On February 21st Colombia will sign the Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, a deal that the Government feels will pave the way for similar agreements with Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Last Tuesday, the government of Lee Myung-Bak approved the final document of a deal that was first discussed in December of 2009.
The 22-chapter deal, which includes the elimination of tariffs for 96 percent of either nations’ products, must still be approved and made into law by the Colombian Congress and the National Assembly of South Korea, which should happen in late March of this year. The hope is that the agreement can go into effect by June, at the latest.
As expected, not all sectors are celebrating. While the agricultural sector feels it’s a chance to break into Asian markets, notorious for importing foods, others like the automobile and electrical appliance industries are concerned that the country may be unprepared for this move.