FTA with the EU to be signed in March 2010

A series of campaign rounds for Colombia’s Free Trade Agreement with the European Union that began in February are due to culminate next month. This will then enable the agreement to be signed in March 2010 and the Agreement will take effect the following year.

This was announcement by the Colombian chief negotiator for the FTA, Santiago Pardo, and reported by news site Dinero on Wednesday.

“The European Market is competitive and demands high standards because they will pay good prices for quality products,” stated Pardo.

According to the diplomat, the main unresolved issue surrounds the European import tax on bananas.

Pardo claimed that 100% of Colombian fishing and industry exports will remain tax-free but in agriculture there are still disagreements over the imposed import tax to secure the competitiveness of European famrers. Negotiations continue over the European import of Colombian beef, sugar and bananas.

Pardo stressed that though there may be issues with certain countries, Colombia does not have to negotiate terms with all 27 EU countries and only with the single European Commission body which is responsible for trade.

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