EFTA and Ecuador make progress towards FTA

Tax-news | 16 October 2017

by Ulrika Lomas

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states and Ecuador held their fourth round of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on October 9-13 in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to EFTA, expert working groups discussed a long list of draft texts in the areas of trade in goods, trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement, trade and sustainable development, cooperation, legal and institutional issues, and dispute settlement.

EFTA reported that the negotiations „were held in a constructive spirit and achieved good progress in all areas.“

Merchandise trade between the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Liechtenstein) and Ecuador reached USD275m in 2016, EFTA said.

EFTA’s top exports to Ecuador include pharmaceutical products, chemicals, machinery, and mechanical appliances. EFTA imports mainly consist of fruits, cocoa, cut flowers, and precious metals from Ecuador.

Pharmaceuticals represent over 60 percent of EFTA’s exports to Ecuador, while fruits represent 40 percent of Ecuador’s’s exports to EFTA.

The stock of foreign direct investment in Ecuador’s economy originating from the EFTA states reached USD678m in 2012.

The next round of talks towards the CEPA is planned to take place before the end of this year.