Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Guillermo Lasso wants to start FTA talks with Panama and the Dominican Republic before the end of his government

Despite the fact that the announcement of the Death Cross shortened the days of Guillermo Lasso’s government by a little more than half of his four-year term, his balance in commercial matters is positive, even starting negotiations with the regime. Defining dates for Panama and the Dominican Republic.

The Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries confirms that “the talks will continue as normal, the start dates are yet to be defined. These days, the dates will be defined after meetings are held with counterparts.”

This is in addition to the results achieved in previous talks. Since May 24, 2021, when Lasso took office as the first president, Ecuador—in an aggressive agenda—has signed two trade agreements with Costa Rica and China; It kicked off technical talks with South Korea last April, and has also started the process with Canada to start talks.

The signing of the agreement with South Korea is expected by next June.

However, there were also setbacks with the negotiations for a trade agreement with Mexico which have stalled at 99% progress and now depend on the political will of the Aztec nation to complete it. Mexico opposes the entry of shrimp and Ecuadorian bananas, the star products of its exportable basket.

The first agreement to enter into force in the Lasso era, and so far the only one, was the one signed with Chile, which has been in effect since May 2022. It is the Economic Complementary Agreement (ACE 75) that updated the ACE number. º 65, valid since 2010.

Negotiations for that agreement began in 2019 and the signature took place in 2020 during the Moreno government.

While the first agreement negotiated and signed by the government of Guillermo Lasso was that of Costa Rica, which was signed in San Jose on March 1, 2023. The negotiation process took place between August and December 2022 in four rounds, virtually and in person, with 20 topics discussed.

In terms of goods, the commercial exchanges between the two countries are expected to reach approximately US$ 110 million in 2022. Exports reached US$40 million, highlighting the contrast of tuna and sardines, shrimp, medicines, white goods, porcelain and ceramics. sanitation, food, forestry and metal-mechanical products, among others. Imports were recorded at around $70 million in products such as iron or steel waste and scrap, drugs, medical supplies, food supplements, tyres.

The agreement still needs to be reviewed and approved by the Constitutional Court and the National Assembly in Ecuador to enter into force, as is the case with the accord signed with China on May 10.

Negotiations for this agreement began on February 5, 2022 with the visit of President Lasso to Beijing. Thereafter, four rounds and several technical meetings were held virtually during the months of April to December 2022.

The trade agreement, focused on goods, deals with a total of 17 subjects, and is considered state-of-the-art, as it includes a chapter on electronic commerce.

In terms of goods, trade between the two countries is set to reach around US$ 12,000 million in 2022. Exports reached US$5,823 million, highlighting products such as shrimp, lead and copper concentrate, other mining products, bananas, balsa, timber and its products. , Coco, among others. Products such as metal fabrication, automobiles, cell phones, computers, machines and their parts recorded imports of about US$ 6,353 million.

With this negotiation, China had access to 99.6% of current Ecuadorian supplies in a basket with immediate tax relief or less than ten years.

For Alberto Acosta Bernio, editor of Analysis Semanal, the commercial sector is the one that made the most progress during the Lasso government.

“Trade is where the most progress has been made, those are negotiations that take time and are implemented after a few years, it is not something immediate but very important negotiations have taken place, the agreement with China is fundamental to the country, Concluded negotiations with South Korea, attempts to negotiate with Canada and agreements that have been closed in Central America, that is, there have been many important advances in commercial matters”, confirms Acosta.

He highlights that these agreements will be of great relevance to the future of Ecuadorian production, by ensuring that they will create great potential for employment and growth in the country’s economy, although he warns that the implementation of these agreements will take time. It will take

“To put them into practice, they require the approval of the Constitutional Court of the Assembly, and subsequently they require that the tariffs be gradually reduced,” says the editor of Analise Semenal. Political reform and the main achievement of the government that will have the greatest impact on the country in the medium and long term.

In turn, Mexico’s refusal compromised Ecuador’s admission to the Pacific Alliance, a process that began in 2017 under Lenin Moreno. To enter as a full member, Ecuador had to sign agreements with all of the bloc’s members (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico).

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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