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South Korean Vice Foreign Minister to conclude Latin American tour


South Korean Vice Foreign Minister to conclude Latin American tour

Photo: Yonhap News Agency

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jung-Kun will conclude a tour of Latin America today.

Aimed at expanding cooperation efforts in the region, the trip ends in Mexico after visits to Colombia and Costa Rica. It is a follow-up to March’s Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum, discussing digital technology, infrastructure and cyber security. South Korea’s regional commitment continues to increase: a regional free trade agreement (FTA) recently went into effect, and in 2020 it joined the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) as an extra-regional member.

South Korea’s regional efforts tie into its purported Green New Deal, a climate change-focused economic roadmap aimed at fueling post-COVID-19 growth, including by stimulating job growth in green and digital industries. Costa Rica has played a key role in helping South Korea—the world’s seventh largest carbon emitter—develop the policy.

Expect increased Korean foreign investment in Latin America as Seoul pursues a green economic recovery. Socio-economic projects, especially in tech and infrastructure, are likely starting points. Funding for natural gas and renewable energy plants shows particular promise. The FTA provides South Korean companies with a competitive edge, especially when coupled with CABEI membership. Likewise, as relations warm, new FTA member additions remain a possibility.

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