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El Salvador: Talks to enable FTA with Canada to be finalized

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La Prensa Gráfica | 4 March 2015

Freely translated by Anoosha Boralessa in April 2015; not reviewed by or any organization or person.

El Salvador – ASI: Talks to enable FTA with Canada to be finalized

Author: Loida Martinez Avela

Rigoberto Monge, the economic advisor of the Salvadoran Industrial Association (ASI), reported that El Salvador and Canada are finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA). He pointed out:

“The negotiation is 95% complete and could be concluded within the coming months.”

Independent people have suggested to the Ministry of Economy (MINEC), a governmental entity charged with negotiating all trade agreements, that talks are to be resumed as soon as possible.

It was fifteen years ago that four Central American countries which are known as CA4 - Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador - started negotiations with Canada.

However, discussions to work out this FTA were interrupted by the negotiations for a free trade agreement (CAFTA) with the US.

“That negotiations with Canada was kind of suspended, whilst we threw ourselves into negotiating and finalizing the negotiations of CAFTA – DR,” explained Monge.

Currently, the country will seek to sign off the FTA independently, since the countries of the region are not seeking trade benefits as a CA4 bloc.

For example, Honduras has terminated, on its own, negotiations with Canada.

From 2000, El Salvador has increased by tenfold its exports to Canada. There are a large number of Salvadorans in Canada.

In 2014, $64.4. million dollars worth of various types of articles were sold such as coffee, juices, sugar, textiles, chemicals, plastics, medicine among others.

Meanwhile ASI informational sources indicate the FTA with Peru is already under discussion at the ministerial level, and therefore predicts that it will be signed before the end of 2015.

 source: La Prensa Gráfica