The official visit of President Lenin Moreno to his peer in the United States, Donald Trump, not only marked a historic milestone but also opened new doors to development in the fields of production, employment, education, security, the fight against drug trafficking and corruption.
Upon arrival in the country, the President expressed the results of this diplomatic meeting that was not held 17 years ago.
Moreno and the Economy Ministers, Richard Martínez, and Government, María Paula Romo , presented the summary of the achievements of the Executive’s visit to North America.
“We export to the US almost $ 6 billion, our trade balance gives positive results in favor of Ecuador for almost $ 300 million; It is our main trading partner, ”said the Head of State.
Moreno stressed that now the country is part of the América Crece program, an agency that will allow US companies to invest in infrastructure and energy projects.
While Martínez stressed that the initiative allows the country to obtain investment opportunities in airports, roads, clean energy, technology, and others.
He pointed out that Ecuador and the US they will open programs that allow the creation of women entrepreneurs in rural areas and victims of violence. The country will also receive the head of the Financial Corporation for International Development (DFC), an entity that allocates resources to growing countries.
A list of eligible projects to attract investments will be sent.
The internationalist Carlos Estarellas defines this official visit as a historical event for the country considering that the United States is a very important business partner.
Estarellas stressed that President Donald Trump , who is working on his re-election, has realized the importance of the Latino vote.
Trump acknowledged the work that Moreno has done for democracy. (I)
Both countries interested in fighting corruption
Ecuador worked with the United States on a strategic bilateral cooperation, which was built for a year and a half. The Minister of Government, María Paula Romo , has held permanent meetings with officials of the American embassy, the Office of Programs for the Western Hemisphere in International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and other entities of that country.
They handle issues of security, drug trafficking, fight against corruption and transnational crime, with whom agreements were signed for the creation of the Special Unit for the Fight against Corruption and Money Laundering.
This project was worked on for six months, with the Police, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE) and its execution will be short term. In addition, 500 Ecuadorian police officers in the US will be trained . , on drugs, smuggling, intelligence, border security and cybersecurity.
The preparation will not require new investments because the resources are included in the cooperation.
The Criminal Intelligence Center will also be created , which will have technology, training in the control of new crimes and information exchange, not only with Ecuador, but also with Peru and Colombia.
Technological, training and cybersecurity equipment support will be given to know how to deal with cybercrime.
A digital transformation will also be implemented in the migratory data that, in addition, will serve as an information anticipation tool.
Minister Romo said that US cooperation will help to set up a comprehensive plan to combat citizen insecurity from several fronts. For example, during this 2020, police groups will travel to the US. every two weeks to train with elite units from that country.
Romo said that Ecuador will not have to allocate a new budget, because it is cooperation under agreements.
In addition, he stressed that the Police will have the technology and training to deal with cybersecurity crimes. (I)
4 products will enter the US with another tariff
The Generalized System of Tariff Preferences (GSP) is a unilateral mechanism through which the US grants preferential access conditions to a selection of products from 121 developing countries, of which Ecuador is the eighth largest beneficiary.
Under this scheme, Ecuador exports around $ 400 million annually to the US. with a variety of almost 300 products of various kinds: flowers (except roses), tropical fruits, vegetables and canned fruits, building materials, among others.
In the USA it was proposed that broccoli, tuna in a case, roses and artichoke be part of the Generalized System of Tariff Preferences , with which they would no longer have to cancel tariffs between 6% and 14%, which for Ecuador is a competitive barrier, since Colombia and Peru have signed a Free Trade Agreement with the US
Tuna represents for Ecuador more than 24 thousand places of direct employment and about 100 thousand indirect jobs. Manabi and Esmeraldas will be the beneficiary provinces.
The export of roses represents $ 271 million and generates around 48 thousand direct jobs. The beneficiaries of a tariff reduction, under the GSP, will be residents of Pichincha, Cotopaxi and Carchi.
Broccoli sales represent $ 40 million and generate 4,000 direct jobs in Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Tungurahua and Imbabura. Production is growing for export, generating approximately 4,000 jobs in Pichincha, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi.
The entry of broccoli, tuna in a case, roses and artichoke, to the list of products that are now exported to the US, without tariffs, will allow Ecuador’s export supply to be expanded .
The dialogues to reach the trade agreement will be resumed on April 14 and 15, in Quito , during the III Meeting of the Trade and Investment Council (ICT).
The initial proposal is to change these products that have great potential in the American market and that have grown despite not being in the Tariff Preferences regime .
The President of the Republic will only prevail the interests of Ecuador and its producers, especially small farmers. (I)
The WB will support with disbursement of $ 300 million
On the visit to the USA A productive meeting was held with the president of the World Bank (WB), David Malpass , with whom steps were taken to expand the amount of the disbursement that was pending for the month of March for $ 300 million, an aspect that will be worked on in the coming weeks .
Malpass recognized President Lenín Moreno’s efforts to generate employment, foster a positive investment climate and monetary stability.
Working with the World Bank improves the business environment in Ecuador, as it supports infrastructure and agriculture projects both in the central government, as well as in local governments.
The Executive held a meeting with the International Finance Corporation, which is the support arm for the private sector of the World Bank. The agency has operations with private entities of the Ecuadorian financial system and with manufacturing companies.
