The free trade agreement between Chile and South Korea becomes effective this Thursday, meaning 87,2% of Chilean exports will have access with zero tariff.
Negotiations for the agreement began in 1999, it was subscribed in Seoul in February 2003 and last February 16, after several delays because of farmers protests the South Korean Congress finally ratified it.
For South Korea is the first agreement of this type with a Latinamerican country and could become a bridge for further experiences. For Chile, after having successfully completed agreements with United States and the European Union, means the consolidation of the country's Pacific basin strategy, which absorbs 33% of Chilean foreign trade. Bilateral trade in 2003 reached 1,55 billion US dollars, 33% increase over 2002 and with over a billion US dollars Chilean sales.
Beginning this Thursday April 1, 87,2% of Chilean exports to South Korea will cease to pay the 14% tariff and consequently 66,8% of South Korean produce will have the same advantages in the Chilean market, according to a release from the Chilean International Economic Relations Desk.
Chile sells mostly fruit, cellulose and salmon while importing South Korean automobiles, equipment and electronics.