China, Ecuador to sign free trade agreement
QUITO, Ecuador: China and Ecuador will sign a free trade agreement after nearly a year of negotiations. The Ecuadorian president said Tuesday. The deal is expected to boost growth in the South American country.
“Good news for the start of 2023. FTA negotiations between China and Ecuador have been successfully concluded,” President Guillermo Lasso said on Twitter.
“Our exports will have exclusive access to the largest market in the world. Our industry will be able to purchase machinery and inputs at lower costs.”
China is one of Ecuador’s main trading partners. Bilateral trade is worth more than $10 billion a year.
It is Ecuador’s main non-oil trading partner in the first half of 2022, said the trade ministry in Quito.
No official date has been set for the signing of the deal. which will take place after the ceremony is completed
When the agreement is signed It would make Ecuador the fourth country in Latin America to have a free trade agreement with China. after Costa Rica, Peru and Chile
The deal is expected to boost Ecuadorian exports of shrimp, bananas, flowers, cocoa and coffee. The trade ministry said in a statement. and also “It opens the door for the export of non-traditional products such as dragon fruit, pineapple, mango, blueberry, quinoa, processed foods, fresh and canned fruit.”
Ecuador began negotiations for the agreement in February 2022 after Lasso visited Beijing.
Lasso announced in September that his government had entered into a separate agreement to extend payment terms and lower interest rates on $3.2 billion of debt held by two Chinese state-owned banks.