The European Parliament has approved the Protocol of Accession of Ecuador to the EU’s trade agreement with Colombia and Peru, with a 544-114 majority. banana_66284746
The long-awaited trade deal is expected to drive an increase in banana exports to the region.
Fellow Andean countries Colombia and Peru both signed the trade deal in 2012, after Ecuador dropped out of the talks in 2009.
“I am very pleased with the outcome of the Parliament’s vote,” EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said.
“We’ve managed to clear the way for Ecuador to join its Andean neighbours in building a privileged trade relationship with Europe. This agreement can give a positive boost to sustainable and inclusive development in Ecuador.
“It is also an important building block in our strong partnership with Latin America.”
The today’s vote follows the agreement’s signing on Nov. 11 and allows the deal to become effective on a provisional basis as of Jan. 1 2017.
The European Commission said the agreement would result in a ‘fundamental upgrade’ of the EU’s bilateral relationship with Ecuador.
Speaking to www.freshfruitportal.com in November, ProEcuador’s European representative Juan Patricio Navarro said the deal would put the country on a level playing field with its two neighbors.
“In principle, what we gain with this agreement is the ability to compete under equal conditions with the same products from other exporting countries like Peru and Colombia,” he said.