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Ecuador seeks to restart trade agreement talks with Europe

Bloomberg - Feb 14, 2012

Ecuador seeks to restart trade agreement talks with Europe

By Nathan Gill

Ecuador is seeking an “affirmative response” from the European Union to restart trade talks stalled since the government of South America’s seventh-biggest economy stopped negotiations in 2009.

Ecuador, the world’s biggest banana exporter, wants a “commercial agreement for development” that includes technology and knowledge transfer, Francisco Rivadeneira, deputy minister of commerce at the Foreign Ministry, said today in an e-mailed statement. President Rafael Correa has said he won’t sign a traditional free trade agreement.

“There is openness on the part of the European bloc to have a dialogue about all issues,” Rivadeneira said. “We hope the questioning process is concluded.”

Negotiations have stumbled over intellectual property rights and public purchases, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said last week. Rivadeneira met with Antonia Van Gool, the chief of the EU’s mission for Ecuador, in Quito today to work out details of talks ahead of Patino’s planned visit to Brussels on March 19, according to the statement.

Ecuador broke off negotiations with the EU in 2009 amid a dispute over tariffs on Ecuador’s banana exports.

 source: Bloomberg