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KIEP Opinions

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Title The Pacific Alliance and South Korea as an Associate Member of the Alliance
Author Sungwoo Hong
Date 2019-11-11
File KIEP opinions_no174.pdf 

In July 2019, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of South Korea issued a statement that South Korea and the Pacific Alliance (PA) would be initiating negotiations in September 2019 for the country to become an associate member of the PA. The PA is a trade and economic bloc that was officially established in April 2011 and comprises four countries in Latin America: Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
Indeed, South Korea has already concluded FTAs with three PA members—Chile, Peru, and Colombia. If so, why is the Korean government making such efforts to become an associate member of the PA?

First, joining the PA as an associate member could result in an equivalent state to signing an FTA between South Korea and Mexico. Second, South Korea would have an opportunity to improve its FTAs already concluded with Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Third, South Korea could understand the primary and specific issues at the PA and help entrepreneurs expand to the region of the alliance by attending the PA summits and ministerial meetings.