by Edna Alcantara, Wu Hao
CANCUN, Mexico, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The relations between Ecuador and China will "become stronger, closer and more energetic" in many areas, said Ecuadorian Minister for Foreign Affairs Maria Fernanda Espinosa.
In a recent interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the 47th Regular Session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Cancun, Espinosa said that China has been a great economic and political partner.
The minister said China has contributed to the "transformation of our energy matrix" and Ecuador's productive sector. "We will continue in this way and deepen our friendly relations," she said.
In commercial terms, Espinosa said that Ecuador is seeking to expand the exports of primary materials as well as value-added products to Asian markets, especially China.
For the moment, banana and shrimp are the main agricultural products Ecuador exports to China. It has been hoping to increase shipments of mango, cacao, fish flour and balsa wood.
"We have great expectations and a commitment to improve our export basket, including with value-added products," she said.
Espinosa also introduced new areas of cooperation between Ecuador and China, including defense, renewable energy and tourism.
"We want to attract Chinese tourists to Ecuador," said Espinosa, indicating Chinese people are entitled to visit the country visa free.
Espinosa said that her country will prominently push for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while it holds the rotating presidency of the G77 plus China in 2017.
"There is a broad agenda covering areas such as the financing for the 2030 Agenda. It is important to count on adequate financing, which is adapted to the needs and development levels of each country. This is crucial. The climate change is also important as disarmament and peace," she explained.
The G77, established in 1964, is now a coalition of more than 130 developing UN member states plus China. The group is the largest inter-governmental organization of developing countries within the UN, aiming to promote collective economic interest and gain leverage within the international community.
The group's chairmanship rotates on a regional basis among countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean and is held for a one year term.