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S. Korea to speed up FTA talks with Mercosur

All News 11:00 August 12, 2021

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Thursday it seeks to speed up its free trade negotiation with a group of South American countries, as the country aims to further expand its export portfolio.

South Korea launched its negotiations with Mercosur -- Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay -- in 2018. The four countries make up around 70 percent of the population in South America and 68 percent of the region's economy.

The seventh round of negotiations is slated to be held later this month.

S. Korea to speed up FTA talks with Mercosur - 1

"The trade agreement with Mercosur will pave the way for South Korean exporters to secure the emerging markets of South America and complete our FTA portfolio in the region," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.

The state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) expects the deal would help South Korea firms participate in on-going infrastructure projects in Brazil.

South Korea, meanwhile, has been making efforts to join deeper ties with emerging markets to brace for the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Asia's No. 4 economy implemented its first-ever FTA with Chile in 2004.

South Korea also holds FTAs with Peru and Colombia, along with five countries from Central America. Another trade pact is being negotiated with Ecuador as well.

colin@yna.co.kr
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