SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA: Scotch producers welcome LatAm trade deals
Scotch whisky is expected to get a boost from the trade deals
Scotch whisky producers are set to benefit from “fairer” market conditions in Latin America after the signing of new trade deals.
The European Union’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia/Peru and its Association Agreement with Central America were ratified by the European Parliament today (11 December). The Central America Association Agreement covers Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has welcomed the moves. “We have been pushing hard in favour of these trade agreements with Central America, Peru and Colombia,” said David Williamson, the SWA's deputy director of international affairs.
“The agreements will help deliver a more predictable and level playing field for Scotch whisky producers.”
The deals include the "gradual" elimination of tariffs on EU spirits, new mechanisms to tackle discriminatory taxes and better legal protection for Scotch whisky, Williamson said.
Scotch is still a “relatively small” part of the spirits markets in Central and South America, the SWA said. But, in 2011, direct exports to the region were up by 38% year-on-year to GBP489m (US$784.7m). Exports to Peru rose by 97% to GBP18m last year and by 74% to Colombia to GBP24m.
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