Venezuela, Ecuador Strengthen Bilateral Links with New Accords
Caracas, May 15 (RHC) -- Venezuela and Ecuador further strengthened their economic and political relations Tuesday with the signing of four bilateral agreements at the end of a working meeting of government delegations.
Chaired by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and his counterpart from Ecuador, Ricardo Patiño, ministers and senior officials from both countries met in the headquarters of Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry in Caracas to discuss the progress of bilateral cooperation in the energy, trade and cultural sectors.
As a result of these negotiations, both sides signed two agreements on energy cooperation; one of them to supply Venezuelan oil to Ecuador’s state-run oil company Petroecuador, in compliance with a 2007 agreement on the exchange of crude oil signed by Presidents Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa. The second accord involves the supply of oil to the Eloy Alfaro Refinery, which is expected to be the largest petrochemical complex in South America and is run by Petroecuador and Venezuela’s oil giant PDVSA.
Also on Tuesday, Ecuador and Venezuela signed two agreements to broaden and strengthen customs cooperation between the tax systems of the two countries.
In declarations to the local media after signing the agreements, Minister Patiño said he was very pleased with the results achieved during the meeting. He also highlighted the increasing use of the SUCRE (Unified System for Regional Compensation) regional currency in commercial exchanges between Caracas and Quito.
Meanwhile, Minister Maduro announced that Tuesday’s meeting also agreed to advance the construction of a gas pipeline linking Venezuela with Ecuador, which would go through Colombia. The Venezuelan official said this issue will be addressed during the South American Energy Council meeting, slated for May 18th in Caracas.