Ecuador insists in Mercosur interest, but admits it will be a long process
Ecuador has reiterated its intention of joining Mercosur but this needs to be compatible with the rules from the Community of Andean Nations, CAN, (to which it now belongs) said Ecuadorean ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja.
“Ecuador says yes, we’re interested in becoming part of Mercosur but it is not simple, we have many questions that need replies such as making CAN and Mercosur compatible” in many fields mainly trade said the Ecuadorean official quoted by the government news agency Agencia Brasil on Sunday.
The first step was accomplished last December during the Mercosur summit in Montevideo when President Rafael Correa expressed his wish to become full member to his peers from Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Fernandez from Argentina, Jose Mujica from Uruguay and then Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo.
The Ecuadorian ambassador said that the administration of President Rafael Correa is working to become the sixth full member of Mercosur but also cautioned that because of the (small) size of its economy it will need a “different” treatment and adaptation period.
Agencia Brasil says that President Correa has instructed his ambassadors to put special emphasis in negotiations for the incorporation to Mercosur precisely in the midst of the controversy with the UK over the political asylum extended to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Ecuador is currently an associate member.
To that effect the Brazilian minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Patriota, last Friday said that “we express our solidarity with Ecuador when what is at stake is the inviolability of diplomatic legations premised overseas.
The Ecuadorean economy depends heavily on oil, with a daily production in the range of half a million barrels. Other exports include bananas, shrimp, coffee, cocoa, cut flowers and fish The country GDP, nominal, stands at 70 billion dollars (and 15 million population) with a per capita income of 4.250 dollars. Ecuador is an active member of OPEC.
In the event of joining Mercosur together with Paraguay it would become a very vulnerable economy and will need a sustained period of transition.