Yesterday the first conference of the VIII International Banana Forum began in Guayaquil. Producers, exporters, and representatives of 40 countries attended the conference which left a message: the signing of an agreement for trade between the EU (European Union) and Ecuador is still far, although the country’s banana laws are undergoing a transition.
“There are no deadlines in Europe. We can talk whenever possible. What I note is that the ball is no longer in our side of the field, it’s in theirs,” Ecuador’s Coordinating Minister of Production, Nathalie Cely, said.
The EU is seeking a diverse market, where there is reliability and stability of the product in the laws of production in the banana industry. Florian Hinrichs, European consultant stressed that fruit consumption in Europe grew by 15%.
In the coming months the tariff reduction agreed with the Latin American countries will applied, Ecuador has a disadvantage from 7 and 10 cents per box towards Colombia, Peru, and Central America product.
Hinrichs said that European businessmen are interested in a product that does not save to give more, they prefer quality instead of quantity. “Ecuador has interesting fruit, but it doesn’t export fruit to more than 150 countries,” he added. The consultant also said that the new global banana markets are Africa and Asia. “They are the new consumers that will generate higher prices.”
Cely announced that Ecuador is already working in an agreement with Turkey to achieve zero tariffs on banana exportation, this would mean Ecuador’s banana production would increase more than 20 million boxes per year.
Source: Diario Expreso