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South Korea: FTA, Pacific Alliance or CPTPP

The South Korean government is analyzing the best way to agree to a trade opening with Mexico, either through a bilateral FTA, the Pacific Alliance or the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

For now, at the Korea-Mexico Economic Forum, organized by the Comce, the South Korean government was interested in negotiating an FTA with Mexico and begin its entry into the Pacific Alliance, made up of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile as soon as possible.

Mexico and South Korea have already had two unsuccessful attempts to conclude the FTA negotiations.

In that forum, Luz María de la Mora, undersecretary of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy, said that Mexico is interested in negotiating a “next-generation” FTA with South Korea.

For his part, right there, the South Korean ambassador to Mexico, Jeong-in Suh, commented that an FTA between these two nations would allow the exchange of goods, services and investments that would increase the competitiveness of both parties.

The diplomat highlighted that some 2,000 South Korean companies operate in Mexico, but added that it is necessary to create synergies in additional sectors to the traditional ones (automotive, energy, electronics and electricity).

Pacific Alliance

Currently, the South Korean government is analyzing whether it will request that its country join the CPTPP, while waiting for the start of negotiations with the Pacific Alliance, once it concludes the ongoing negotiations for the accession of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada.

South Korea also continues to actively enter into regional trade agreements (RTAs) with its main trading partners.

At the regional level, in November 2020 it signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which has not yet been ratified.

Before, in 2018, it signed an ARC with five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

At the bilateral level, the ARC between Korea and the United Kingdom was signed in August 2019 and entered into force on January 1, 2021. Korea also concluded negotiations for an ARC with Israel in August 2019, which has not been signed.

The RTA between Korea and Indonesia was signed on December 18, 2020, but has not been ratified. The RTA with the United States was modified in 2018.

Finally, in 2018 and 2019, Korea notified the WTO of its intention to suspend concessions and other obligations applied to certain imports from the United States and the EU in response to the adoption by these WTO Members of safeguard measures in relation to certain products from exportation

 

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