The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the Korea International Trade Association announced on July 14 that a free trade agreement becomes effective between South Korea and Colombia on July 15. Colombia has a population of approximately 40 million and its domestic market is the third-largest in Latin America.
The tariffs on 95% of industrial products exported from South Korea to Colombia are eliminated once the FTA goes into effect. That on vehicles, which is at 35%, is to be reduced to zero within 10 years and those on automobile tires (5% to 15%) and fibers (up to 20%) are to be reduced to zero within five years in stages.
According to the agreement, all the tariffs on goods subject to bilateral trade between the two countries disappear within a decade. The ratio of immediate tariff elimination is 82% for South Korean products and 60% or so for Colombian products. The 5% to 15% tariffs on auto parts are to be lowered to zero in stages within five years and that on mid-size diesel SUVs exported to Colombia is to take nine years to become zero.
As of July 15, South Korea is the only country in Asia that is engaged in free trade with Colombia.