Trade and investment have been the main drivers of economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and in the member countries of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) in particular, which are the focus of this study. The results of the trade policy reforms made by these four countries are impressive. Exports have increased considerably and a path toward diversification has been forged. Liberalization and foreign investment facilitation efforts also posted outstanding results. To better understand the member countries of the Pacific Alliance, it is necessary to examine their trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) openness, which contributed to average year-on-year growth of 6.3% in gross domestic product (GDP) over the last two-plus decades (1990-2013) compared to the rest of LAC, which posted an average of 5.3%. These aspects are analyzed in Section I.
Differentiating between the FTAs with regard to scope and depth depends, among other factors, on the inclusion of trade related disciplines. A comparative overview of the agreements is undertaken in Section II.
Trade liberalization is expanding between Korea and the Pacific Alliance countries. Progress has been facilitated by Chile´s FTA, which has been in place for the past decade, and by Peru’s FTA, which went into effect in 2011. Similar results can be expected when the Colombia-Korea FTA, signed in 2013, goes into effect. However, after a period of tariff liberalization, it is clear that future gains in bilateral relations are likely to be found in non-tariff-related areas. This is the domain that requires work. Aspects related to non-tariff barriers are covered in the comparative analysis of FTAs signed with Korea in Section II and discussed in the segment on Chile’s FTA with Korea.
Editor: Rosario Santa Gadea
Full document: 2015, Santa Gadea, Analysis of Experiences in Trade and Investment between LAC and Korea- The Case of Member Countries of the Pacific Alliance