Ecuador and Chile negotiate since Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Quito, the modernization of its Economic Complementation Agreement (ACE) 65, which dates from 2010.
This agreement allows 98% of the trade of the two countries to be carried out free of tariffs, but after this negotiation, it is expected to cover 100% of the products and add new chapters, explained the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Diego Caicedo.
The commercial exchange between Chile and Ecuador last year amounted to USD 2 109 million, an increase of 8.6% compared to 2017. The modernization of the agreement will include state-of-the-art disciplines such as telecommunications, electronic commerce, trade in services, gender, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the labor market and the environment.
Since yesterday the 11 working tables of this first round of negotiations have been installed, which will last until Thursday. The next round is scheduled for August in Santiago, said Felipe Lopeandía, director of Bilateral Economic Affairs of the Directorate General of International Economic Relations of Chile (Direcom). The authorities plan to carry out three to four rounds of negotiations in total. The intention is to sign the treaty this year.
“We had the first exchange of proposals and we have not noticed extremely difficult issues that may arise,” said Lopeandía, who is also Chile’s chief negotiator in the process.
Eduardo Egas, CEO of Corpei, explained that complementing the agreement will allow Chilean investment in Ecuador to increase and reach new non-traditional areas, such as services and technology. According to the Ministry of Production and Foreign Trade, Chile’s investments in Ecuador totaled USD 37 million in 2018, mainly in the mining area.
“Chile has a lot of experience, especially in management and relations with the communities in the areas close to the exploitation, and that will be useful because Ecuador is starting on that,” says Egas.
The Corpei spokesperson also considers that there is potential for greater exchange in the aquaculture sector, where alliances could be explored in complementary areas. “Chile is a big producer of salmon and we are shrimp.
If we can bring these sectors together to produce balanced food, medicines and packaging combined, trade would grow much more, “he said. Regarding the issue of services, Ecuador provides financial software to Chile, while that country has a presence in education issues, according to data from the Federation of Exporters of Ecuador (Fedexpor).
For the Government, achieving a more complete agreement with Chile is a key step in the process of joining the Pacific Alliance (AP), a bloc made up of Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Chile. Last year, the Regime presented its request to be a member of the block. One of the requirements is to have full commercial treaties with the four members of the PA.
Since then, Chile has become a priority in the foreign trade agenda. “With Mexico, negotiation is more complex because our agreement with that country is very small.
We have to work hard on the issue of goods, “said Caicedo. For Patricio Alarcón, president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE), it is important that Ecuador joins the Pacific Alliance, “because it is a market of 250 million inhabitants and the gateway to Asia, a key market for Ecuador.”
The President of the EEC points out that Chile could bring to the country investments in areas where there is no foreign competition, especially retail and banking.