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Cablegate: Fox Visit Promotes Trade, Investment, &

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS QUITO 003102

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EC
SUBJECT: FOX VISIT PROMOTES TRADE, INVESTMENT, &
COOPERATION WITH ECUADOR

REF: QUITO 2399

1. Summary: In a brief visit to Quito on November 22-23,
Mexican President Vicente Fox sought increased bilateral
investment and trade. Presidents Fox and Gutierrez discussed
issues of bilateral interest, including commitments to
facilitate visa issuance, negotiate an extradition treaty,
improve justice administration, offer Mexican technical
training for energy, oil, and tourism, seek Ecuador's
inclusion in the G-3 and swap support for candidates to
multilateral organizations. Mexico's Oil Institute made a
commitment to help Ecuador form a similar institution, and
Ecuador pledged to support observer status for Mexico in the
Community of Andean Nations. End Summary.

FOCUS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
-----------------------------

2. According to Mexican Ambassador Alma Patricia Soria,
President Fox's primary goal was to promote investment and
trade between both nations. Ambassador Soria described great
potential in joint ventures between Mexican and Ecuadorian
enterprises in the textile, footwear, leather, flowers and
livestock sectors. Bilateral trade between the two countries
totaled $185 million with a negative balance for Ecuador in
2003. On the investment front, Mexican investments in
Ecuador total $800 million, in areas such as
telecommunications, industrial products, highway
administration, and over 100 small industry investments.

ENERGY AND OTHER COOPERATION
----------------------------

3. President Gutierrez confirmed publicly that a memorandum
of understanding and cooperation on energy was signed during
the visit. The Mexican Institute of Oil will support the
creation of a similar agency in Ecuador. Mexico and Ecuador
agreed to coordinate strategies for the international
marketing of hydrocarbons and their derivatives, in addition
to designing mechanisms to formulate and negotiate work and
services contracts in the oil industry.

4. Other issues discussed include technical cooperation for
the implementation of 14 projects presented by Ecuador to
Mexico, and technical training on energy, oil, and tourism.
President Fox also announced 25 fellowships to Ecuadorian
students to continue their university and graduate studies in
computer engineering and tourism.

RECIPROCAL SUPPORT IN INTERNATIONAL FORA
----------------------------------------

5. Mexico reportedly sought and obtained GoE support to
become an observer in the Community of Andean Nations (CAN).
President of Congress Guillermo Landazuri expressed support
for Mexican observer status in the CAN at a Congressional
event honoring Fox. Fox's visit also included an invitation
for Ecuador to enter the G-3 Free Trade Agreement
(Mexico-Colombia-Venezuela Group) to which Panama was
recently added. The G-3 is a trade and cooperation agreement
which seeks to abolish trade barriers. The GoE also sought
support for Ecuadorian candidates for various multilateral
fora.

MFA PUSHES EXTRADITION AND MIGRATION ISSUES
-------------------------------------------

6. The Ecuadorian MFA's bilateral affairs undersecretary,
Roberto Bentancourt, told the press that Ecuador had proposed
an extradition treaty to fight against organized crime and
corruption. Mexico agreed to coordinate efforts on this
matter. According to other MFA officials, President Fox
agreed to the GoE's request to streamline visa procedures for
Ecuadorians wanting to travel or reside in Mexico.

COMMENT
-------

7. Fox's pro-FTA commentary during the visit may help reduce
Ecuadorian skepticism about free trade. His public discourse
provided a welcome counter balance to that of recent
high-profile visitors, such as Brazilian President Lula da
Silva (reftel).
KENNEY

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