Ecuador boasts the greatest one-year growth in trade with the European Union of all Latin American countries, according to a report by the EU’s economic commission. Trade between Ecuador and the EU grew by 20 percent during the 2017 fiscal year, according to the report.
The increase was not a surprise, says the EU, since it reflects only the second full year since the Ecuador-EU trade agreement went into effect. EU agreements with most other Latin American countries were signed in the early 2000s, with the agreement with Colombia and Peru taking effect in 2013.
Among other Andean region countries, Peru’s EU trade grew 15 percent in 2017 while Colombia’s was up 6.8 percent. In its comments, the EU report said that it expects strong trade growth to continue between Ecuador and the EU. “We are very pleased with last year’s result regarding Ecuador. They prove that the agreement is working well and has created many important business opportunities that will bear fruit in the future.”
The EU reports that total trade between the EU and Ecuador increased to 5,250 million Euros in 2017, up from 4,360 million in 2016. “The elimination of tariffs for most Ecuadorian exports was the driving factor in the rapid growth,” the report said.
Ecuador’s major exports to the EU are bananas, seafood and flowers while motor vehicles, liquor and clothing are the top imports to Ecuador.
Among non-Andean countries, EU trade growth in 2017 was 14.7 percent for Mexico; 6.7 percent for Chile; and 7.2 percent for the consortium of Central American countries, including Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.