Monday, 25 January 2010

EU Free Trade Agreements with Latin America = no points

The blog has been following the FTA that the EU is trying to do with three Latin America blocs ( see info here and here). The expectation is to sign the agreements during the Ibero-American summit to be held in Madrid in May. However, from the three, we now learn that only two have hope.

Last week, the EU and both Peru and Colombia meet in Lima for the eighth round of negotiations. However, the negotiation was not close due to, according to Joao Aguiar Machado, director of Commerce for the European Commission, "the sensitivities of the parties". He added that there is confidence that in the next meeting (expected in late February or early March in Brussels), the agreement will be finalised.

Looking throughout the past negotiations (here) I was optimist, nonetheless today, I cannot see any advance. The reason being that the problematic issues, such as tariffs for access to European cars to Colombia, the Andean exports quotas for sugar and bananas to Europe and matters relating to the intellectual property are still without conciliation.

However, being more specific in IP matters, the Peruvian vice minister of Foreign Trade, Eduardo Ferreyros, said that regarding the issue of medicines, there is nothing else that needs negotiating "...because everything was defined as positive for both parties, all that remains is the subject of biodiversity and geographical location".

We will keep you inform.

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