Ecuador and Costa Rica completed the third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

Spread the love

The Ecuadorian government expects to sign the trade agreement with the Central American country by the end of 2022

Ecuador and Costa Rica completed the third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

Rodrigo Chaves, president of Costa Rica, and Guillermo Lasso, president of Ecuador, announced the signing of a trade agreement between the two countries during the Summit of the Americas, in June 2022. (Ecuador Presidency)

Ecuador and Coast < b>Rica closed the third round of negotiations of the Trade Association Agreement between both countries. The negotiations were carried out in person in San José, capital of the Central American country. According to the Ecuadorian authorities, the treaty has advanced by 85%.

The Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries, Julio José Prado, congratulated the Ecuadorian team and announced that there is interest on both sides in finalizing the free trade agreement: “The encouragement and predisposition of the two countries is excellent to move forward with the FTA,” the Secretary of State wrote on his Twitter .

In an official statement, the production portfolio indicated that the third round of negotiations included the dialogue on access to the market for goods, rules of origin and a significant advance in the legal review of all the tables that are closed.

Ecuador and Costa Rica completed the third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

Ecuador and Costa Rica began negotiations this year to sign an FTA. (Ministry of Production of Ecuador).

“The advances in the negotiated matters project that a technical closing round of the negotiation will be carried out at the end of 2022,” the ministry reported. The government hopes to sign trade agreements with Costa Rica and Mexico, the latter being essential to join the Pacific Alliance, a regional integration organization of which Costa Rica also wants to be a part.

The negotiation of the latest generation agreement between Ecuador and Costa Rica was officially announced by the presidents of both countries during the IX Summit of the Americasin June of this year, in order to promote bilateral trade and create opportunities for the productive sectors of both nations.

Last week, Prado indicated that 14 of the 20 negotiating tables with Costa Rica were closed: “We are missing Mexico and Costa Rica is also about to join the Pacific Alliance, so it is important to also have a trade agreement with Costa Rica,” said the minister in a radio interview.

Ecuador and Costa Rica completed the third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

The bilateral trade agreement between Ecuador and Costa Rica seeks that some technological inputs enter the country with zero tariff from the Central American country. (EFE/Jerome Favre/File)

“Costa Rica in recent years has become a very strong producer of chips, medical supplies, medicines, as well as technology. So we can immediately import these products with zero tariffs to Ecuador, that is a benefit on the import side,” said the minister.

According to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Production, Costa Rica “is an important destination for non-traditional exports and for Ecuadorian MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises).

Ecuador hopes to close the agreement with Mexico

Ecuador expects to close the negotiations to sign the trade agreement with Mexico at the end of November. To finalize the trade agreement negotiations, a high-level Ecuadorian delegation will travel to Mexico for the Summit of Presidents of the Pacific Alliance to be held in Oaxaca.

Ecuador and Costa Rica concluded the third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, while talking with his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador. Both countries expect to finalize the trade agreement in November this year. (EFE/Presidency of Mexico)

According to Minister Prado in a radio interview, at the moment 18 of the 20 negotiation tables with Mexico are closed.

Prado assured that there had been a change in the Mexican negotiating teams and what the Ecuadorian authorities did was meet with the new officials to continue with the treaty.

“What we did was go to meet this new team, I met directly with Secretary Buenrostro, the new Secretary of the Economy of Mexico, and what we have agreed on, which I personally delivered to her, is one last proposal from Ecuador. in terms of access to markets in the issues that we are missing, which is basically access to markets for shrimp and bananas, and a proposal on financial services, a small issue that was pending,” Prado said.

Ecuador and Costa Rica completed the third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

Ecuador is one of the largest producers and exporters of bananas in the world. (EFE/Luis Eduardo Noriega A.)

The agreement between Mexico and Ecuador maintains some sensitive products such as bananas, shrimp and products fishery products, such as tuna.

Bananas, shrimp, and tuna are three representative products of Ecuadorian non-oil exports and appear on the list of 10 products that are exported the most from Ecuador.