Latinpress.es 10/15/2019. According to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), exports from Latin America and the Caribbean to Korea could increase around 10 billion dollars, or 43%, if a set is implemented of reforms to reduce commercial costs and bilateral cooperation is promoted.
The report, A boost to cooperation: Policy alternatives for Latin America and the Caribbean and Korea, was presented during the 5th Korea-LAC Business Summit, held in Seoul, Korea on October 7 and 8.
In the last two decades, trade between Korea and Latin America and the Caribbean quadrupled to 43,000 million dollars in 2018, after starting at a level of 11,000 million dollars in the year 2000.
Korean exports to the region reached 26.7 billion dollars, while sales from Latin America and the Caribbean to that country amounted to 16.2 billion.
However, trade could reach much greater growth. The report notes that Korea’s exports to Latin America and the Caribbean could increase by 25,000 million, or 63%, if commercial costs are reduced.
Foreign direct investment has also increased in the last two decades. Korean investment flows to the region reached a peak of 2.4 billion in 2015, although they have lost dynamism and are primarily absorbed by two markets, Brazil and Mexico.
During the event, ideas were discussed on opportunities to expand business in areas such as infrastructure, energy, technologies for smart cities, health and agriculture, as well as innovation in trade facilitation and investment promotion.
The event also included a day of startup presentations (Startup Pitch Day), a series of sessions to connect entrepreneurs, investors and support institutions of both regions. Likewise, face-to-face business matchmaking meetings were held between companies and startups in Korea, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia.
According to the report, although commercial costs between Korea and Latin America and the Caribbean have been steadily decreasing, on average bilateral trade costs reach 189% of the value of traded goods.