Fruitful end to banana dispute

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One of the longest international trade battles – two-decade-long banana dispute – is over.

The European Union and 11 Latin American countries have signed an agreement that puts to rest a trade dispute dating from 1991 over tariffs on bananas, which are a vital export for several Latin American economies.

The agreement signed yesterday in the presence of World Trade Organisation director General Pascal Lamy formally ends eight separate WTO cases.

The signing comes after the nations reached agreement in Geneva in December 2009 for the EU to gradually reduce its tariffs on imported bananas.