Colombia on Thursday signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea in Seoul. The FTA includes a wide range of elements to boost bilateral trade and investment, according to the trade ministry.
Colombia's trade minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said that the government aimed to implement the agreement before the end of the year.
The FTA, which still has to be approved by the Colombian congress and the South Korean congress, will eliminate tariffs on 96.1% of Colombian products exported to South Korea, and 96.7% of South Korean goods coming to Colombia over the course of 10 years.
Diaz-Granados said that Colombia will have to enhance the efficiency and the productivity of its local industries in order to compensate for the increased competition.
Trade between Colombia and South Korea quadrupled between 2002 and 2011, with traded products between the two countries last year worth 1.89 billion dollars, of which nearly 1.5 billion were South Korean exports to Colombia, mostly vehicles, parts, machinery and technology products. Colombian exports were primarily coal, coffee and metals to Korea.