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EU Trade Deal With Guatemala Comes Into Force

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, New York

03 December 2013


All trade barriers between the European Union and Guatemala will be lifted as of December 01, 2013, when the trade pillar of the EU-Central America Association Agreement comes into force.

Guatemala is the final country to join the agreement, which also includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. The trade agreement is intended to open new markets and boost trade and investments between the members by simplifying trade rules.

"This trade agreement will bring our regions closer together by giving our companies privileged access to each other's markets," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "I am glad that all Central American countries are now part of it. It is an important stepping stone in our relations and paves the way for truly closer integration between the European Union and the whole of Central America, and should also facilitate regional economic integration in Central America."

The agreement will ensure open markets between all parties for goods, public procurement, services and investment, as well as a stable environment for business and investment. It is expected to help the Central American economy to grow by over EUR2.5bn (USD3.4bn) per year.

The application of the agreement to Guatemala was delayed while the country finalized relevant internal procedures. The deal came into effect in Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama on August 01, 2013, and in Costa Rica and El Salvador on October 01, 2013.

Once the 28 EU member states complete ratification procedures, the trade pillar of the agreement will be provisionally applied, at which point companies may start taking advantage of all the trade preferences included in the agreement.

The EU-Central America Association Agreement is comprised of three pillars – political dialogue, development co-operation, and trade.

TAGS: investment | business | Nicaragua | agreements | Costa Rica | Guatemala | trade | El Salvador | Honduras | Panama | services | Europe | Central America

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