The Ecuadorian banana and shrimp sector apparently turns the page on the negotiations that Ecuador is holding with Mexico to sign a trade agreement and that, according to information from the Mexican side, will not include these two star products of the exportable basket national.
“There will be no agreement with Mexico.” It was the reaction of José Antonio Camposano, president of the National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA), this Wednesday, after being consulted about the process and instead he assured that Ecuador must concentrate its efforts on closing the other processes open with Asian countries, like China and South Korea.
Ecuador-Mexico Agreement: it is likely that the issue will remain on ‘stand by’ and later one of the governments will take it up again
Even more so after the official response from the Ecuadorian Government which, through the Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries, Julio José Prado, ratified that as long as these two products remain excluded, “we will not close FTA with Mexico.”
“We are much more interested in closing trade agreements with Asia than with our neighbor in North America, Mexico,” revealed Camposano, who explained that the reason is that the Aztec market is a small market, although he clarified that it is still attractive and that the sector exporter will never say no to a market.
However, he analyzed that if Mexico has responded unsatisfactorily to the interests of Ecuador, it is not appropriate to continue spending more time on the negotiating team.
“We have two (teams), we do not have many negotiating teams, when we have other trade agreements with greater relevance, once the two main export products for the country have been left out of the negotiations,” said Camposano, who assured that without bananas or shrimp the trade agreement automatically loses relevance for the Ecuadorian economy.
He described Mexico as a protectionist country and indicated that even though the agreement will lower the tariff, the Aztec market maintains tariff policies that prohibit the entry of Ecuadorian shrimp, as happens with Brazil.
José Antonio Hidalgo, executive director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), agreed with the shrimp leader, pointing out that Ecuador’s main objective in signing the agreement with Mexico is to enter the Pacific Alliance and thus strengthen relations with Asian countries. However, he stressed that Ecuador now has the possibility of direct negotiations with these markets, such as China and South Korea, on which more should be focused.
“If (the agreement with Mexico) is not going to be closed with the main interests of the country, it is better not to close it that way and put a strong focus on precisely what the country needs, which is more foreign currency and more jobs,” Hidalgo said.
Mexico announces that Ecuadorian shrimp and bananas will not enter into a trade agreement
Meanwhile, regarding Ecuador’s non-entry into the Pacific Alliance, the main impact of not signing an agreement with Mexico, Camposano downplayed it by pointing out that Ecuador already has most of its products exempt from the other members of the bloc: Chile, Peru and Columbia.
“With Chile we have 99% tax relief with some economic complementation agreements (…), with Chile everything is tax relief, we have nothing to gain from the Pacific Alliance, with Peru and with Colombia we have the Andean Community of Nations, where it is all deducted as well, ”explained the head of the CNA.
He added: We have other agreements such as the case of China, such as the case of South Korea, hopefully we will sit down with Japan, which is an important market with which we do not have rapprochements, the issue of Canada will advance and so on with many others. that we can really work to worry about Mexico. We have always been interested in one more market, but it is not a large market to continue wasting time after the time we have lost due to the lack of response from the Mexican authorities.
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