Colombia and S. Korea trade volume surpasses US$1.25 billion
A reception celebrating the Independence of Colombia was held at Lotte Hotel on July 26th 2018, hosted by the Colombian Embassy in Seoul. In his opening remarks, Colombian Ambassador H.E. Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan emphasized on close relationship between Colombia and South Korea that has developed with substantial results since the Korean War. The two countries have steadily cooperated in politics, diplomacy, economy and military and established an ‘Association of Strategic Cooperation’ when Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos paid a visit to S. Korea in 2011. The visit was followed by the Korean President’s visit back in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Since 2016, the cooperation has been focused on five fundamental aspects which are regional development, transport and mobility, ICT, industrial development and post-conflict support. The two parties signed FTA 2 years ago which was resulted in the trade volume surpassing US$1.25 billion last year: Colombian exports amounted to US$457 million, a 14% growth on the previous year. But the number soared high to US$190 million as of April 2018 (87% increase) and Colombia is expecting to see US$570 million by the end of the year. As for the import, Colombia is importing goods from S. Korea worth US$791 million. The Colombia’s major export goods are coffee, ferronickel, insecticides, flowers, pineapples, fruit and coal concentrates. Quite recently, Colombian shrimps have found a channel to Korean market and bananas, dried fruits, cacao and chocolate are expected to get through the channel also. Meanwhile, LG Electronics inaugurated a distribution center in the city of Palmira, Valle, while SK Holdings has created an investment fund to pioneer the local markets. It is also notable that one of the Korean games giants Netmarble has taken over a Colombian game company. In terms of exchanges, the Korean Ministry of Education, in cooperation with universities and Incheon Metropolitan City, and in support of the foundations of Booyoung Group and Samsung Group, invited Colombian teachers for training courses and Colombian students for scholarship programs. Other exchanges include a Photographic Exhibition of the Pacific Alliance co-organized with the Korea Foundation, and a Colombian music performance. ‘The Spirits of Gold and The Shaman’ that will display the legacy of the golden civilization of El Dorado is scheduled for a grand opening at the National Museum of Korea. Mr. Barragan said “I would like to express my feelings of gratitude to the entire Colombian community reunited here and to all the students who have come here seeking academic guidance. Your efforts to learn and obtain greater knowledge will become an asset to the future of Colombia. I cannot finish this speech without thanking all of you for your presence here, and I wish everyone a success during your stay in this beautiful country.” Yoon Kang-hyun, Economic and Diplomacy Coordinator of Korea, attended on the day to give a congratulatory speech.
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