South Korean President Park Geun-hye left Thursday for Colombia, the first stop on her weeklong tour of Latin America, which includes stops in Peru, Chile and Brazil. In an email interview, Juan Felipe Lopez Aymes, a researcher at the Regional Center for Multidisciplinary Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, discussed South Korea’s ties with Latin America.
WPR: Who are South Korea’s main partners in Latin America, and what are the main areas of cooperation and investment?
Juan Felipe Lopez Aymes: Trade and investment between South Korea and Latin America has increased in the past decade. Mexico is the main trade partner, followed by Brazil and Chile. South Korea is also developing partnerships with Peru and Colombia, which belong to the Pacific Alliance along with Mexico and Chile. Together, the Pacific Alliance countries account for 40 percent of Seoul’s trade and 20 percent of its investment in Latin America. South Korea also has several infrastructure development projects with Bolivia and in Central America, where South Korea is also exploring trade agreements. The visit of South Korean President Park Geun-hye to Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil is a clear sign of Seoul’s great interest in the region.