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CAN, EU begin talks toward free trade and association

Xinhua | September 18, 2007

CAN, EU begin talks toward free trade and association

The Andean Community of Nations (CAN) and the European Union on Monday began their first round of talks aimed at reaching agreements on free trade and association, Colombia’s Trade Ministry said.

Negotiators from the four CAN nations — Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia — and from the EU will meet all week in Bogota, said the ministry, adding that the representatives for the 14 working groups are already working.

The two parties will talk about goals, procedures, timetables and negotiation terms.

Colombia’s representatives include Trade Minister Luis Plata, Ricardo Duare, head of the negotiating team, and Camilo Reyes, the nation’s deputy foreign minister.

Colombia said a free trade agreement would boost exports to 27 EU members. Colombia exported goods worth 4.362 billion U.S. dollars to the bloc in 2006.

The second round of talks will be held in Brussels by year end, and the third round, in March 2008, will be held in an as yet unspecified Andean nation.

 source: People’s Daily