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  ECUADOR : Agreement on free trade negotiations includes goods, services and government procurement

Brussels, 16/06/2014 (Agence Europe) - The third session of negotiations on 9-13 June for Ecuador to join the multipartite trade agreement between the EU, Colombia and Peru resulted in “good progress” although “a number of issues still remain to be solved”, the European Commission announced on Monday 16 June. A fourth round of negotiations in July could nevertheless result in an agreement.

Last week, discussions focused on the four chapters of the negotiation already addressed during the first two rounds in January and March - goods, services and establishment, government procurement and certain issues regarding intellectual property.

“Throughout a week of intensive negotiations, the parties were able to significantly reduce the gaps and identify the limited number of difficult elements that still need to be solved, notably in the area of industrial and agricultural goods and in government procurement”, said the Commission.

The two parties will now assess the progress made and will conduct internal consultations to determine where they can be flexible and take into account the sensitivities of the other party. The next round of negotiations - which could be the last - will be held in Ecuador in July.

In 2009, Ecuador suspended its participation in the trade negotiations between the EU and three of the four Andean Community countries - Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The door of the multipartite agreement still remains open to their neighbour - Bolivia.

EU exports to Ecuador stood at €2.3 billion in 2013, while its imports from Ecuador (mainly agricultural products and raw materials) stood at €2.6 billion.

Source : Agence Europe

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