Dominica and Ecuador have signed a new visa waiver agreement allowing for holders of all passport types to enter Ecuador without a visa.
The signing ceremony took place on Thursday between Foreign Minister, Francine Baron and Ambassador of Ecuador to Dominica, His Excellency Dr. Galo Yepez Holguin.
Baron, who spoke at the signing ceremony, said there was already a visa waiver arrangement for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
“This agreement will allow for all of our citizens, both the holders of ordinary, diplomatic and official passports to be able to travel to our respective countries without the need for there to be a visa,” she said.
She stated that Dominica is pleased in solidifying relations with Ecuador.
“We are happy that we will be signing this agreement today which will assist and facilitate the flow of people, between our two countries,” Baron stated and added that she believes that people-to-people contact is important.
Baron mentioned further that both countries are also looking into cooperation in agriculture.
“Of course we want to move forward with our cooperation in that area and we have discussed more recently with your Foreign Minister looking at the two demonstrations for ‘cut flower production’…,” Baron noted. “Ecuador has a very large and booming cut flower industry and I think there is much that Dominica can learn from your experience.”
She added, “We discussed the other engagements and other corporation projects with Ecuador in the area of Black Sigatoka management and also in the area of prone farming, and also in the areas of expanding our coffee and cocoa production.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister said that the government of Dominica was very happy to be able to accommodate the Ecuadorian students for the ‘Teach English Programme’ at the Dominica State College (DSC).
Thirty-five (35) students from Ecuador graduated from the programme in June 2016.
“We look forward to having a second batch of Ecuadorian students come to Dominica,” Baron stated.
“We have found that the programme has been useful, not only for them but for us as well to become acquainted with people from Ecuador to be acquainted with your culture, and I think that helps to solidify and strength the relationship between Dominica and Ecuador,” she said.
Meantime, Ambassador of Ecuador to Dominica, His Excellency Dr. Galo Yepez Holguin, said the relations between the two countries are growing and that is very important.
“Now is a very good opportunity to sign this agreement that is going to permit people from both countries to visit without any visa and that I think is going to help the people to the different countries to travel,” he stated.
Dominica established relations with Ecuador in 2009.