South Korea Initiates Trade Talks with Panama, Costa Rica

July 2, 2010

The industrial powerhouse of South Korea, home of Samsung, LG, Kia and Hyundai, is looking to bridge ties with Central America.

At the Central American Integration System (SICA) meeting in Panama City this week, South Korean President Lee Myungbak pledged investments in security initiatives across the region and began discussing the possibility of a free trade agreement with Costa Rica and Panama.

The SICA meeting this past week marked the first time Honduras has participated since former President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a coup last year. According to the secretary of SICA, Juan Daniel Alemán, relationships have been normalized and there is no need for a formal announcement about Honduras’s reintegration, as Honduras was never formally expelled.

Nicaragua is the only country in Central America that has yet to recognize the legitimacy of the new Honduran presidency under Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo. The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, did not attend the recent meeting, reporting that he was sick. He sent a delegation in his place.

Like recently inaugurated Lobo, this was Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla’s first appearance before SICA.

During her trip, Chinchilla also met with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who attended the SICA meeting as an observer. Berlusconi was in Panama to promote greater economic ties between Italy and the region, and to oversee progress on the expansion of the Panama Canal in which an Italian company is participating.

–Chrissie Long

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica
Peace Talks
615 views
Peace Talks
615 views

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 19, 2018

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will headline the first PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa Rica next month. The event, scheduled…

The energy of sound
Pic of the Day
638 views
Pic of the Day
638 views

The energy of sound

Alissa Grosskopf - October 19, 2018

“Sound is vibration, vibration is energy and that energy is light,” said Costa Rican musician Carlos "Tapado" Vargas. Apart from…

Human rights defender Alvaro Leiva: ‘There is a permanent darkness in Nicaragua’
Nicaragua
1050 views
Nicaragua
1050 views

Human rights defender Alvaro Leiva: ‘There is a permanent darkness in Nicaragua’

Katherine Stanley - October 19, 2018

When Alvaro Leiva took the stage at a recent fundraiser for Nicaraguan refugees and immigrants in Costa Rica, all eyes…