Angola Press, 4 October 2005
Ecuador says will stand firm on intellectual property issue in free trade talks
QUITO, 10/04 - Ecuador will stick to its position with regard to the delicate issue of intellectual property in the new round of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the United States, Colombia and Peru, Ecuadorian chief negotiator Manuel Chiriboga said on Monday.
The official said Ecuador will make its position on intellectual property be respected, even though this could result in a delay in the signing of the trade agreement.
Intellectual property, agriculture and biodiversity are the most outstanding obstacles in the negotiations whose 7th round started on Monday.
There are altogether 18 scheduled meetings between the four parties who want to complete the process in November so the FTA could come into effect next year.
Ecuador, however, said it will wait for the result of internal consultations and will not rush to materialize the agreement with the United States, said the Ecuadorian chief negotiator.
"Without an internal agenda, an FTA does not make sense" because it will affect the health and other sectors in the country, said the official last week.
The United States began a new round of negotiations Monday with Peru, Ecuador and Colombia for a proposed free-trade agreement aimed at giving the three South American nations tariff-free access to US markets.