*More than 15 agreements signed on trade and investments

Bilateral ties between Ecuador and Qatar have remained “very good and strong” in various fields of co-operation, particularly in trade, outgoing Ecuador ambassador Kabalan Abisaab has said.

The envoy told Gulf Times that the two countries signed more than 15 agreements on trade and investments, mostly in the oil and tourism sector.

“Now Qatar Airways has two cargo flights to Ecuador, and some Qatari businessmen have invested in our country, which mean that our trade relationship is growing,” he pointed out.

The envoy was speaking on the sidelines of a dinner he hosted on Monday to honour dignitaries from various walks of life for their support to the Ecuadorian embassy in Doha.

The event graced by HE Sheikh Hassan bin Khalid al-Thani, His Highness the Emir’s Secretary for the Royal Family Affairs, along with Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Chief of Protocol Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, and other dignitaries.

According to Abisaab, the total trade volume between the Ecuador and Qatar reached $8.3mn in 2015 and was forecast to surge between 60% and 70% in 2016.

Several groups from Qatar also visited Ecuador in the past two years, including a major Qatari company that is investing in the oil sector, he added.

Asked if any high level meetings in the near future, he said Ecuadorian authorities are “always open and very pleased” to receive Qatari counterparts, and are also keen to visit Qatar as well.

“Ecuador is always close to Qatar, and our country, our doors and our hearts are open for all Qatari people,” the envoy stressed. “The future will be better for us.”

Abisaab thanked His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for “all their support and co-operation.”

“I am leaving Qatar but my heart is going to stay here, the Qatari people are very hospitable,” he said. “I adore this country and I asked God to bless the Qatari people and to protect this country.”

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