Promise to Sign FTA with South Korea

Guatemalan authorities, the only country in the region that is negotiating the FTA with Korea unilaterally, announced that they will speed up efforts to sign the agreement before the end of the year.

Friday, August 9, 2019

The announcement was made by President Jimmy Morales in the company of the Minister of Economy, Acisclo Valladares Urruela, before the members of the board of directors of the National Coffee Association (Anacafé), which is one of the sectors that is demanding the adhesion of the country to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Central America and South Korea.

See "FTA with South Korea: Never Ending Story” and "FTA with South Korea: Yes or No?

Bernardo Solano, president of Anacafé, told Prensalibre.com that "... We address the issue, progress is being made in a positive way and everything indicates that we are going to adhere to the rest of the countries. The South Korean market is attractive to complement other markets on the Asian continent, where the quality of the national product is recognized."

Regarding the delays in the negotiations, Carla Caballeros, executive director of the Chamber of Agriculture (Camagro), explained that "... this process puts Guatemala at a disadvantage with respect to the rest of the Central American countries in the trade agenda and especially in the access of products to be traded free of tariffs (taxes). For example, other countries such as Chile are also in negotiation with the Asian country. Another effect is that Guatemala would be losing leadership in Central America, since it is the largest economy in the region."

The pressures to sign the trade agreement have been latent, as business associations, mainly in the export sector, have insisted several times to the government to resume negotiations and concrete the process of accession to the trade agreement with the Asian country.

More on this topic

Guatemala: 2019 International Business Agenda

January 2019

For this year, one of the priorities Morales administration has as a priority to advance in the signing of free trade agreements with South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Representatives of the Ministry of Economy (Mineco) reported that by 2019, among the priorities of the agenda is the resumption of discussions of the trade agreement being negotiated with South Korea.

Pressure Grows to Sign FTA with South Korea

July 2018

In Guatemala, business associations, mainly in the export sector, are insisting that the government resume negotiations and complete the process of adhesion to the trade agreement with the Asian country.

The private sector groups explained that despite the commercial opportunities that Guatemalan companies have with South Korea, Guatemala is the only country in Central America that has not completed negotiations to sign the FTA, meaning that they are unable to take advantage of the benefits that this agreement offers.

FTA with South Korea: Never Ending Story

June 2018

In Guatemala, agricultural entrepreneurs insist that opportunities will be lost if the agreement is not signed, while industrialists propose analyzing the conditions in more detail.

The National Coffee Association believes that the Ministry of Economy has abandoned talks with the Korean government, which harms them since the Asian country is a growing market that recognizes the quality of the grain. 

Guatemala - Israel Trade Agreement

May 2018

With the aim of favoring mainly agricultural products, the Morales administration has announced that it will propose to the Israeli government starting negotiations for a free trade agreement.

In the coming days a Guatemalan government delegation will be visiting Israel, a trip which could be leveraged for representatives of the Ministry of Economy to raise the possibility of signing a trade agreement between the two countries.

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