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 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.

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