Ecuador seeking to lower banana import tariffs in Asia
Ecuador has been negotiating improved trading conditions in several key Asian markets. Import duties to South Korea currently stand at 30%. The Central American country is now negotiating an FTA with China, which would allow Ecuador’s bananas and other fruit and vegetables to trade on a more equal footing to its local rivals.
José Antonio Hidalgo, Executive Director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), is currently part of an official delegation together with Ecuadorian government officials visiting South Korea, where they are working to have the Asian country lower the 30% import tariff.
The latest statistics for February 2023 shows Ecuador’s banana exports to Asia decreased by 11.73% with a combined 2.7 million boxes compared to 3.09 million boxes exported during the same time last year. It is believed that lower import tariffs could increase exports to around 5 million boxes.
Ecuador’s top Asian export markets are China (1.8 million boxes), South Korea (125,000 boxes) and Japan (778,000 boxes).