South Korea and the Southern Common Market, also known as Mercosur, will begin negotiations on a trade pact this month.
An official at Seoul's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy unveiled the plan on Wednesday, saying the government will actively push for new free trade deals to expand its trade relations with emerging markets.
Consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, Mercosur is a regional economic bloc established in 1991. It accounts for 70 percent of South America’s population and has a gross domestic product(GDP) of two-point-seven trillion U.S. dollars, equivalent to 76 percent of the continent’s total GDP.
The official said Seoul will also launch negotiations this year with the Pacific Alliance, another Latin American free-trade bloc consisting of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, in a bid to join as an associate member.