Colombia supports accession of Ecuador to trade agreement with the EU

Ecuador has one less obstacle in its accession process to the trade agreement with the European Union; an agreement which already includes Colombia and Peru.

"We are sister nations. We have to work together. Ecuador would benefit from entering this agreement. Colombia supports the entry of Ecuador to the agreement with the European Union (EU) without any conditions," said the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, on December 15 when asked about the Colombia's position about this issue. President Santos stated the country's position at the end of IV Colombia-Ecuador Binational Cabinet, in Cali.

Santos stated that his government had sent a letter to the Embassy of his country in Brussels so that they indicate the Tripartite Committee (Colombia, Peru and EU) about their decision. President Rafael Correa welcomed the measure and noted that this was key to his country because the EU was the main destination for non-oil exports.

The banana sector is optimistic. Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas in the world. Patricio Gutierrez, CEO of Dole Ecuador, the main exporting company in the country, expects the deal will be signed as soon as possible. "However, the agreement can not enter into force in 2016. We hope it will be enforced in 2017. Currently the other countries competing with Ecuador have several competitive tariff and costs advantages, such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico and Honduras," he said.

The President said that there had been no requests regarding safeguards or technical regulations. He stated that they had analyzed the safeguards and that Colombia had indicated that the surcharges on certain items were complicating things for them. However, the national authorities explained to them that these would be lifted in mid-2016.

Yesterday, the Colombian and Ecuadorian ministers of productive areas signed an agreement for approval of certificates in accordance with binational standard.

This was another issue that had been observed by Colombia due to complications caused by the entry of exports from that country to Ecuador. Bilateral trade declined in 2015 and the authorities of both countries are aware of that.

According to information from the Central Bank of Ecuador, purchases of Colombian products fell by 17% between January and October when compared to the same period of 2014, largely due to safeguards. However, exports to Colombia also reduced by 16%.

Regarding border issues in various fields, both governments will receive, under the Binational Border Plan, a first report to identify all the conflicts that might exist.

President Correa said the shopping basket was a mechanism to support a province in his country and that it had no impact on bilateral trade.

President Santos highlighted the homologation processes of technical standards and sanitary measures, which have been an obstacle in bilateral relations.

A joint declaration was also signed. The presidents indicated that there were 90 goals to be met before the next Binational Cabinet, which will be held in Ecuador. The Binational Cabinet discussed six axes yesterday: security and defense, infrastructure and connectivity, environmental issues, social and cultural issues, border issues, and trade and economic issues.


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber