Mexico, South Korea Kick Off Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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Mexico, South Korea Kick Off Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

Photo by:   Twitter Tatiana Clouthier
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Antonio Gozain By Antonio Gozain | Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 03/02/2022 - 14:25

Mexico and South Korea kicked off negotiations to materialize a free trade agreement (FTA) between both countries, informed Tatiana Clouthier, Minister of Economy.

Yeo Han-Koo, Minister for Trade, South Korea, visited Mexico’s Ministry of Economy on March 1, 2022, to begin discussions. “We started negotiations to crystallize the FTA between South Korea and Mexico. We seek for our nations to face challenges and economic opportunities together," wrote Clouthier on Twitter.

At the end of last year, both countries agreed to start negotiating the treaty as soon as possible, said Luz María de la Mora, Mexico’s Deputy Minister of International Trade. In 2006, South Korea showed interest in reaching a bilateral agreement with Mexico, reported Forbes. However, those negotiations were suspended.

The global geopolitical chessboard considers Mexico as one of the most attractive countries for Asian markets, such as China, South Korea and Japan, reported MBN. “Mexico has become a very attractive country because high-tariff levels reduce competitiveness in certain areas but increase competitiveness in others, such as the Mexican economy. There is now greater Mexican participation in production processes,” said Ernesto Acevedo, Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Competitiveness, Ministry of Economy.

South Korea is Mexico’s sixth most important commercial partner globally, while Mexico is the most important Latin American trade destination for the Asian country. There are over 2,000 companies with South Korean investment in Mexico, including Samsung, LG, Kores, Kepco, Kogas, Posco, Hyundai, KIA and several other auto part manufacturers.

USMCA has played a key role in the recovery of FDI in a context where the US is highly dependent on its Asian suppliers. “Part of the reorientation of this strategy is to reach out to US or Canadian companies that have operations in Asian countries, but whose final products are consumed in the US, Mexico or Canada. The approach has been for the region to have a better balance in supply, production processes and presence in Mexico,” said Acevedo.

Mexico, South Korea Celebrate 60 Years of Bilateral Relationship

In Feb. 2022, Mexico and South Korea celebrated “60 years of friendship,” when Choi Jong-kun and Carmen Moreno, Vice Ministers of Foreign Affairs, met in Seoul to “further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries,” informed Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the first bilateral meeting at this level in seven years, both officials agreed on the importance of carrying out negotiations for the FTA between both nations. South Korea also showed intentions to join the Pacific Alliance, the trade bloc created in 2012 by Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, reported EFE.

Photo by:   Twitter Tatiana Clouthier

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