INTERNATIONAL

South Korea to Begin Talks on Joining Pacific Alliance

Korea

Seoul, July 25: South Korea will begin negotiating with the Pacific Alliance to achieve member status in the Latin American economic bloc by 2018, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy reported on Wednesday. Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong agreed to start proceedings with four members of the bloc — Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru — during the alliance’s summit this week in the Mexican coastal city of Puerto Vallarta, Efe news reported. Seoul, which has already signed free-trade agreements (FTA) with Chile, Colombia and Peru, seeks better access to the Mexican market through the partnership agreement with the Pacific Alliance. Despite being one of the 10 largest exporting nations, South Korean companies have been at a disadvantage due to competitors from the US, the European Union and Japan in the absence of an FTA, Kim said in a statement. (IANS)