South Korea and six Central American countries, including El Salvador and Panama, launched their first round of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA).
The start of negotiations for the seven-way FTA is the result of the countries’ trade ministers agreeing to sign a high-level, comprehensive FTA three months ago.
The six Central American countries include Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Together, the six countries make up the fifth-largest market in Central and South America in terms of their combined gross domestic product, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has said.
The proposed FTA with South Korea, if signed, will be the Central American countries’ first free trade pact with an Asian state.
This week’s talks in Seoul are set to end Friday.
Trade volume between South Korea and the six countries nearly doubled over the past 10 years to reach US$5 billion in 2014, according to the trade ministry. Source: YonhapNews
The Chinese government considers FTAs as a way to further open up to the outside world and speed up domestic reforms, an effective approach to integrate into the global economy and strengthen economic cooperation with other economies, as well as an important supplement to the multilateral trading system. The following are the FTAs signed between China and other countries:
In November 2004, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the Agreement on Trade in Goods that entered into force in July 2005.
In January 2007, the two sides signed the Agreement on Trade in Services, which entered into effect in July of the same year. In August 2009, China and ASEAN signed the Agreement on Investment.
In November 2006, China and Pakistan inked the FTA that took effect in July 2007. In February 2009, the two countries signed the Agreement on Trade in Services of the China-Pakistan FTA.
In November 2005, China and Chile signed the FTA that entered into force in October 2006. In April 2008, the two countries inked the Supplementary Agreement on Trade in Services of the FTA. Source: XinhuanetNews