Economy 06-11-2018

Guatemala expands Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and trade protocol with Cuba

The Guatemalan government has extended the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that it has with Colombia and a commercial protocol it has maintained with Cuba since 2001, informed Economy Minister Acisclo Valladares Urruela.

"The negotiations to extend our FTA with Colombia have been coming since February, and last Friday we finally reached agreements and signed that extension to the FTA (...) It has been a good week in terms of ending and closing negotiation processes with both Cuba and Colombia. "said Valladares Urruela, informed the Guatemalan News Agency.

The official said that with the FTA the textile products that will be benefited are the threads, fabrics and clothing.

"It will be allowed to use raw materials from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to manufacture garments and then export them to the European Union free of tariffs, through our association agreements," he added.

He argued that the tariff for rubber or natural latex was also eliminated.

Regarding the agreement with Cuba, he said that 61 products had a reduction of their tariffs and that a work schedule was created to contemplate the addition of new goods to that list.

Cuba's trade authorities have expressed interest in conducting a tour of entrepreneurs on the island, the official added.

Finally, Valladares said he hopes to conclude trade agreements with Peru during the XXVI Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, which will be held on November 15 and 16 in Antigua, Guatemala.

The Free Trade Agreement signed between Guatemala and Colombia was approved on March 10, 2009 and entered into force on November 12 of the same year.

According to a report from the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy in June 2017, the trade balance that the country had with Colombia during the last seven years has been deficient as a result of being imported more than what was exported.


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