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Cablegate: Ambassador Hodges' First Trip in Ecuador Highlights Breadth

VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #0920 2691537
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251537Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9421
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7755
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3193
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP LIMA 2815
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3818

UNCLAS QUITO 000920

SIPDIS

FAS/OCBD FOR PAT SHEIKH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EC
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HODGES' FIRST TRIP IN ECUADOR HIGHLIGHTS BREADTH
OF U.S. ECONOMIC AID

1. (U) Summary: On September 3-4, the Ambassador traveled to the
provinces of Tungurahua and Cotopaxi in central Ecuador. Ambassador
Hodges delivered her first speech in Ambato, the largest city in
Ecuador's central Sierra, and used several other events to showcase
the range of USG economic support for this region. The trip
attracted significant press coverage, and the Ambassador was warmly
received at every stop. End Summary.

2. (U) By choosing Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua, for her first
trip, the Ambassador emphasized U.S. connections to ordinary
Ecuadorians. The Ambassador's first public speech was before CEDET,
a national grouping of regional private-public development agencies
that seek, with USAID support, to create a positive business climate
in Ecuador. The press coverage noted the speech's focus on the
long-standing close relationship between the U.S. and Ecuador and
the breadth of ongoing cooperation.

3. (U) The Ambassador visited a series of projects in the region
supported by USAID and USDA's PL-480 program, accompanied by media
coverage to highlight the extent of U.S. support for regional
development projects. She also visited Ecuador's largest broccoli
exporter and a large flower farm, two labor-intensive businesses
that benefit under the Andean Trade Preferences Act and highlight
Ecuador's ability to develop new export products.

4. (U) Comment: In a quick visit to Ecuador's central Sierra
region, the Ambassador was able to highlight the breadth and depth
of our cooperation with Ecuador, the USG's ability to deliver
projects that help ordinary Ecuadorians throughout the country, and
the benefits of working with the private sector through trade-based
programs to create good jobs for Ecuadorians.

CHRITTON

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