The Guatemalan Congress ratified today the trade agreement between Guatemala and the European Free Trade Association. This Free Trade Agreement is a great tool for Guatemalan products like vegetables, fruits, flowers, honey, spices, oils, seafood and other products as they will have better access in the European territory.
This agreement, added to the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union allows a preferential access to Guatemalan products in the European continent, mainly in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, better known as the “other European countries”. These countries have the highest per capita income levels in the world. With this agreement, our products will be more competitive, mainly agriculture, industrial and aquaculture products; said Mrs. Fanny D. Estrada, AGEXPORT’s Institutional Relations Manager.
Guatemalan products benefitted with the agreement are agriculture goods like honey, flowers and ornamentals, vegetables, fruits, coffee, cardamom, spices and oils. As well, agribusiness products like chocolate, canned food, pasta, juices, tobacco, among others. Industry and aquaculture products will be benefited as well with lower tariffs in these markets.
Added to the preferential tariffs, the agreement also includes other non-tariff benefits, including attracting investments from European countries in areas like telecommunications, tourism, electricity-generation, call centers and business process outsourcing (BPO). The European Free Trade Association represents a market of 13 million consumers with high purchasing power and one of the highest per capita income levels in the world; said Mrs. De Estrada.
Central Bank statistics remark that in 2019, Guatemala exported US$12.7 million to EFTA, mainly coffee, sugarcane, honey, essential oils and sesame seeds. In 2018, exports to these countries added up to US$12.5 million. The trade agreement will come into force one day after its publication in government’s newspaper.