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FM Chung asks for Chile's cooperation in joining Latin America trade bloc

All News 17:38 July 21, 2021

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong asked for Chile's cooperation in South Korea's bid to join a regional trade bloc in Latin America, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Chung made the call during in-person bilateral talks with Chilean Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand in Seoul earlier in the day, as Seoul is seeking to become an associate member of the Pacific Alliance (PA) to deepen economic ties with countries in the region.

The PA was launched in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru -- who combine to account for 58 percent of trade volume in Latin America -- to promote regional economic integration and expand trade with Asia-Pacific countries. South Korea is currently among some 50 observer countries, along with the U.S., China and Japan.

"While noting that trade and investment with Chile have expanded through the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), Minister Chung asked for cooperation from the Chilean side in resuming the negotiation process for South Korea's accession to the PA as an associate member state," the ministry said in a release.

In the talks, the two sides also discussed efforts to boost cooperation in a broad range of areas, including green hydrogen, digital technology and Antarctica, the ministry said.

Allamand suggested that the two countries could create synergy with Chile's ample resources for renewable energy and Korea's advanced technologies in hydrogen vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.

Allamand was visiting Seoul this week for negotiations on revising the FTA with Korea in a way that will expand the scope of the free trade and update the terms of the two-way trade pact that went into effect in 2004.

Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (R) stands next to Chilean Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand, during their bilateral talks at the foreign ministry in Seoul, in this photo provided by the ministry on July 21, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



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