* Ecuador-Qatar ties remain strong and have steadily grown over the years
The Ecuadorian embassy in Doha marked the 211th anniversary of Ecuador’s First Call of Independence, highlighting its strong bilateral relations with Qatar. “The relations are firm and have steadily grown over the years; especially during the last two years, where they reached their highest position, through reciprocating high-level official visits,” charge d’affaires Daniel Rivadeneira told 'Gulf Times'.
He said that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visited Ecuador in 2018 when many projects and opportunities were launched and in the same year, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno visited Qatar to take part in the Doha Forum and Qatar National Day celebration.
The event served as an important milestone of the two countries’ cherished bilateral relations, opening new horizons for mutual co-operation, according to Rivadeneira. He noted that at the end of 2019, former Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner, along with a delegation from different ministries, visited Qatar where both sides signed an important agreement in the field of anti-corruption and discussed proposals of future co-operation between the two countries in different areas. Sonnenholzner also participated in the Doha Forum as a keynote speaker, Rivadeneira said.
“We are looking forward for further co-operation and working tirelessly to diversify the activities that strengthen our relations. We hope to sign soon a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the field of culture and an MoU in the field of ports with Mwani,” he said. “We are also in the process of negotiation on the proposal of an agreement in the field of air services."
While Ecuador is mostly exporting bananas and roses, processed foods, metal mechanical products, plastic products, and non-traditional fruits to Qatar, Rivadeneira said they will also continue to look for possibilities to export their world-famous and high-quality shrimps.
“Despite the Covid-19 crisis, we are working to introduce more products into the local market. In addition, we are holding talks with different authorities to facilitate trade and expand investment opportunities,” he added.
To establish new partnerships with Qatar, Rivadeneira said some projects in the fields of infrastructure and energy (LNG) are being analysed by local investors. They also hope to retain the interest in the tourism and real-estate sectors. Coupled with its active foreign policy, commitment to development, its dedicated efforts in combating terrorism, he stressed that Qatar played an important role in the region. It also continuously provides humanitarian aid across international crises and conflicts.
“The leadership in Doha has earned the respect and trust of governments in and outside the Middle East,” Rivadeneira said.
On the economic front, he said, Ecuador can provide key inputs to support Qatari production and create opportunities for trade and investment. “On the social and cultural front, there are a myriad of opportunities, certainly including cultural exchanges.”