Thursday, October 24

Ecuador to enhance culture, trade, tourism ties with M’sia


KUALA LUMPUR: Ecuador wants to enhance trade, culture and tourism ties with Malaysia, said its Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility Minister Ricardo Patino.

“The relations between both countries are very friendly, and that is very important as we are very far geographically.

“Since 1994, Ecuador has been present here in Malaysia and that has allowed us to have more friendly relations, but we also want to add content to this relationship, and that is why we are here to promote this,” he told Bernama in an interview here yesterday.

Patino is on an official visit to Malaysia from June 25 to 27.

Ecuador, a country of about 14 million people, is rich in fruits, vegetables and flowers, and is the world’s biggest exporter of bananas, with annual production of six million tonnes.

The minister said there is a possibility of increasing Ecuador-Malaysia trade, valued at about US$15 million a year currently.

“We have many more products that we can offer.

“Ecuador produces the best quality bananas, flour, cocoa and seafood in general, so we have a lot to offer to Malaysia.

“Malaysia also is a leader in the world in producing electronics (products), so there is a lot to do in this regard,” said the 58-year-old minister.

He said Ecuador’s exports to Malaysia are mainly cocoa products, and imports from this country are mainly semi-conductors and electronic devices, but noted trade between the two countries is still at a very low level.

“That is why we want to increase it,” said Patino, adding in Asia, Ecuador has an important relationship with China, Korea and Japan.

He said Malaysian companies are also welcome to invest in Ecuador as the country offers vast potential and opportunities for investors.

Patino said there is little travel between the two countries due to the vast distance.

“There have been some efforts by the Embassy of Ecuador (in Malaysia), they invited some travel agencies to go to Ecuador and see the beauty that we have to offer.

“We have many regions, snow-capped mountains, jungles, the Galapagos Islands, and many other attractions that would make a visit to Ecuador an extraordinary experience for Malaysians,” he said.

Patino said the country would also like Malaysia to consider having a diplomatic representative in Ecuador. — Bernama