Andean countries, EU to continue FTA dialogue

Xinhua 2009-03-21

Andean countries, EU to continue FTA dialogue

LIMA, March 20 (Xinhua) — Peruvian, Colombian and Ecuadorian officials will hold meetings with their counterparts from the European Union (EU) next week for a Free Trade Agreement, Peruvian authorities said on Friday.

The talks, the second round of its kind, will run from Monday to Saturday in the Peruvian capital of Lima, Peruvian Exterior Commerce and Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

According to the agenda, on Monday there will be discussions on such topics as access to markets, strengthening of commercial capacities, sustainable commerce and development as well as services and investments.

From Tuesday to Saturday, the delegates will discuss issues including establishment and movement of capitals, intellectual property and solution of differences.

The discussion on intellectual property is seen as one of the most sensitive in the negotiations, because the Europeans have demanded an extension of the terms for the copyrights and data protection.

According to the Ministry, the EU proposed even more stringent rules of intellectual property protection than those that Peru agreed with United States and those that exist inside the EU.

Nevertheless, Peruvian authorities expressed their optimism on better results than previous negotiations.

The first round of negotiations were held last month in Bogota, Colombia.

The EU had insisted on achieving an association agreement with all members of the Andean Community of Nations, which groups Peru, Colombia and Ecuador and Bolivia. However, Bolivia was opposed to such an agreement, which would cause the "disappearance of the sub-regional bloc."

source : Xinhua

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