Economy & Business - September 2023


GUATEMALA | Joining the South Korea-Central America FTA. On 5 September, Guatemala’s government announced that the country had joined the free trade agreement (FTA) that South Korea signed with five other Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) in 2018. According to a press release from Guatemala’s economy ministry, Economy Minister Luz Pérez met with South Korea’s minister of commerce, industry and energy, Dukgeun Ahn, to sign the agreement. Guatemala is already South Korea’s top trading partner in Central America. In 2022, Guatemalan exports to South Korea totalled US$163m, while South Korean imports to Guatemala totalled US$390m. Guatemala’s main exports to South Korea are ferronickel (accounting for 43% of the export total) and coffee (39%), whereas the main imports from Korea to Guatemala are freight vehicles (13%) and diesel (9%). Pérez stated “these figures are a clear testament to the trade opportunities before us”, with the FTA seeking to remove tariffs on approximately 95% of goods traded by both countries.

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