CABEI provides financial support to Central American countries for Free Trade Agreement negotiations with South Korea


El Salvador’s Minister of Economy, Mr. Tharsis Solomon Lopez, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) Director for El Salvador, Mr. Guillermo Funes Cartagena, signed a non-reimbursable financial cooperation agreement. The agreement established CABEI’s commitment to support to the region in the negotiation process for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea.

The request for CABEI support was made by Minister Lopez in the second semester of 2015 during El Salvador’s interim presidency of the SIECA.

In November 2015, CABEI informed the Central American vice ministers that Minister Lopez’s request that the Bank support the countries of the region had been approved. The support involves providing logistical, technical and administrative organization in the various rounds carried out with South Korea throughout the negotiation process.

In general terms, the US$100,000.00 cooperation to El Salvador will be used to finance activities in support of the negotiation process in order to ensure the effective participation of Salvadoran officials in the various negotiation rounds and to guarantee the holding of already-programmed coordination meetings.

Minister Lopez stated that the commercial opening of new markets is one of the elements of trade policy used to promote the country’s economic growth. In this context, the negotiation process of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America and South Korea opens up a window of opportunities for the region, considering that South Korea is the fourth largest economy in Asia and in recent years has become one of the most important trade partners of the Latin American region, including Central America.

Mr. Lopez expressed his thanks for the Bank’s support for the trade agreement negotiation process, which will generate increased exports from the region to South Korea and promote investment flows from South Korea to our countries.

In addition, the country may represent a point of entry to a broader market in the Asian region. It is also expected that South Korea will provide cooperation in business innovation projects for important sectors in El Salvador.