Guatemala, by -AGN- The IX Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean has been an opportunity for bilateral meetings between the participating and observer countries, including South Korea.
On this occasion, President Alejandro Giammattei met with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.
Mr. Jin has held office since April 2023. His areas of expertise include Law and Public Administration.
Guatemala and South Korea have maintained diplomatic relations since October 1962.
Minister Park Jin underscored the successful relations between Guatemala and South Korea during the meeting.
A free trade agreement with Central America is what South Korea desires to become a reality soon.
The minister highlighted that Guatemala has Central America’s largest Korean economic and commercial community.
Guatemala’s Textiles Izan, for example, has invested USD 13 million, demonstrating Korean investment in the country.
Towards World Expo 2023
Korea requested Guatemala’s support to hold the World Expo 2030 in Busan, Korea, with the theme of Transforming our world, navigating toward a better future.
The objective is to address the three global challenges below:
- Climate Change
- The Challenges of digital transformation
- The inequality between and within the countries
The General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions -BIE- will choose the location for this event.
Until October 2022, Saudi Arabia, South Korea -Busan-, Italy, and Ukraine had submitted their applications.
Guatemala is not currently a member state of the BIE, but consultations are underway to allow it to become a member.
On economic matters, the Government of Guatemala plans to complete the negotiation and signing rounds for the adhesion to the Free Trade Agreement between Korea and Central America. In addition, there are plans to implement the Political Consultation Mechanism between Guatemala and Korea.
The mechanism will be held in Guatemala City in the second half of 2023 to follow up on common political, economic, and cooperation interests.
Guatemala was included in the list of 24 priority countries to receive Official Development Cooperation for 2026-2030 based on its potential to explore areas of cooperation in technology, digital government, renewable energy, and information technology.
During the meeting, the South Korean Minister thanked Guatemala for its support before the General Council of the United Nations Organization in response to North Korea’s aggressions.
The Guatemalan president reiterated the excellent relations with South Korea, which he expects to continue strengthening. He also mentioned that, although the initial conditions for a free trade agreement have changed, Guatemala hopes negotiations will soon be back on track.
President Giammattei thanked South Korea for supporting the fight against forest fires and climate change, mentioning the Resiclima project.
In April, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources -MARN- and the Korean International Cooperation Agency -Koica- signed an agreement for the Resiclima project.
According to MARN authorities, Resiclima will be a valuable help in implementing the REsilient LIVElihoods of vulnerable smallholder farmers in the Mayan landscapes and the Dry Corridor of Guatemala -RELIVE- climate adaptation initiative.
The Relive project benefits approximately 116,000 people in 29 municipalities in Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chiquimula, Petén, and Zacapa. The investment in this initiative exceeds USD 3 million.
At the close of the bilateral meeting, the Guatemalan president recognized Korea’s valuable support and concern for the environment.
He stressed the urgent need to preserve the Petén rainforest as the second lung of the Americas, after the Amazon rainforest.