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Korea Begins FTA Talks With Central American States

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

22 September 2015


South Korea and six Central American nations launched the first round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA) on September 21, 2015, according to an announcement from South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE).

South Korea and the Central American countries – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Paraguay – announced their intention to negotiate an FTA in June. They agreed to pursue a comprehensive FTA that will cover other areas of interest to both sides, and not only trade in goods and services.

During the first round of talks, which will last until September 25, 2015, the negotiators will discuss a range of issues, including trade remedies, rules of origin, and customs clearance.

The Central American nations constitute a regional bloc called SIECA – Secretaria de Integracion Economica Centroamericana. When completed, the proposed FTA with South Korea will be their first trade treaty with an Asian country.

Trade between South Korea and the six Central American countries reached USD5bn in 2014, MOTIE said.

TAGS: Energy | tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | Nicaragua | Paraguay | export duty | interest | tariffs | trade treaty | Guatemala | Korea, South | import duty | trade | El Salvador | Honduras | free trade zone | services | Central America

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