The banana industry and the other sectors of Ecuador are doing their homework and have an agreement on free trade (FTA) that was signed with China and now are waiting a little longer duration before they are able to enjoy the advantages. This is because Ecuador’s president Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly on May 17, 2023, and called for a new election in order to stop an attempt by the opposition to remove the president. This National Assembly is needed to accept the deal. The proposed FTA which was concluded with China on the 10th of May, 2023, is expected to see prices for bananas drop by one percentage per year over 10 years. They will go from 10 percent to 0.

The digital FTA signature ceremony took place in between Ecuador and China during May.

The operation of the FTA was a lengthy process that took years to negotiate, has been directly affected by the political changes within Ecuador. Jose Antonio Hidalgo, Executive Director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE): “Right now, the General Assembly is dissolved. It is now time to await the fresh National Assembly, which will form later in the year, possibly around the end of October. Then, we will follow the steps to approve and sign the treaty into law for it to begin. We view the FTA as a long-term plan. If we get to 10 years old, we’ll be able to see better growth within China. China market.”

Ecuador’s Banana Marketing and Export Association (Acorbanec) said that, at the moment, Ecuador entered a position in which it has an advantage. It could lead to a significant rise in the amount of fruits in addition to taking over various markets inside the Chinese region, as Ecuador is ranked as the 4th source of bananas for the country, following only the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. According to the TradeMap General Customs Administration of China In 2022, Ecuador shipped around 200,000 tonnes of bananas that is 11.05 percent of the total exported by the Asian country.

Richard Salazar, executive director of Ecuador’s Banana Marketing and Export Association (Acorbanec) states: “It represents a unique chance that could let China to grow into one of the primary transportation destinations for the fruits as time passes. We expect to quadruple or even triple quantities of fruit exported in 2022.”

Another country that has massive import tariffs that are 30 percent can be found in South Korea, which is next on Ecuador’s agenda to enhance trade relations. The top Ecuadorian Asian export markets include China receiving 1.8 million boxes. South Korea receiving 125,000 boxes, Japan receiving 778,000 boxes, Singapore only 3,240 and Taiwan getting nothing till the end of February 2023.

Hidalgo states that they are cooperating with government officials from the Ecuadorian government to improve trade circumstances for South Korea. “We are determined to cooperate on completing the Korean trade agreement, and we believe that in the near future, that we could begin working with Japan.”

More information is available here:

Jose Antonio Hidalgo,


Tel: +593 96 402 9141


Richard Salazar


Tel. +593 42136348