As a sign of the growing public and private cooperation between Ecuador and the State of Texas, Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States Nathalie Cely completed this week a successful two-day visit to the state. During her visit, she met with local business leaders, academics, students, media, and representatives from the Ecuadorian-American community to discuss priority issues between Ecuador and the Texas community, including trade, immigration, energy and investment.
Ambassador Cely’s visit began in Houston, where she joined Ecuadorian Consul Maria Teresa Mendoza in a meeting with members of the local Ecuadorian community to discuss current immigration issues of relevance to the community. She also met with senior representatives from Schlumburger, the world’s leading supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to customers working in the oil and gas industry worldwide, to discuss new investment opportunities in Ecuador. In Austin, Ambassador Cely met with senior representatives from the University of Texas at Austin, including its IC2 Institute, to explore cooperation in education, technology, and research. She also had the opportunity to meet with Ecuadorian students at the University of Texas at Austin as well as students who studied abroad in Ecuador. Finally, she participated in a conference at the University focused on US-Ecuador cooperation in the fields of business, investment, and natural resources.
“It is very satisfying to receive such a warm greeting from our many friends in Texas,” said Ambassador Cely. “I am pleased that the ties between our communities are progressing so quickly, and it is a symbol of the ways in which closer cooperation can benefit our people in both countries.”
A recent report released by the Embassy of Ecuador on US-Ecuador Bilateral Trade found that Ecuador-Texas trade grew at an annual 22% compound rate between 2009 and 2013, making Texas the second-largest state trading partner for Ecuador for both total and non-petroleum trade. As of 2014, Texas maintains a positive trade balance of over $1 billion in total trade and $746 million in non-petroleum trade with Ecuador.
“I am also honored to continue provide support to the Ecuadorian community in the US, especially those who continue to represent our country in our positive way,” Ambassador Cely added. “I am extremely proud of the Ecuadorian community in Texas, and we are working hard to offer more and better services to all Ecuadorians through our Consulates and offices across the country.”
During her visit, Ambassador Cely also met with local media from The Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle, and Univision Houston to discuss issues of bilateral importance.