LatinNews Daily - 26 January 2022

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In brief: Ecuador’s Lasso to prioritise FTA and debt negotiations in China visit

* Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has said that during his visit to China from 4-5 February he will focus on securing a free trade agreement (FTA) and renegotiating Ecuador’s debt to the Asian giant. Lasso said that “the visit to China will be to negotiate a free trade agreement that consolidates markets for [Ecuadorean] shrimp, bananas, and dragon fruit.” Lasso has made an FTA with China an economic priority of his government, although he has faced some pushback from domestic manufacturers – particularly the textile sector – that fear an influx of cheap Chinese goods. Lasso also said he would seek to renegotiate Ecuador’s debt to China, which he said amounts to US$4.6bn, in order to separate oil from the debt payments so that this product can be freely available to the government.”

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