LatinNews Daily - 28 March 2019

In brief: Guatemala

* Guatemala’s economy ministry has announced the launch of the first round of negotiations with Ecuador to develop and expand a partial scope agreement of economic complementation (AAPCE) which has been in effect since February 2013. Since the deal first took effect, 593 products have been made completely duty free, with customs tariffs on a further 84 products reduced by between 20% and 100% for a period of between three and seven years. Through extending the current agreement, both countries hope to have an equitable trade balance that will strengthen South-South cooperation. Since the original partial scope agreement was established, Guatemala has reduced its trade deficit with Ecuador from US$202.2m in 2012 to US$15.4m in 2018. Last year Guatemala’s exports to Ecuador (including fungicides and paper) totalled US$180m while Ecuador exported US$207.7m worth of goods such as shrimp, langoustines, and manufactured products like cooking gas.