The National Assembly (Parliament) of Ecuador approved on Tuesday the trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which will allow a stable and trusting relationship with its member countries: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
A total of 133 legislators, of the 134 that participated virtually today in the plenary session of the Assembly, approved the agreement, which was negotiated between the parties between 2016 and 2018.
The Ministry of Production and Foreign Trade, in a statement, assured that this step taken by the Legislature will allow the South American country "to consolidate itself in the European market."
In addition, it will generate "an increase in bilateral trade and investment flows, which in turn will promote the generation of more jobs in the productive export sector, as well as the development and insertion of SMEs and the popular and solidarity economy "
According to the State portfolio, the trade agreement was negotiated "on favorable terms for Ecuador, respecting the differences in the levels of development," which includes conditions that boost the presence of the Ecuadorian export supply in the countries that make up the EFTA.
In addition, the agreement protects the most sensitive Ecuadorian sectors, "mainly those of the agricultural branch," added the ministry.
With the approval of the trade instrument, Ecuador will equalize or improve "competitive conditions" with respect to other countries, which will allow an increase in exports of Ecuadorian products that already have a presence in those countries.
It is expected that after the legislative approval, the President of the Republic, Lenín Moreno, will ratify it to make way for its entry into force with each of the countries of this commercial bloc.
It is estimated that the trade agreement could come into full effect next August.
Created in 1960, EFTA represents a potential market of 14 million consumers with high purchasing power, which represents an important niche for Ecuador's exportable offer, added the Ministry of Production.
He assured that the consolidation of these commercial destinations, in times of crisis such as those currently affecting the country and the world due to the coronavirus, "allow facilitating the access of Ecuadorian products to international markets and reactivating the national productive sector."