Ecuador’s negotiating team is traveling to Seoul with the assumption of closing negotiations on a trade agreement with South Korea. This Friday, March 31, the delegation will go to that Asian country, which represents a market of 50 million consumers.

This agreement, for the Minister of Production, Julio José Prado, is very important because Ecuadorian products exported to Korea currently pay tariffs of 20% to 30%, which he considers very high and hopes that many of them can be reduced to 0 %. .

“It’s a historic trade agreement because it was stalled for six years, now we’ve made rapid progress and that allows us to be confident that this will be the last round of negotiations,” he said on the state channel. EcuadorTV.

2023 began with the signing of a trade agreement with Costa Rica that envisages a 96% reduction in the current exported value. On the agenda is their concretization with China and South Korea and the beginning of the process with three other countries. This would allow the country to have six out of every ten dollars exported with trade protection.

In the context of pressure on international prices, concluding trade agreements is one of the alternatives for providing oxygen in terms of the competitiveness of the export sector

Felipe Ribadeneria, president of Fedexpor

With Costa Rica, according to the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (FedExpor), the main Ecuadorian products that will benefit from this reduction in tariffs will be industrialized products and marine products where the tariff averages 15%, “representing a direct injection of competitiveness once it takes effect. It is an important gateway to Central America, whose characteristics, as such, should be a new destination for our export of manufactured products that prevail in the Andean Community of Nations”.

With the same incentive, the president of Fedexpor, Felipe Ribadeneira, believes that the formal closure with China should be promoted in 2023, the negotiations with South Korea should be completed, and the negotiations with Canada, Panama and the Dominican Republic should be started. “The moment that happens, we will have trade protection of six out of every ten dollars that we export, that is, from the current four, we will go to a very significant increase, both quantitatively and qualitatively,” he said.

This highlights the importance of government policies in a country with minimal and long-term consensus to protect and promote exports. “The current situation makes the relationship between the executive and the legislature look complicated, and the latter is a necessary filter for trade deals to take effect.” However, those same trade agreements “help protect and institutionalize the economy from the political ups and downs that occur in Ecuador,” he says in the Federation’s latest monthly foreign trade report.