As of 1 December 2013, trade barriers will be lifted between the European Union and Guatemala, when the trade pillar of the EU–Central America Association Agreement will be applied. With Guatemala joining, the whole region of Central America can now benefit from the agreement, as the deal is already implemented with the other five member countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. This ambitious trade partnership will open up new markets and simplify rules which will boost trade and investments on both sides.
The Agreement will open up markets for goods, public procurement, services and investment on both sides. This will create a stable business and investment environment based on predictable and enforceable trade rules which, in many instances, go further than the commitments the parties have made in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
As a result, the Agreement will facilitate economic integration of the region while at the same time providing for new market opportunities for European economic operators, exporters and investors. The Central American economy is expected to grow by over €2.5 billion per year now that the Agreement applies to the entire region.
The trade deal has been applied with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama since 1 August 2013 and with Costa Rica and El Salvador since 1 October 2013. The implementation of the Agreement with Guatemala was delayed to allow the finalisation of internal procedures.
Friday November 29, 2013/ European Commission/ European Union.