On Wednesday, August 17, Ecuador’s Production, Trade, and Investments Minister Julio Jose Prado announced that the administration of President Guillermo Lasso is working to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China this year.
In a video message recorded for the 15th China-Latin America Business Summit (China-LAC) taking place in Beijing, Prado confirmed that negotiations for the China-Ecuador FTA are expected to conclude shortly before December, when a bilateral summit will be held in the Ecuadian city of Guayaquil.
🇪🇨🇨🇳Outstanding diplomatic relations, progress in the #FTA negotiations and upcoming #China-LAC Business Summit in #Ecuador as a result of president’s @LassoGuillermo visit to president #Xi pic.twitter.com/32fu6ZOb9m
— Embajada del Ecuador en China (@EmbajadaEcuChi) August 16, 2022
If these negotiations end as expected, Ecuador would become the fourth Latin American country to sign a free trade agreement with China, after Chile, Peru, and Costa Rica. Ecuador “is one of the most stable economies” in the region and is trying to “promote a deep continuous transformation” based on “competitive rules,” said Prado.
At the Beijing conference, Ecuador’s Ambassador to China Carlos Larrea said that “looking at Asia is looking at the future of the world” and that the Asian giant continues to expand its external opening by optimizing its trade structure.
Since 2007, China-LAC business summits have brought together thousands of representatives from the public and private sectors interested in expanding trade relations. In recent years, these summits have also served as a platform to promote President Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road.
In the first half of 2022, China displaced the United States as the main buyer of Ecuadorian non-oil and non-mining products. In that period, Ecuador exported $2.1 billion to China and $2 billion to the United States.
The main Ecuadorian products exported to China were shrimp ($1.9 billion), bananas ($63 million), wood ($61 million), animal feed ($19 million), and fishery products ($9 million).
Currently, 24% of Ecuador’s non-oil and mining exports go to China. The bilateral trade balance, however, remains unfavorable for Ecuador.
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/October 2, 2022