BY CHRONICLE STAFF
While Latin America will receive a fair amount of attention in Korea this week thanks to a major conference and official visits by the presidents of Chile and Peru, Korean companies are already busy boosting their business with the region.
Latin America represents a growing market for Korea and one where it has been able to maintain a strong surplus.
Last year, total trade between Korea and Latin America grew by 27.1 percent to $47.0 billion. Of that exports grew by 29 percent to $33.3 billion, while imports of Latin American goods increased by 21.5 percent to $13.8 billion, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
As a result, Korea’s trade surplus with Latin America expanded by 33.6 percent to $19.5 billion, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of KITA data. Last year’s figure was nearly twice as large as the surplus Korea had with Latin America in 2006.
While trade did decline during the first seven months this year, it is expected to recover next year.
Much of the trade growth in recent years has been spurred by Brazil and Panama. Last year Brazil replaced Mexico as Korea’s largest trade partner in Latin America, while Panama managed to become the third-largest partner.
Brazil accounted for the strongest trade growth ...
Keywords: Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru
TABLE: Korea Trade With Latin America 2008