The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on August 7 that it will hold the fifth round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks with Central American countries at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul in Gwanghwamun for five days from the 8th, accelerating the opening of the market.
South Korea and six Central American countries launched their first round of negotiations about the FTA in June last year. Throughout the five-day negotiations this time, the two parties will discuss key issues in the agreement.
In particular, they will talk about the opening of prospective export items, such as automobiles and textiles, the liberalization of service and investment and the opening of government procurement.
South Korea plans to strengthen intellectual property rights and fair market competition laws in order to help domestic firms to push into the Central American markets.
The six Central American countries are Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. South Korea's trade with the Central American countries reached US$4.1 billion (4.56 trillion won) last year, slightly down from US$5 billion (5.57 trillion won) in 2014.