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Ecuador Seals EU Trade Deal

Ecuador Seals EU Trade Deal

Posted by Juan Gavasa on July 19, 2014

Ecuador and the European Union reached a trade agreement on Thursday that supporters say will allow the Andean nation to increase its exports to the European bloc by at least $500 million in the next three years.

“After almost four years of work, finally we have closed a balanced agreement with theEuropean Union, which maximizes opportunities, reduces to a minimum the costs, respects the country’s development model and allows to protect our sensitive sectors,” Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Francisco Rivadeneira said in a statement from Brussels, but he didn’t provide further details.

Officials from the EU’s delegation in Ecuador weren’t available for comment.

President Rafael Correa said this week that Ecuador could lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports without a trade deal with the EU. He said the agreement was negotiated “carefully, with much patriotism.”

The most sensitive issues in the negotiations were related to intellectual property, strategic sectors and public-sector purchases.

The deal must be approved by several Ecuador institutions, including the Constitutional Court and the National Assembly. It also must be approved by the European Parliament and the legislatures of the 28 EU member countries.

“This is excellent news for the country, for exporters and for the economy,” said Daniel Legarda, executive vice president of the Ecuadorean Federation of Exporters.

The European Union is the main market for Ecuador’s non-oil exports and the third-largest market for manufacturing exports.

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