Ecuador feels `ill-treated’ in loan talks with China

December 2nd, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Quito, Dec 2 (EFE) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has said that during the course of negotiations with China to obtain financing for a hydroelectric dam, they “sometimes feel ill-treated”.
Ecuador is negotiating with China for a loan to finance 85 percent the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric dam but Correa says, “Regrettably, the negotiations have been very tough.”

“Sometimes we feel ill-treated by China, not even the International Monetary Fund treats us like this,” he said at a meeting with reporters upon his return to Ecuador after attending the Ibero-American Summit in Estoril, Portugal.

Correa said he wanted the talks for the loan to “finish up quickly” but said that if they do not bear fruit, Ecuador “will know how to find the funds to finance Coca Codo”.

Correa, a US-trained economist, said the Chinese representatives asked in the talks that Ecuador list “the inventory of assets” that it will put up “as a guarantee” for the loan and that “the Central Bank put up its assets as a guarantee”, which he called “outrageous things that are really humiliating for the country”.

Thus, he asked for an answer as to whether the two countries “are working as friendly countries in mutual cooperation or (as) rivals to make the pertinent decisions, because those funds can be obtained from another source (by) changing Ecuador’s international policy”.

Building the hydroelectric centre is considered to be the largest infrastructure project in Ecuador’s history and it is predicted to require an investment of about $2 billion, 85 percent of which is supposed to come in the form of a loan from China’s Export-Import Bank.

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