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Ecuador and China have reached an agreement in principle on a 1.7 billion dollar line of credit to build a hydroelectric plant, a government news agency said Wednesday.
The agreement followed difficult negotiations that at one point prompted complaints by President Rafael Correa about the Chinese negotiators.
Correa said in March he was upset about "the mistreatment and the rudeness" that his country's representative endured in the talks with the Chinese, and said that negotiating with China was "worse than the IMF," comparing it to pulling teeth.
Gu Jiafeng, an official at Beijing's embassy in Quito, told the Andes government news agency that the agreement was reached after three Eximbank representatives visited Ecuador last week.
Ecuador had already agreed that China's Sinohydro company would be in charge of building the nearly two billion dollar Coca Coda Sinclair hydroelectric plant.
Ecuador is putting up 15 percent of the cost, and the rest will be financed with credit from China's Eximbank.
The Eximbank representatives informed Ecuadoran authorities of the new loan conditions, the Chinese diplomat said.
"During the visit, both sides reached an agreement and signed ... the credit agreement," the embassy official said.
An Ecuadoran delegation led by Finance Minister Patricio Rivera and Strategic Sector Minister Jorge Glas will travel to China and sign a document finalizing the agreement next week, Andina reported.
Eximbank had earlier demanded that Ecuador's Central Bank put its assets up as collateral for the loan, something that Correa said his leftist administration considered "unacceptable."
Correa unilaterally broke off talks in March, but both sides returned to the negotiating table in April.