QUITO, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Ties between China and Ecuador are at a current high and are poised to get an added boost from Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit later this week, according to Chinese Ambassador to Quito Wang Yulin.
Since establishing diplomatic ties 36 years ago, the two countries have supported each other at regional and international fora and maintained close cooperation.
"China and Ecuador have become good friends who enjoy sincerity and trust and mutually beneficial cooperation," Wang told Xinhua.
For China, Ecuador is an important partner for cooperation in the area of energy, as well as the leading destination in Latin America for Chinese investment and the leading market for construction projects involving Chinese firms. China is Ecuador's third-largest trade partner worldwide.
"Pragmatic economic cooperation between China and Ecuador has produced palpable benefits for people in both countries and has received high praise from the Ecuadorian people," said Wang.
More than 90 Chinese companies operate in Ecuador, and some have been behind the country's biggest and strategic projects, such as the South American country's largest hydroelectric plant.
Chinese companies also developed Ecuador's national emergency response system ECU 911, which was of key help in the aftermath of the powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated towns along the north coast in April.
Both developing countries are currently at a decisive moment in their development, noted Wang.
China is intensifying its reform and opening up process, making structural changes to its economy, and transitioning from an export-driven economy to one driven by domestic consumption.
Ecuador is striving to bolster strategic industries, while promoting scientific and technological innovation, and working to attract foreign direct investment.
"China and Ecuador are highly complementary, natural partners for cooperation in the economic field. They have enormous potential for cooperation in such sectors as productive capacity, investment and clean energy," said Wang.
In August, Ecuador and China waived visa requirements in a bid to increase two-way tourism, in yet another sign of closer ties.
"Thanks to more brisk exchange between the two countries, reciprocal knowledge between citizens of the two countries will increase even more, and I fully trust that the China-Ecuador tree of friendship will bear much fruit," said Wang.
Xi will visit three Latin American countries starting on Nov. 17, including Chile and Peru, where he will attend the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, to be held in Lima.