QUITO — Reactivating the economy is key to Ecuador’s post-pandemic recovery, and China’s support is vital, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Lasso, who is set to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing during his four-day visit on Feb. 3-6 to China, said that he was “very honored and thrilled” to participate in the celebration, which he predicted will be “exemplary” given China’s knack for organizing large-scale events.
The Beijing Winter Olympics will mark the first time an Ecuadorian female Olympian takes part in a Winter Olympic competition as Sarah Escobar will be on stage in the women’s giant slalom, and Lasso wished her the greatest success.
Lasso said he has been looking forward to visiting China. This will be Lasso’s first official visit to China after taking office in May 2021, though he had traveled there as a tourist in 1994.
Noting that he was “very impressed by that dynamic Chinese growth and development,” he said that today he continues to marvel at “China’s thriving development based on this model of openness towards investment and towards the world.”
Expecting to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said Ecuador shares Xi’s vision of promoting people’s well-being.
As regards bilateral trade and investment, Lasso said, “there is a chance that Ecuador will increase its exports to China and there is a chance that Chinese investment will increase in Ecuador. There is no doubt that it will only lead to deepening ties between the Chinese and the Ecuadorian people.”
Referring to China’s support for Ecuador’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, he said his country appreciates China’s supply of equipment, medicine and vaccines, adding that more than 60 percent of COVID-19 vaccines in Ecuador were provided by China.
The vaccines “allowed us to vaccinate about 82 percent of Ecuadorians with both doses, thus protecting us from the new Delta and Omicron variants,” Lasso said.
Saying “Happy New Year” in Chinese, Lasso extended congratulations and best wishes to the Chinese people, and wish the New Year — the Year of the Tiger, a symbol of strength, courage, and an end to misfortune — brings China peace, well-being, health, happiness and prosperity.