French, Italian and Russian importers have reportedly expressed an interest in growing and sourcing bananas from Costa Rica once an agreement between the EU and Latin America is signed to reduce the import tariff for the fruit.
Jorge Sauma, chairman of the Costa Rican Banana Corporation, Corbana, confirmed to Latin American reporters the interest from European importers, claiming the signs were clearly there.
“For some time now, distributors in Russia, Italy, France and also Spain have been signalling their interest in producing bananas in Costa Rica or importing the fruit,” Mr Sauma said.
Costa Rica’s proximity to the Panama Canal could be an important factor in future deals, according to Mr Sauma, which could also benefit banana industries in Colombia, Panama and Honduras.
Mr Sauma also cited the negotiations to achieve a reduced import tariff for Latin American bananas entering the EU as “very positive” move.
The EU and Latin American suppliers had agreed a deal to cut the import duty on bananas from €176 per tonne to €114 per tonne by 2016, before the Doha Round of talks ended without a resolution at the end of July.