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Ecuador, Mexico move closer to trade deal in 9th round of talks

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Quito, May 31 (Ajit Weekly News) Ecuador and Mexico made “substantial progress” toward a Productive Integration Agreement in the ninth round of negotiations held May 23 to 27 in Quito, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fishing said.

“The negotiating teams of both countries held high-level technical meetings in which significant progress was made with a view to closing the agreement,” the Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The latest round of talks addressed such issues as market access, rules of origin, sustainable fishing, commercial defence, institutional matters, and services and investment, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso urged for the talks to strengthen their respective economies by reaching a Productive Integration Agreement, the Ministry added.

Also attending the talks were Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Luz Maria de la Mora and her Ecuadorian counterpart Daniel Legarda, as well as representatives from both countries’ private productive sectors.

Negotiations began in 2019 toward the trade agreement, which will also pave the way for Ecuador to enter the Pacific Alliance trade bloc as a full member.

Comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, the bloc represents the world’s eighth largest economy and 38 per cent of the gross domestic product of Latin America and the Caribbean.

–Ajit Weekly News

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