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Andean Community | Brussels, 16 June 2014

EU-Ecuador negotiations progress

The third round of negotiations for Ecuador to join the Trade Agreement between the EU and the Andean countries, which took place on 9-13 June resulted in good progress but a number of issues still remain to be solved in order for EU and Ecuador to conclude the negotiations

As during the previous rounds, the negotiators discussed market access for goods, services and establishment, and government procurement, as well as certain IPR related issues. 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.

Both sides now need to evaluate the progress achieved so far and consult internally to see where they can be flexible or take into account the sensitivities of the other Party. The next and possibly final round could take place during the month of July.

Background

The comprehensive trade agreement signed with Peru and Colombia in 2012 has been provisionally applied with Peru since 1 March 2013 and with Colombia since 1 August 2013. The Agreement opens up markets for EU, Colombian and Peruvian exporters, eventually bringing annual savings of more than €500m. While this important, it is the improved, more stable environment for trade and investment that is expected over time to bring the biggest gains in terms of increased trade and investment flows.

Negotiations with the Andean Community for an Association Agreement started in 2007. Ecuador decided to discontinue its participation in the talks in 2009. Nevertheless, contacts were maintained with Ecuador throughout this period and after evaluating the overall balance and level of ambition of the final agreement the EU reached with Colombia and Peru, Ecuador concluded that the possibility to reengage with the EU in this context had great potential for improving EU-Ecuador trade and investment relations. As a result the first formal round that marks a formal resumption of the process took place between 13 and 17 January 2014. The second round of negotiations took place between 23 and 27 March in Manta, Ecuador.

For more information

The text of the Trade Agreement between the EU and Colombia and Peru

Sustainable impact assessment of the EU-Andean Community Association Agreement


More information on the EU's trade relations with the Andean Community