The South Korea ambassador to Colombia has said that his nation will be a point of entry for Colombian businesses into Asia in an interview with La Republica Monday.
Ambassador Choo Jong-youn went on to express his hope that Colombia will reciprocate and provide a base for South Korea to expand its work within Latin America.
The ambassador highlighted the fact that the volume of trade between the two countries in 2010 reached $1.8 billion. Between January 2010 and January 2011, Colombian exports to South Korea rose from $9.6 million to $61 million, an increase of 635%, according to a report by the national statistics agency, DANE.
Jong-youn said that “both countries can cooperate because they have a complementary commercial structure,” pointing to the fact that Colombia exports mineral resources and agricultural commodities and has a highly qualified workforce, while Korea is strong in the area of industrial production and has various advanced technologies.
The benefit to Colombia of a free trade agreement with South Korea, according to Jong-youn, will be that the Andean country will be able to export meat and other agricultral and livestock products, in addition to the current exports to Korea of coffee, carbon, nickel, flowers, tropical fruits and vegetables. Furthermore the exports of carbon and mineral products can be increased.
Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Colombia and South Korea began in November 2009 and representatives of both countries met most recently in February to move forward on the agreement.