European Union hints at sweet deal on trade

The European Union might be willing to apply trade concessions to Central America under the enhanced Generalized System of Preferences (GSP-Plus), giving the region the equivalent of most-favored nation status. The possibility arose during talks between the two blocs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Rupert Schlegelmilch, the EU's chief trade negotiator, told reporters that he well understood Central America's wish to apply GSP-Plus, which is designed for the world's most vulnerable nations.
Roberto Echandi, who heads the Costa Rican delegation at the talks, hailed the suggestion as "a major advance that recognizes what has to be the aim of this agreement."

More on this topic

Europe Insists on Central American Integration

March 2009

The European Union again noted its interest in an integrated Central America where there is a free flow of investments, goods and services.

The seventh round of negotiations of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America opened in Honduras with the explicit indication by Petros Mavromichalis, political negotiator of the EU that "regional integration remains a subject of great importance for us.

EU expects greater commercial access in Central America

October 2008

Central America's commercial offer covers 85.3% of the products, but the European Union wants it to be 90%.

Central America's commercial offer covers 85.3% of the products, but the European Union wants it to be 90%.
"This offer has improved a lot, but it is not at the World Trade Organization (WTO) level; it is almost there, but it is lacking a few percentages," said Rupert Schlegelmilch, EU negotiator for the commercial agreement.

Central America may offer Europe 80 percent market opening

July 2008

Trade representatives of Central American nations are meeting in El Salvador this week to discuss a proposal to offer an 80 percent opening of their markets to the European Union.

The proposal, which would leave 20 percent of the region's products as a margin for negotiation, will be the second sent to the Europeans within talks on an association agreement.

Central America rejects conditions for trade alliance with Europe

May 2008

Central America rejected the European Union's request to phase out 90 percent of its tariffs in exchange for the benefits of the EU's enhanced Generalised System of Preferences (GSP-plus).

At a meeting with Peter Mandelson, the EU's trade commissioner, Central American representatives insisted that GSP-plus should be offered unconditionally as the basis for negotiations on an association agreement between the two regions.

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