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Honduras to seek FTA with Korea: trade minister

The Republic of Honduras will push to establish a free trade agreement with Korea, Honduran Trade Minister Jose Francisco Zelaya said Friday.

“Honduras and Korea has one trade agreement in place, but we want to take the relations to the level of free trade agreement,” Zelaya said at a press conference regarding the Korea Foundation’s Vision Sharing Program for National Development.

As part of the Vision Sharing Program for National Development, high-level officials from five Latin American countries ― Republic of Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Peru ― visited Korea on a week-long schedule to look around industrial complexes and learn about Korea’s economic development policies. 
Latin American government officials attend a press conference on the Korea Foundation’s Vision Sharing Program for National Development in Seoul on Friday. From left: Honduran Trade Minister Jose Francisco Zelaya, Honduras’ rural development chief Mario Rene Pineda, El Salvadorian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Jose Guillermo Lopez Suarez, Senator Ruben Dario Cruz of the Dominican Republic and Diego Vega Cevallos of Ecuador’s National Secretariat for Development and Planning. (Korea Foundation)
Latin American government officials attend a press conference on the Korea Foundation’s Vision Sharing Program for National Development in Seoul on Friday. From left: Honduran Trade Minister Jose Francisco Zelaya, Honduras’ rural development chief Mario Rene Pineda, El Salvadorian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Jose Guillermo Lopez Suarez, Senator Ruben Dario Cruz of the Dominican Republic and Diego Vega Cevallos of Ecuador’s National Secretariat for Development and Planning. (Korea Foundation)

The Korea Foundation’s program aims to provide policy makers from participating nations with information about Korea’s economic development in an effort to aid less developed countries’ progress.

In addition, the Vision Sharing Program for National Development also aims to strengthen the relations between Korea and participating countries in collaborating ways to develop.

Zelaya also said that related topics were discussed in February when Honduras’ President Porfirio Lobo Sosa came to Korea, and that he hoped for more trade discussions between the two nations will follow.

While Zelaya expressed hopes for furthering trade deals, chief of Honduras’ rural development Mario Rene Pineda said that Honduras would also benefit from Korea’s cooperation in developing its education system.

The representatives of other countries at the press conference also expressed high hopes for collaborating with Korea as their countries sought to achieve economic development, with each representative pointing to Korea’s efforts at rooting out corruption and implementing tax reforms as having formed the foundations for its rapid economic development.

By Choi He-suk  (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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