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Trade agreement with China will set a zero tariff on Ecuadorian blueberry exports

The trade agreement between China and Ecuador, which will establish a zero tariff for shipments of blueberries and pitahayas to the Asian market, will enter into force in two months.

On February 7, the National Assembly ratified the free trade agreement with China with 76 votes in favor, 23 against, and 35 abstentions. The Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment, and Fisheries of Ecuador, Sonsoles GarcĂ­a, said that the Legislature must notify the president of the approval of the agreement. The treaty will take effect 60 days after President Daniel Noboa exchanges and deposits the instruments of ratification.

The trade agreement was approved amid discussions about its possible impact on the environment. In recent weeks, several environmental groups said that the trade agreement would be negative for Ecuador. According to some sources, the treaty would make it possible to import garbage from China, which would affect Ecuadorian ecosystems. This was denied by the Government and by former Ministers of Foreign Trade.

Garcia said that China is the second most important market for Ecuadorian exports. Between January and November 2023, the country's exports to China amounted to US$5,291 million and were only surpassed by the United States with US$6,903 million. Shrimp and mining are the star segments currently sold to China, but other items of the local agro-industry such as pitahaya or guabas, among others, have potential.

"This agreement opens the door to more exports, more investment, more employment, more technology, and more knowledge. The Chinese market is 80 times larger than the Ecuadorian market," stated Miguel Angel Gonzalez, president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE) and Guayaquil's Chamber of Commerce (CCG).

According to estimates based on the trade agreement's impact analysis carried out by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), the greatest increases in exports will occur in agricultural and livestock products, such as bananas, flowers, cocoa, and fruits.


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