Panama has welcomed the World Trade Organisation (WTO) verdict that the European Union's import tariff on Latin American bananas breaches global trade rules.

'It is clear that each occasion when there has been a vote on the banana import regime before the WTO, the result is the same,' Gisela Alvarez de Porras, minister of trade and industries for Panama, told local press. 'This should open a working space that concludes with the application of a tariff which really guarantees the stability of our producers and exporters to that market.'

The minister added that the EU should move to re-establish the agreement reached at the Doha round of world trade talks that took place in Geneva during July, when a reduction in tariffs was muted but never confirmed due to the collapse of wider talks.

Latin American countries are currently subject to a tariff of €176 onbananas exported to the EU, while former European coloniesin African-Caribbean-Pacific regions can export bananas tariff-free.