Mercosur-South Korea Trade Agreement: A Framework for an Innovative Proposal

The FGV IIU, in partnership with The Korea Foundation, present the “Mercosur-South Korea Trade Agreement: A Framework for an Innovative Proposal”.

Aware of the transitioning moment that the world economy is going through - in which the global economic axis moves from the North Atlantic to the East Pacific - Mercosur countries are beginning to develop strategies to respond to this new trend. In that sense, building fresh partnerships and enhancing their presence in Eastern production chains should be one of the key elements in the Mercosur approach, implying South Korea and the ASEAN countries as pivotal actors in a more sustainable and robust integration.
Accordingly, since 2018 the Mercosur bloc and South Korea began the negotiation process for a Trade Agreement. Four rounds of negotiations have occurred so far, and despite the initial optimism regarding a rapid deal, there are, to date, no prospects on its conclusion. Still, the trade agreement initiative was very celebrated in both countries since its announcing: For South Korea, it is a special opportunity for the country to penetrate further into the South America region, where it has only marginally operated. For Mercosur, it is an opportunity to go beyond its previous multilateral strategy and to further internationalize the bloc through a more pragmatic bilateral trade agreement.

The project's objective is to develop a couple of policy-oriented papers discussing possible strategies and mechanisms for the Agreement. Once finished, its dissemination amidst government officials and decision-makers aims to provide more subsidies to the negotiators. Methodologically, the project embraces two perspectives for analyzing the Mercosur-SK Agreement: Global Value Chains and Regulatory Innovation. Following this division, two Study Groups have been designed, each focusing on a perspective. Both groups will be composed by experts from both South Korea and Mercosur countries.

Access the Reports here:

• GVC Working Group Report: Global Value Chains and Implications for the Mercosur-Korea Trade Agreement
• Regulatory Innovations Working Group Report: Mercosur-South Korea Trade Agreeement: A Framework for an Innovative Proposal