General view of a session of the Legislative Chamber this Tuesday, in Quito (Ecuador). . / José Jácome / Archive
Quito, Jul 10 . .- The National Assembly of Ecuador (Parliament) approved on Friday a trade agreement with the United Kingdom, still pending ratification by the president, and which will govern economic relations between the two countries in the post-Brexit era. .
The Ecuadorian Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries reported that the plenary session of the Legislative Assembly gave the green light to the agreement, which won 101 in a virtual session.
« This ensures the continuity of trade relations after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU), a block with which Ecuador maintains a trade agreement in force since January 2017, » reads an official bulletin of the aforementioned Portfolio .
The United Kingdom is the fifth largest importer of goods in the world and the second largest within the community area, which is why Ecuador has sought to maintain the alliance within a preferential commercial framework.
In 2019, the Andean country exported non-oil products to the United Kingdom for a total value of 166 million, with bananas, canned fish, shrimp, abaca, natural flowers and preserved agricultural products, as the main products exported to that market.
It is also an important destination for the products of the Ecuadorian Popular and Solidarity Economy, such as vegetable fibers, processed bananas, cereals, among others.
Last year Ecuador imported 131 million dollars from the British market and among the main products it acquired light automobiles, medicines, books and brochures, insecticides and disinfectants, cranes and machinery.
After Parliament’s approval, the process must go through the ratification of the agreement by the Ecuadorian president, Lenín Moreno.
In May 2019 Ecuador, Colombia and Peru signed a multiparty trade agreement in Quito with the Government of London, which was then the second of its kind in the Latin American region.
This instrument retains most of the provisions that the three South American countries maintain with the European community bloc, with some adjustments, and will allow the parties to transfer these conditions to the bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom.