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China is already Ecuador’s number 1 partner, being the largest destination for its non-oil exports

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China became, last May, Ecuador’s number 1 partner as it is the largest destination for its non-oil exports. Looking at the top five non-oil export destinations, China occupies the first place between January and May of this year with $ 2,348 million between January and May of this year; followed by USA which has reached $1,808 million, the European Union with $1,677 million, Russia with $405 million and Colombia with $393 million. This is revealed by the monthly report Ecuador More Competitiveprepared by the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

The growth of China as a recipient of Ecuadorian products reaches 109.7% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. While exports to United States grew by 16% in the same period.

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product entry such as shrimp, bananas, canned food, lead and copper concentrate and flowers gives strength to Ecuadorian trade in the world. Thus, for example, shrimp exports grew very significantly, by 74% comparing this quarter with the quarter of 2021. Lead and copper concentrate also recorded an exponential growth of 84%.

Daniel Legarda, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, confirmed that until 2021 the US was Ecuador’s main trading partner in non-oil exports. However, so far in 2022 that position is held by China, while the European Union ranks third. It is the first time that China has surpassed the other two traditional trading partners, although, according to Legarda, including oil, the United States still retains the leadership.

In any case, Ecuador is taking the necessary steps to have the best trade relations with various countries. One of them is precisely China. According to the State official, Ecuador has made the decision to continue walking in trade agreements. At the moment three are in the folder: China, Korea and Costa Rica. In this way, there are three teams working simultaneously to carry out the negotiations.

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As to China has already held the first round in which there was an exchange of documentation, although there has not yet been a product-by-product discussion. However, within the country, a series of meetings have been held with all the productive sectors involved: from the shrimp sector, which is the most interested in having an agreement, to the textile sector, which has objections and sensitivities. The second round will take place in two weeks.

As to Korea has already held the sixth round and discussions with Costa Rica will begin the following week. Legarda explained that on this issue there has been complementarity between the two countries due to issues of technology, services and medicine, which Ecuador can acquire from that Central American country. This same year, some progress could be made with the Dominican Republic.

When asked about the agreement with Mexico, Legarda said that the negotiation has not been closed and the country is awaiting Mexico’s response on shrimp and bananas. What Ecuador has proposed, recalled Legarda, is that understanding the sensitivities of Mexico, there is an alternative for the entry of these products that can be worked through terms, seasonality, among others. On this same issue, she said, a consultation on the scope of services must still be elucidated, and in the next few days a meeting will be resumed on the subject related to the sustainable fishing annex and the rule of origin.

Legarda maintains that so far the overall balance of the agreement is positive for our country, but we are waiting to introduce these products that have not yet been accepted, and once this is done, Ecuador will advance towards belonging to the Pacific Alliance. In any case, he recognizes that the issue may take time and in this sense, he said, they will work on it calmly, taking the necessary time.

Already for the following year they are looking at agreements with Canada, Honduras and Japan. USA is always on the table, but he explained that at the moment trade agreements with other countries are not an issue that the US Congress is supporting. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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