The 16-year “banana wars” could be nearing an end. Brazil’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim has announced that an historic deal has been reached on banana imports to Europe. However the European Union claims the negotiations are not yet concluded.
Ministers from 35 key countries talked through the night in Geneva this weekend as part of the World Trade Organisation Doha round.
Latin American countries do appear to have reached a deal with the EU for lower export tariffs.
But the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries still need to be brought on board, and Cameroon, speaking for them, has said the present deal is unacceptable. Up to now their bananas have had preferential treatment, enjoying duty-free access to Europe.
The new deal will progressively lower import tariffs on the South American fruit in the coming years. But Cameroon is demanding financial compensation the inevitable increased competition.