NATIONAL

‘Ecuador seeks SME cooperation with Korea’

By Joel Lee
  • Published : Aug 13, 2018 - 11:59
  • Updated : Aug 13, 2018 - 11:59
Ecuadorian Minister of Industries and Productivity Eva Garcia Fabre visited Korea last week to strengthen bilateral commercial ties and introduce investment opportunities in Ecuador.

She came at the invitation of the Korea Foundation -- a public diplomacy institution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- as part of its cooperation program with Central and South American countries.

The bureaucrat had meetings with her Korean counterparts in government and the private sector, including the Korea Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea International Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups, Hyundai Motors, Samsung, Korea International Trade Association, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, Korea Maritime Consultants and Incheon Free Economic Zone. 

Ecuadorian Minister of Industries and Productivity Eva Garcia Fabre (Dateando)

“South Korea’s economic success story is an inspiration to Ecuador, and we want to learn from Korea to develop the Ecuadorian economy,” Garcia Fabre said at a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding with Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Seoul.

She added that Ecuador aimed to emulate Korea’s successful economic policies and their implementation know-how, alongside well-known strategies of small and medium-sized firms.

At a press conference at the embassy, the minister also underlined opportunities in science and technology, digital innovation and industry 4.0 in Ecuador.

Noting that Ecuador had largely exported oil and agricultural products to Korea, Garcia Fabre pinned her hope that the agreement would pave the way for enhanced collaborations in advanced technologies, infrastructure and renewable energy. She also said the Ecuador government strove to expand trade and technology cooperation with other economies in electric vehicles, smart grids and telecommunications sectors.

“We aim to develop new technologies and create value-added products to target bigger markets,” she said, stressing government priorities on improving innovative productive capacities. “This MOU is important because about 95 percent of companies in Ecuador are small and medium-sized companies.”

On Thursday, Garcia Fabre attended the “Get to Know Ecuador” cultural event organized by the Ecuadorian Embassy to celebrate the country’s independence on Aug. 10, 1809.

Quito and Seoul established diplomatic ties in 1962. The two countries are in the process of negotiating the Strategic Economic Cooperation Agreement, aimed at boosting technical cooperation in areas including geology, mining, environmental remediation, agriculture, sports, electronic government and geographic information.

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com)