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Weekly Report - 22 December 2016 (WR-16-50)

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ECUADOR | Trade agreement approved with EU. Ecuador has finally sealed a trade deal with the European Union (EU). President Rafael Correa ratified the association agreement with the EU on 20 December, just days before existing preferential tariffs with the EU (applicable to about 60% of its exports to the EU) were due to expire for good, having been rolled over for the duration of the negotiating period between Brussels and Quito. Ecuador could not afford not to seal a deal with the EU. Failure to do so would have seen Colombia, for instance, displace Ecuador as the biggest supplier of bananas to the EU. Other Ecuadorean exporters are expecting to benefit from the improved access to EU markets that the trade deal will provide, particularly those selling products such as shrimps, cut flowers, cacao, coffee, nuts and other fruit.