The Association Agreement between the EU and Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama), signed by the European Commission and representatives of these countries on June 29th in Tegucigalpa (Honduras) will be ratified by the European Parliament this October. Thus, bringing the agreement into force in late 2012 or early 2013.
Of the six countries that signed the agreement, Costa Rica and Guatemala are the main exporters of fruits and vegetables, mainly due to plantains. According to FAO data for 2009, Costa Rica's exports of fruits and vegetables in 2009 worldwide stood at 3.4 million tons, of which 1.7 million tons corresponded to plantains and 1.5 million tons to pineapple.
Honduras exported 926,074 tons, of which 518,488 tons were for bananas. Panama exported 429 357 tons, of which 257,228 were for plantains.
Nicaragua exported 153,628 tons of fruit and vegetables and El Salvador 3,500 tons of fruits and vegetables.