His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will start Monday a state visit to four friendly countries in Latin America, at the invitation of their leaders. Beginning with Ecuador, the tour will cover Peru, Paraguay and Argentina, as part of Qatar's keenness on strengthening co-operation and strategic partnerships with various countries.
During the visits, His Highness the Amir will hold talks on ways to promote the bilateral relations and co-operation in all fields, as well as the latest regional and international developments on mutual interest.
The Latin American trip follows several tours of the Amir in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, aiming at developing Qatar's relations with all countries.
Qatar and Ecuador enjoy strong and growing relations at all levels. The relations have been developing since the opening of the Ecuador embassy in Doha in 2012, which was followed by the opening of the Qatar embassy in the Ecuador capital Quito in the same year. The relations were strengthened further after the visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Ecuador in January 2013, and the visit of former President of Ecuador Rafael Correa to Qatar in October 2014.
The two countries are linked by many agreements, including a convention on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion; agreements on co-operation in legal matters, air services, and on trade, economic and technical co-operation between the two countries; and a goodwill memorandum for media co-operation and exchange of news between Qatar News Agency and the National Communications Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of Ecuador. In May, the first round of political consultations was held in Quito between the foreign ministries of Qatar and Ecuador.
In February 2018, Ecuador's Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Pablo Campana Saenz led visited Qatar at the head of an economic delegation, and met with vice chairman of Qatar Chamber Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Towar in the presence of a number of Qatari businessmen. Following the meeting, the Qatar Chamber official said that the two countries signed a number of agreements aiming at facilitating trade, business and investment, and noted a joint interest to increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries which reached QR30.6mn in 2017.
For his part, the Ecuadorean minister said that the delegation discussed the opportunities of encouraging Qatari investments in the sectors of hotels, tourism, mining, gas and others.
He underlined that Qatar is an important investment destination in the region, stressing the significance of the Qatari investments in Ecuador.
The current ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar, Yvonne A-Baki, has praised the distinct relations between the two countries, noting that the bilateral relations are developing at all levels and that there are many mutual official visits to upgrade the relations.
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