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EU Signs Trade Agreement with Colombia, Peru

28 June 2012

GLOBAL - EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht signed the deal together with Danish Ambassador Jonas Bering Liisberg representing the Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Colombian Minister for Trade Sergio Díaz-Granados, and the Peruvian Minister for Foreign Trade José Luis Silva Martinot.

Once fully implemented the Commission estimates that the trade deal will relieve EU exporters of €270 million in duties annually; it will further open up markets on both sides as well as increase the stability and predictability of the trading environment.

Once fully implemented, the agreement will eliminate tariffs in all industrial and fisheries products, increase market access for agricultural products, improve access to public procurement, services and investment markets, further reduce technical barriers to trade, and establish common disciplines including on intellectual property rights, transparency and competition.

The EU will open its market to exporters from Peru and Colombia by committing to an immediate liberalisation in industrial and fisheries products as well as substantial tariff concessions in agriculture.

This is expected to have a direct impact on growth and jobs in these countries and contribute to the sustained move up the value chain of their economies.

The agreement establishes a set of disciplines which go beyond those agreed in the multilateral framework on non-tariff barriers to market access, competition, transparency and intellectual property rights among others - allowing in particular for the protection of over 100 EU geographical indications on the Colombian and Peruvian markets.

The agreement will promote internationally agreed best practices while securing a transparent, non-discriminatory and predictable environment for operators and investors via a mediation mechanism designed to address non-tariff barriers and - if necessary - an advanced bilateral dispute settlement mechanism.

The agreement also includes a cooperation chapter aimed at promoting competitiveness and innovation; modernising production, facilitating trade and the transfer of technology between the Parties.

Finally, the agreement provides for an accession clause which opens the door to the other countries that are members of the Andean Community of Nations to take part in the Agreement when they see fit.

The agreement is also worth over €33 million of tariff reductions for the automotive and car parts sector, around €16 million for chemicals and over €60 million for textiles. Other noticeable tariff reductions will be on pharmaceutical and telecommunication products.

"I welcome today's signature of the Trade Agreement with Colombia and Peru, which creates a stable framework to boost trade and investment between the EU and the Andean region", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

"In times of economic crisis, increasing trade and investment is the way forward to create growth and jobs. The agreement establishes a foothold for European business in this rapidly growing area and an anchor for further structural reforms in both countries.”

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