Canada is exploring a free trade agreement with Ecuador
By Diego Flammini
The federal government is asking Canadians to submit comments about a potential trade deal with a South American country.
On Jan. 6, Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, announced public consultations on a potential free trade agreement between Canada and Ecuador.
“These consultations will be instrumental as we continue to foster economic resilience in the region,” she said in a statement. “Canada and Ecuador enjoy strong and growing trade investment ties. I look forward to deepening our relationship with Ecuador and creating more opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers.”
Canadians have until Feb. 21, 2023, to provide their comments.
Once submitted, the government will use them to define Canada’s priorities in trade negotiations.
Canada already exports millions of dollars of products to Ecuador.
In 2021, Canada exported $573.3 million of goods to Ecuador compared to $354 million in 2020.
This represents an increase of about 45.3 per cent from 2020.
Canadian ag plays a pivotal role in the trade relationship between the two countries.
Canada’s main ag exports to Ecuador include wheat, lentils, oats, barley and peas.
In 2021, Ecuador imported $317.37 million of cereals, $19.87 million of vegetables, 1.48 million of oilseeds and fruits, and $10.26 million of fertilizers.
Canada purchased $379.9 million of products from Ecuador in 2021.
Ecuador’s main ag products exported to Canada include tropical fruits, cacao, flowers and seafood.
Farms.com has contacted Canadian ag organizations for comment on the upcoming trade talks with Ecuador and how agriculture can play a role in the negotiations.