Ecuador may clinch FTA

Prensa Latina, Cuba

Ecuador May Clinch FTA

18 April 2006

Quito, Apr 18 (Prensa Latina) The Ecuadorian government insisted Tuesday on having the last Free Trade Agreement (FTA) round of negotiations with the US and is readying a formal request from Washington.

"We will make a formal request to the US to hold a meeting on May 8," FTA chief negotiator Manuel Chiriboga said after gathering with President Alfredo Palacio Monday evening.

Chiriboga noted that ministers Francisco Carrion (Foreign Affairs) and Jorge Illingworth (Foreign Trade) are in charge of establishing the necessary coordination with US representatives.

After repeating the Executive’s interest to resume that deal’s talks, he pointed out that May 15 would be the last date to end the process.

Monday’s meeting also analyzed the need to outline a strategy that supports agriculture, one of the most affected sectors by the FTA signing.

However, businesspeople expressed concern over not signing the agreement while grassroots sectors threatened with a new uprising if the government does sign.

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