Negotiations to improve the free trade agreement (FTA) with Chile with which Korea signed the first free trade agreement (FTA) will resume after more than two years following Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo’s visit to Chile in 2022. Negotiations to improve the Korea-Chile FTA were held six times during the Moon Jae-in administration but were suspended without results. But this time, the two countries have begun to make a breakthrough.
The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced that the seventh round of official negotiations to improve the Korea-Chile FTA will be held in Santiago, Chile, for three days from May 22 to 24 (local time). The negotiations will cover all areas of the two nations’ FTA, including goods, cooperation, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights, gender equality, labor, and the environment.
“The Korea-Chile Free Trade Agreement was Korea’s first free trade agreement signed by the two countries in 2003 and has contributed significantly to the expansion of trade, with bilateral trade volume having increased fivefold since then,” said Ahn Chang-yong, head of the FTA Policy Planning Division at the MOTIE.
“To ensure that the Korea-Chile Free Trade Agreement goes beyond trade in goods and becomes a new platform for cooperation to respond to the changing trade environment, including supply chains, cooperation in the energy and resources sector and digital technology-based trade, we will do everything we can do to reflect global new trade norms, stabilize supply chains for high-tech industries and energy and minerals, and strengthen advanced trade ties with Chile as a bridgehead to enter the North and South American markets,” Ahn added.
Chile is the world’s largest copper producer and second-largest producer of lithium and other key battery minerals. In 2022, Prime Minister Han visited Chile to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Korea’s diplomatic ties with the country. During Han’s visit, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in sustainable mining and mineral resource value chains.