a comprehensive free trade pact that will promote trade in goods and services while also boosting their cross-border investment and cooperation.

South Korea to hold a fresh round of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with six Central American countries this week which will be held in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, from Monday through Friday, said the trade ministry said Monday.

At this week's talks, the countries will discuss all major elements of the proposed FTA, including the rules of origin, intellectual property rights and ways to remove technical barriers to trade, the ministry said in a press release.

South Korea especially seeks to gain greater access for its textile industries and automobile to the Central American market, a ministry official noted.

South Korea's top FTA negotiator Yeo Han-koo said that they will work to reverse the downward trend in shipments to and from the Central American region through the Korea-Central America FTA that will also boost their firms' investment and exports to the region.

The trade volume between the six Central American states and South Korea, asia's fourth-largest economy in 2015 came to US$4.1 billion.

The six Central American countries include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. They, along with Honduras, belong to a regional economic bloc known as SIECA, and make up the fifth-largest market in Central America.

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