Li: Two-way trade should be expanded to bring about balanced development
Premier Li Keqiang called for better alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with Ecuador's development strategies during a meeting with visiting Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Thursday in Beijing.
Li's statement came after China and Ecuador signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to work together on the Belt and Road.
All existing mechanisms for bilateral cooperation should be used to the utmost and the two countries should deepen exchanges in key areas, the premier said. Trade should be expanded using both market-based and international rules to bring about more balanced development, he said.
Li called on the South American country to provide a better business environment for Chinese companies when they make investments there.
Over the past 38 years since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, the two countries have consolidated political trust and have seen many achievements in their cooperation, Li said.
President Xi Jinping and Moreno had productive talks on Wednesday and designed a blueprint for the development of bilateral relations in the future, the premier said.
Moreno said the two countries respect and support each other. Ecuador firmly supports the one-China principle and is glad to see the enormous achievements China has made on its path of development. He extended his gratitude to China for its help in Ecuador's economic and social development.
The Ecuadorian president said his country is willing to work with China in building the Belt and Road and promoting pragmatic cooperation in diverse fields. Chinese companies are welcome to invest in Ecuador, and these investments will enjoy safe and reliable legal protections amid a good business environment, he added.
Moreno began a three-day state visit to China on Tuesday. On Thursday, he also met with Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
The two countries established diplomatic ties in January 1980. Relations were upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016. China is now Ecuador's second-largest trading partner.
Last year, bilateral trade hit $4.08 billion, an increase of 27.8 percent year-on-year, according to the Foreign Ministry. China exports machinery, automobiles, iron and steel to Ecuador while importing crude oil, bananas and aquaculture products from the South American country.