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Supporting the Internationalization platform for SICA Firms under the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of South Korea and Central America

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Project details

  • Beneficiary country(s): El Salvador Costa Rica Panama Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua
  • Sector: Trade
  • Year: 2021
  • Beneficiary Executing Agency:

    Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, Ministry of Economy, El Salvador; Ministry of Foreign Relations and International Cooperation, Honduras; Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce, Nicaragua; Ministry of Industries and Commerce, Panama; COMIECO- Economic Integration Ministers Council

Project information


In line with its strategy to forge closer trade and investment ties with Latin America, after reaching FTAs with Chile, Peru, and Colombia,  ROK and Central American countries launched negotiations toward an FTA with the goal of expanding their markets for trade and investment. On February 21, 2018, five of these CA countries   signed the Korea – Central America Free Trade Agreement (K-CAFTA) in Seoul, South Korea, marking a turning point in the economic relations between ROK and the region. 

Main Objective:

Increase trade and investment flows between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Central America (CA) through the development of a comprehensive internationalization program under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between ROK and Central American countries (K-CAFTA), consisting of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Expected Result:

Support the Central American export diversification and enhance its international competitiveness through a fuller implementation and greater utilization of the K-CAFTA, and therefore, an increase in trade flows and integration between CA and ROK. Additionally, support CA public sector organizations and SMEs seeking to internationalize. Positive spillover effects are also expected throughout the trade value chains connecting CA to ROK.