Since the participation of Colombia in the Korean War (1950 – 1953) (which was the only Latinoamerican country that actively took part in this war), the two countries have been establishing strong relations with each other, which was formalized at March 10th of 1962. These negotiations consolidated in Washington and later, it was made the opening of an Embassy of Colombia in Seoul and an Embassy of Korea in Bogota. These alliances have been very useful until today, achieving Korean intervention in processes like Colombia’s peace process (2016) and the Covid-19 health crisis that involved Colombian and the world.
An important part of the bilateral relations and international cooperation that has been done between these countries is the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Korea and Colombia, which came into force in 2016 year. To start talking about this agreement, first, we must define what a free trade agreement is. According to Economipedia, a trade agreement or of trade is a deal that establishes two or more countries under the protection of international law and with the objective to improve their relations in economic terms and trade interchange.
Taken of the artist: Lucas George Wendt (unsplash)
In Colombia, for years, prevailed in the market the commercialization of national products by conservative and protectionist models; the country started its international economic opening in the early nineties with the objective of improving the international relations of Colombia and encouraging the increase of the national industry on base to the outside markets competition. From the point of view of the Korean context, after to coup d’etat that positioned General Park Chung Hee (1962-1979), Korea got a self-sufficient diplomacy position and it focused its politics to improve international relations whit other countries, among them Latin American countries.
As a consequence of the previous events, agreements began on December of 2009 and after a negotiation period, It was signed the free trade agreement between Korea and Colombia at February 21st of 2013, which search economic development through trade balance and complementary economies of both countries. It means, while the South Korea economy is focused in technology articles like cars and phones; Colombian economy produce mainly raw materials such as agricultural goods and minerals; these supplies have possible that the supplying needs satisfy each other.
Here are three of the most relevant facts of this agreement:
Taken of the artists: Jorge Gardner y Skyler W (unsplash).
- It’s the first agreement that Colombia has with the Asian continent, It represents 60% of the total population and 35% of worldwide gross domestic product, it’s integrated by countries with an import force and high purchasing power. It’s important to add, that Korea is located as the eighth importer and one of the top ten best economies in the world.
- The main advantages of the agreement are for Colombia’s agricultural and agro-industry sectors, in products such as coffee, it got an immediate tariff reduction, while for other products such as flowers there are programs of tariff reductions from 3 to 5 years. Likewise, the agreement promotes Korean investment in Colombia thanks to the tariff deduction on several raw materials and capital goods.
- The originally agreed rules grant a privilege to the use of produced supplies, such as sugar, milk, coffee, and vegetables, among others.
Taken of the artist: Tim Mossholder (unsplash)
Finally, we see that international cooperation with countries like South Korea is very important to strengthen the development of our communities and improve our quality of life. In the same form, the Korean population can benefit remarkably from providing supplies for our regions. Given as a result a true friendship that searches pacific union and teamwork to give an answer to the biggest challenges that confront the actual society.
References / Bibliography
- Medina Salazar Juan David and Sandoval Katherine Luna. Colombia-South Korea cultural relations with a view to strengthening future trade and negotiation relations. Faculty of economic and administrative sciences, El Bosque University, (Bogota 2018).
- Website Embassy of Korea in Colombia: https://overseas.mofa.go.kr/co-es/wpge/m_6686/contents.do#:~:text=La%20Rep%C3%BAblica%20de%20Corea%20y,de%20cooperaci%C3%B3n%20en%20el%202011.
- “Free trade agreement” definition: https://economipedia.com/definiciones/tratado-comercial.html
- Agreement of free trade Colombia – Korea Bancolombia: https://youtu.be/3it9JAnTous
- FTA COLOMBIA – SOUTH KOREA: https://youtu.be/FNPLXak4_XI
- Extra information on bilateral relations Korea-Colombia (Interview with the Korean Ambassador to Colombia, Choo Jong-youn 2021): https://youtu.be/ntOmXspb0h8
Written by: Luisa Méndez
Reviewed by: Andrea Ramírez