Ecuador's door open to China investment
Updated: 2015-04-06 05:55
By AN BAIJIE in Beijing(China Daily Latin America)
José María Borja, Ecuador’s ambassador to China [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
Chinese companies are welcomed to invest in Ecuador to help improve the country’s infrastructure and boost its economy, said Ecuador’s ambassador to China.
The bilateral relationship has experienced its fastest development in recent years, with more Chinese companies expanding their businesses in the Latin American country, said José María Borja, the ambassador.
Ecuador’s largest hydropower project, being constructed by a Chinese company, is expected to improve the country’s economy, he told Oriental Outlook, a Beijing-based weekly magazine, in late March.
The project mentioned by the ambassador is the Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower plant, which is being constructed by China’s state-owned Sinohydro Corp, with an investment of $2 billion. The power plant is expected to satisfy about one-third of the country’s electricity demand.
According to the ambassador, for the past four years entrepreneurs from East China’s Zhejiang province have traveled to Ecuador to attend a symposium aimed at attracting foreign investment. Some of the Chinese businessmen have planned to set up factories in Ecuador.
About 100,000 tons of shrimp imported from Ecuador has been sold annually through China’s online-shopping websites in recent years. The shrimp was sold at about 100 yuan ($16.13) per kilogram on benlai.com, a Chinese online-shopping website.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ecuador. According to data from the embassy, about 300 Ecuadorean students are currently studying in China.
The South American country has also become a popular place for Chinese tourists. In 2013, a total of 14,000 people from China traveled to Ecuador for sightseeing.
To provide better service to Chinese tourists, some Ecuadorean travel agencies have hired staff that can speak mandarin, and some hotels have Chinese food on their menus, according to a report of the Xinhua News Agency.
China has strengthened its ties with Latin American countries in recent years, with a number of investment deals signed.
In early January, the China-CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) forum ministerial meeting was held in Beijing, defining key areas and specific measures for the overall cooperation from 2015 to 2019 between the two sides.
According to the plans, China will invest at least $250 billion and both sides will strive to achieve a trade volume of $500 billion within a decade.
Trade volume between China and Latin America reached $261.6 billion in 2013, 20 times the amount in 2000.