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With the entry into force of the Association Agreement in 2013, trade relations between the two regions have increased, but have not received the desired boost. According to EUROSTAT, trade between the EU and Central America amounted to 12 billion euros in 2013 and remained about the same in 2018 (see chart below). It is important to remember that the MAIN EU imports from CA are mainly primary products, while the main exports of ca are higher value-added machinery and products. The first meeting of the Trade and Sustainable Development Council of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union was held in Managua, Nicaragua, from 18 to 19 November 2014. The basic logic is clear. As soon as the United States signed NAFTA, the EU followed suit and concluded its own bilateral trade agreement with Mexico. Now that the United States has signed the CAFTA ACCORD, an EU agreement is being reached for the same countries (minus the Dominican Republic, which is part of the ACP group with which the EU is already negotiating an EPA under the Cotonou agreement). Trade negotiators from Central America and the European Union met on 3 February 2010 for an informal three-day meeting at which they agreed on a work plan for an association agreement in May. The seventh round of negotiations was held in Brussels on 22 and 26 February 2010 with Panama as an observer and officially announced its intention to participate in the negotiations. A month later, in Brussels, trade negotiators conducted a new round of technical talks.

The negotiations concluded in May 2010 at the Latin America and European Union summit in Madrid, Spain. Central America and the European Union discussed how to move the agreement forward at the 16th meeting of the Joint Commission in Brussels on 8 February 2011. On 22 March 2011, Central America and the European Union signed the agreement following its legal review. On 25 October 2011, the European Commission reviewed and approved the agreement, completing the first stage of the signing process. In the next phase, the Council of the European Union will review the agreement and approve its signature. After the date of Eurostat, trade flows between the EU and Central America amounted to 12 billion euros in 2019. The EU`s trade balance with Central America has a surplus of 0.4 billion euros in 2019 (a surplus of 0.1 billion euros the previous year).

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