Ecuador is looking into the potential export of technology and expertise in shrimp-farming to Qatar in an effort to contribute to the country’s initiatives related to self-sufficiency and food security, ambassador Ivonne A-Baki said.
A-Baki said Ecuador is the world’s third largest exporter of farmed shrimp. It has developed the technology to farm shrimp without the ‘whispovirus’ or the white spot syndrome virus.
“We have also the technology to produce more farmed shrimp with less use of land, thus making this industry not only sustainable but more importantly environment-friendly,” A-Baki told Gulf Times.
Aside from shrimp farming, A-Baki said Ecuador plans to make Hamad Port as its hub for banana exports by opening direct shipping routes between the two countries, noting that talks with concerned authorities are in the pipeline.
Also, she said the embassy is preparing to discuss plans to enhance the export of roses to Qatar. Currently, Ecuador exports around 2mn roses to Qatar per week, A-Baki said, who accompanied a delegation composed of officials from more than 20 companies from Ecuador yesterday at the St Regis Hotel Doha.
A-Baki said the event titled ‘International Trade Networking: Ecuador-Qatar Edition 2018’ was organised by the Ecuador embassy in Qatar and its Ministry of Commerce and Investment, through the Institute of Export and Investment Promotion, ProEcuador.
The matchmaking meeting gathered local importers of Ecuador’s top producers of chocolate, coffee, banana, flowers, processed food, fishery, aquacultures, textile, and handicrafts, among others.
During the event, A-Baki and members of the delegation held meetings with Qatar Businessmen Association (QBA) chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani; Hamad Saket al-Shamari, assistant director of the Agricultural Research Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment; and Yousef al-Khulaifi, director of Agricultural Affairs Department at the MME.
A-Baki said the meeting will help enhance bilateral trade between Qatar and Ecuador. She said there is a huge potential to increase trade volume between the two countries, which currently stands only at around $10mn.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event, communications officer Nelson Patricio Baldeon Robalino expressed optimism in the role of Ecuador in terms of the transfer of expertise and technology in shrimp farming.
He said the delegation from QBA and Qatar Chamber, which is slated to visit Ecuador this coming June, could visit the shrimp farms, and even the banana plantations to explore investment opportunities and potential partnerships with Ecuadorian companies.
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