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Monday, November 19, 2007

Ecuador seeks to boost co-op through official visit to China

QUITO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who begins an official visit to China on Monday, will seek to boost political dialogue, trade and cooperation through talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Ecuador's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

"Both sides plan to sign bilateral agreements, covering areas including mining, hydrocarbons, environment, culture, railways, sports, tourism, trade, finance and animal hygiene," the ministry said.

President Correa will seek Chinese investment in a major airport in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where construction is planned to start in 2008, the ministry said.

Ecuador is seeking and enlarging cooperation with and investment from China, the ministry said.

"The diplomatic relations between the two countries, since established in 1980, have witnessed more progress," the ministry added.

During his one-week visit, Correa is scheduled to meet some other top Chinese officials as well.

Ecuador has received 1.8 billion U.S. dollars of investment from China, making it the leading recipient of Chinese investment in Latin America. In the first nine months this year the bilateral trade volume has topped 669 million dollars.

Ecuador's main exports to China are farm goods, wood, metal and white fish. The single largest export category is bananas. China's exports to Ecuador include clothes, toys, shoes, and televisions.

After visiting China, Correa will travel to Indonesia on Nov. 25 for an official visit at the invitation of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

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