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Ecuador: 99% of Exports to EFTA Would not be Subject to Duties

27.4.2018

Ecuador's Minister of Foreign Affairs Pablo Campana announced that negotiations for a trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) concluded on 25 April 2018. The next step involves signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), planned for June 2018. Under this FTA, a total of 99% of Ecuadorian products entering EFTA countries would not be subject to import duties. A total of 93% of Ecuadorian exports to EFTA members are non-oil ones, including flowers, bananas, tuna, amongst others, whilst Ecuador mainly imports medicines, vaccines, plasmas, immunology products, machinery/parts, raw materials for drinks manufacturing and industry supplies from the EFTA.

Ecuador imported goods totalling USD 112mn (EUR 90.99mn) from EFTA during 2017. This FTA would benefit the banana sector, which currently has to pay tariffs of 25% to sell its products in EFTA countries, unlike other nations in Europe where it does not have to pay such duties.

As a result of the FTA, banana exports to EFTA members would increase from 2,400 crates per week to around 150,000, with Ecuador able to compete on a level playing field with the likes of Colombia and Central American countries. The chamber for the tuna sector in Ecuador (Ceipa) has stated that this FTA will boost exports by 25%.

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