China and Ecuador Sign Free Trade Agreement
China and Ecuador have signed a free trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to deepen ties between the South American nation and the world’s second-biggest economy.
On May 11, 2023, Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and Julio Jose Prado, Ecuador’s Minister Of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment, and Fisheries, signed the FTA between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador on behalf of their respective governments via video link.
The China-Ecuador FTA was concluded in the “most efficient way”, according to Mr. Prado. The joint feasibility research for the FTA began in September 2021 and concluded in January 2022, significantly faster than other FTA negotiations. Both countries have committed to carrying out their respective domestic procedures to expedite the implementation of the agreement.
In recent years, China and Ecuador have made remarkable progress in economic cooperation, resulting in a significant increase in bilateral trade. In 2021, China-Ecuador trade amounted to US$10.95 billion, a 44.5 percent growth from the previous year. As a result, China has become Ecuador’s largest trading partner for two years in a row. In 2022, bilateral trade between China and Ecuador reached a record high of US$13 billion, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 20 percent.
The China-Ecuador FTA is expected to play a positive role in promoting sustained, stable, and diversified trade and investment development between the two countries, taking their bilateral economic cooperation and trade to new heights.
As of writing this article, the text of the China-Ecuador FTA is unavailable. However, according to the Ecuadorian government, the agreement will enable Ecuador to export 99.6 percent of its products to China without tariffs. Notably, products such as shrimp, bananas, quinoa, cut flowers, cocoa, and coffee hold significant growth potential under the new arrangement. The agreement is projected to boost Ecuador’s non-oil exports by up to a third over the next 10 years.
China’s free trade agreement network
With the signing of the China-Ecuador FTA, China has expanded its FTA arrangements to include 27 countries or regions, including the 10 Southeast Asian countries (i.e., ASEAN nations). Furthermore, China is currently engaged in negotiations for 10 additional FTAs and is considering another eight.
Status of China FTAs
For a complete overview of China’s FTA framework, please refer to the table below:
|Countries/Regions with FTAs with China|
|China-Nicaragua FTA||Nicaragua||Early harvest arrangement signed|
|RCEP||ASEAN (10), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand||Signed and effective|
|China-Cambodia FTA||Cambodia||Signed and effective|
|China-Mauritius FTA||Mauritius||Signed and effective|
|China-Georgia FTA||Georgia||Signed and effective|
|China-Australia FTA||Australia||Signed and effective|
|China-Korea FTA||South Korea||Signed and effective|
|China-Switzerland FTA||Switzerland||Signed and effective|
|China-Iceland FTA||Iceland||Signed and effective|
|China-Costa Rica FTA||Costa Rica||Signed and effective|
|China-Peru FTA||Peru||Signed and effective|
|China-Singapore FTA||Singapore||Signed and effective|
|China-New Zealand||New Zealand||Signed and effective|
|China-Chile FTA||Chile||Signed and effective|
|China-Pakistan FTA||Pakistan||Signed and effective|
|China-ASEAN FTA||Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam||Signed and effective|
|Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic and Partnership Arrangement||Hong Kong||Signed and effective|
|Mainland and Macao Closer Economic and Partnership Arrangement||Macao||Signed and effective|
|China-Taiwan ECFA||Taiwan||Signed and originally expired in September 2020|
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