Colombia and South Korea wrapped up their third round of negotiations over a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in Seoul on Friday, having reportedly made advances in policy on trade of goods.
The head of the Colombian delegation, Santiago Pardo, said the round, which began on Monday, was “quite positive” and that while progress had been made on trade of goods, matter related to the services sector and investment still needed to be solidified.
Pardo said that both countries had “satisfactorily” concluded discussions on telecommunications, dispute resolution and technical barriers to trade, which began in the second round talks in Bogota.
In regard to market access, the two sides agreed to exchange “improved offers” before they hold an additional round of talks on services and investment in Washington in September.
Through an FTA, Colombia hopes to diversify its exports to South Korea, which are currently centered around coffee. Pardo said that Colombia seeks greater access for its agricultural products, as well as to strengthen its presence in the fishing and industrial sectors.
Trade between the two countries was worth US$1.23 billion in 2008. Colombia imports mainly cars and electronic goods from the Asian nation, and exports coffee, coal and nickel in return.