Eu El Salvador Free Trade Agreement

The trade part of the Association Agreement will replace unilateral preferential access to its central American market under the EU`s system of generalised preferences. The EU and the Central American region signed a new Association Agreement on 29 June 2012. The Association Agreement is based on three complementary and equally important pillars, namely political dialogue, cooperation and trade, which reinforce each other and their effects. They are the right instruments to support economic growth, democracy and political stability in Central America. The Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development will meet in the first year following the entry into force of the agreement and, if necessary, will oversee the implementation of Title VIII (Trade and Sustainable Development), including cooperation activities conducted in accordance with Title VI (Economic and Trade Development) of Part III of the agreement. The committee`s decisions and recommendations are adopted by mutual agreement between the parties and made available to the public, unless the committee decides otherwise. The EU`s central trade objective for Central America is to strengthen and use bilateral trade to strengthen the process of regional integration between countries in the region. In practice, this means the creation of a customs union and economic integration in Central America. The EU has supported this process through its trade agreement and trade-related technical cooperation programmes. The new agreement aims to promote sustainable development and deepen its process of regional integration.

This closer economic integration between the countries of the Central American region is important to attract investment in the region and help local businesses develop the strength of their regional market in order to be internationally competitive. Businessmen in El Salvador`s textile sector expect that the entry into force of the agreement will increase opportunities to attract new investment from the Asian country. Trade negotiators from Central America and the European Union met on 3 February 2010 for an informal three-day meeting at which they agreed on a work plan for an association agreement in May. The seventh round of negotiations was held in Brussels on 22 and 26 February 2010 with Panama as an observer and officially announced its intention to participate in the negotiations. A month later, in Brussels, trade negotiators conducted a new round of technical talks. The negotiations concluded in May 2010 at the Latin America and European Union summit in Madrid, Spain. Central America and the European Union discussed how to move the agreement forward at the 16th meeting of the Joint Commission in Brussels on 8 February 2011.