The remarkable thing about these endorsements is the strong component of women’s inclusion and the fight against climate change.
Ecuador is a complementary economy with the US
The country maintains a total positive trade balance of $ 1,905 million and a positive non-oil trade balance of $ 277 million.
In 2019, USA it captured 29% of oil and non-oil exports for $ 5,972 million.
An agreement was signed with the US ambassador . in Ecuador, Michael Fitzpatrick, so that Ecuador is part of the América Crece regional initiative .
The International Development Finance Corporation of the United States invests more than $ 250 million in Ecuador, supports mortgage loans for affordable housing and small women’s businesses.
The Government presented the new economic progress model, aimed at generating employment and productivity.
Neil Herrington, senior vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce of the Americas, expressed optimism about government management. (I)
The Expanded Political Dialogue will be in May
Seventeen years had to pass before diplomatic relations between Ecuador and the United States were retained. As background, the Government
It regained institutionality, strengthened democracy and generated confidence in international markets.
While President Donald Trump recognized “the great reputation” of President Lenin Moreno and said that relations
with Ecuador they go through a great moment since the country “offers a good panorama, with a great president”.
The Ecuadorian Head of State stressed that the country decided to refresh its international relations and
get closer to those who have been permanently more affected by our way of thinking.
And one of the achievements was the area of education that translates with the training offered by more than 200 American teachers to more than 9,000 Ecuadorian teachers, in terms of teaching the English language, which will benefit children and adolescents of public institutions.
In two years the number of foreign teachers can rise to 1,000 and they will train more than 14,000 nationals. The Peace Corps will extend the location of volunteers in Galapagos and Manabi in 2020.
In addition, the number of volunteers will increase from 140 to 200 until 2022.
It should be noted that the United States and Ecuador will hold the meeting of the Expanded Bilateral Political Dialogue in May 2020 in
Washington DC to guide and strengthen relationships.
The participation of women in national and international society was also addressed. In that sense, Ecuador was included in the Initiative for the Development and Global Prosperity of Women (W-GDP) , directed by the White House to prohibit gender discrimination in access to credit. In addition, USA He will work with Ecuadorian municipal governments and the private sector to triple his Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).
This will provide 1,000 women from the 24 provinces, skills and commercial networks to become successful entrepreneurs . (I)
The regional security strategy, a priority
Training in cyber defense, improvements in communication systems, support for the regional security strategy, obtaining a radar, the support of the P3 aircraft and the visit of the USNS Comfort Hospital Ship are part of the achievements in security in the country .
The objective is to lead a regional cooperative strategy with Peru and Colombia to combat drug trafficking and illegal fishing in the South Pacific.
With the security triangle, four ports that Ecuador has will be integrated : Puerto Bolívar, Posorja, Manta and Esmeraldas , the apex of these ports, which are in the coastal profile, is San Cristóbal in Galapagos.
For this, conversations have been held with the defense ministers of both Peru and Colombia , with the purpose of establishing points of agreement for the implementation of the regional security strategy.
In what has to do with cyber defense for the staff of the FF.AA. In Peru , a seminar will be held on this subject where the personnel of the Armed Forces will be trained on the importance of this field in the security of nations.
The purpose of acquiring a radar is to improve surveillance and control systems, 24 hours a day, of airspace by obtaining one of these long-range and early warning equipment.
And, in terms of health and providing medical care to the population, a positive result was the visit of the USNS Comfort Hospital Ship, which visited the provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí, between 2018 and 2019. In 2019 this vessel attended 8 thousand patients and performed 120 surgical interventions. In 2018, the ship treated 4 thousand patients and performed 100 surgeries.
It was also required to continue with the support of the P3 aircraft, which has state-of-the-art technology, for aeromaritime exploration.
The P3 aircraft allows to expand the surveillance, detection and monitoring of transnational crimes in the maritime area that has exclusive economic protection, which is permanently threatened by fishing vessels of various nationalities.
The P3 was developed by the American company Lockheed in the late 50s. The crew is maximum 11 people and its speed is 750 km / h. (I)
Carlyle Group is interested in Ecuadorian projects
The President and his ministerial group met with senators from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
There is the support of parliamentarians to open lines of cooperation in areas such as commercial, academic, cultural, security, among others.
In May, a meeting of the highest level will be held in which the heads of diplomacy from both countries will participate.
Similarly, the Head of State had a meeting with officials of the Trade and Integration Unit of the IDB to analyze the progress of the Single Window Investment Project (VUI) with a view to working on its implementation and serve as a tool to promote Investments in Ecuador.
The Head of State had a conversation with Michael Shifter, head of the Inter-American Dialogue body that promotes dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean; The entity encourages governance, prosperity and social equity.
In addition, the development of new trade projects with export orientation was evaluated. The possibility of continuing technical assistance in matters of origin was also explored, both in the part of its procedures as well as in the scope of the negotiations.
Together with representatives of the private sector, an important meeting was held with representatives of the Wilson Center, a recognized center of thought, for its work linked to global issues and evaluation of public policies in democracy, governance and institutionality.
At the meeting with Carlyle Group , one of the largest global investment funds , Ecuador announced the country’s investment climate and the main existing projects.
Carlyle Group is interested in working on renewable energy, logistics and infrastructure projects in general with high impact in the region. The appointment served to establish information exchange points in projects of interest.