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Ministry of Finance reports progress made in agreements between EU and third countries

The State Secretary of Trade, Jaime Garcia Legaz, and the representatives of the Directorate General of International Trade and Investment reported yesterday the current state of trade negotiations with the EU and third countries, held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Jaime Garcia Legaz spoke about the macroeconomic data of the evolution of the trade between Spain and the EU and underlined the importance of seeking opportunities in third countries. He reiterated that 90% of the global economic growth over the next ten years will be generated outside the EU and that they had to be part of that growth. We must look for these markets, he said.

Officials of the Directorate General of International Trade and Investment spoke about the progress made in the second half of the year in the agreements being negotiated by the EU, highlighting the situation of the Negotiations with the United States, and the content of the agreements with Canada and Ecuador.

The seventh round of negotiations with the United States took place last month. The Director General of Trade and Investment, Antonio Fernandez Martos, acknowledged there were difficulties to export fruits and vegetables to the United States. He also stated that the requirements were excessive, even when an agreement was reached, as was the case with the agreement reached to export apricots and avocados after a long negotiation process.

The officials spoke about the agreement with Canada, which concluded in September this year, and said that the only steps pending were its ratification by the European Council, the European Parliament, the Canadian Congress, and the Member States of the EU. The agreement will enter into force in 2017. Once implemented, tariffs on agricultural products will decrease by 92.9% in Canada and 96% in the EU. There will be quotas for sensitive products, such as dairy and beef products for Canada, and pork or sweet corn for the EU.

The agreement reached between the EU and Ecuador in July 2014 is expected to be enforced in 2016. Sources confirmed Ecuador would benefit in the exports of flowers, banana and some fruit, among others.

The officials also spoke about the agreement between the EU and Ukraine, and the trade dispute with Russia. They stressed that the Russian veto, which has been ongoing since August 6, had considerably affected the fruit and vegetable sector and that they were studying specific support measures to compensate this sector.
The Advisory Committee of International Trade Negotiations is a forum for formal consultations between the State's Secretary of Trade and civil society. Its aim is to share information and consult the development of international trade negotiations, even if they are multilateral, bilateral or regional negotiations, with the private sector. FEPEX is a member of this Committee.

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