Korea & Colombia Conclude FTA Negotiations
Korea and Colombia have concluded their FTA talks, which first began in 2009.
The announcement comes during President Lee Myung-bak's state visit to the Latin American country.
The trade deal calls for more than 96 percent of all FTA products from both nations to have their tariffs scrapped within 10 years.
So, how exactly will these tariffs be eliminated Colombia has promised to completely lift its tariff on Korean automobiles, which currently stands at 35 percent, over a ten-year period.
This means that the tariff will drop 3-and-a-half percentage points annually.
Tariffs on Korean diesel cars will be eliminated over a NINE-year period, while auto parts will see them eliminated immediately or within five years.
Now, as for Colombian export products.
Coffee, which accounts for 30 percent of Colombia's total exports to Korea, will have its tariffs lifted immediately or within 3 years, and the two sides agreed to remove the 40 percent tariff on Colombian beef over a 19-year period.
President Lee stressed, duing a joint press conference with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, that the FTA will further enhance bilateral ties between the two nations.
[Interview : President Lee Myung-bak] "The two countries agreed to strengthen bilateral ties, with Korea thinking of Colombia as the door to Latin America, and Colombia thinking Korea as the door to Asia"
Colombia, the third biggest market in Latin America, is the most active country in signing FTAs with other countries, and also has created the Pacific Alliance, with Mexico, Chile and Peru, all of which should help Korea enter the Latin American market and strengthen its global competitiveness.
[Reporter : Eoh Jin-joo
email@example.com] The Korea-Colombia FTA will be Korea's third FTA with a Latin America country, following Chile and Peru, and it now awaits legal scrubbing and initialling, before it can be officially signed by the two countries. Trade officials from Korea expect the trade pact to be ratified as early as this year.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News, Bogota."
After wrapping up his trip to Colombia, President Lee Myung-bak left for San Francisco to meet with Korean residents there, before heading back to Seoul on Tuesday.
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org