In September 2023, the Embassy of Ecuador in The Hague hosted a spectacular series of activities in order to promote the economy, business and gastronomy of Ecuador. The week-long series of events, was a evidence to Ecuador’s rich culture, business potential, and gastronomic delights. His Excellency Ambassador Andres Teran Parral presided over these festivities, which included an Investors & Buyers Dinner and an enlightening presentation titled “Ecuador Open to Business” by Juan Carlos Yepez, Counsellor and Head of the Commercial Section at PRO ECUADOR.
The highlight of the week was the “Ecuador Open to Business” dinner, held on September 20, 2023. The event gathered more than 30 investors and importers from diverse sectors, ranging from well-known companies like Heineken, Nutreco, Holex, Sail Ventures, RVO, to representatives from the banking and finance sector, including FMO, CFC, ING, Rabobank, KVK, and NL in Business. Additionally, participants included importers of flowers, coffee, fruits, and vegetables, such as Trading Organic, Inti Harvest, Favorita BV, ILLIMANI, IFE Frozen Fruits, as well as notable representatives from the tourism sector, including Air Europe. Diplomatic staff, including the Consul and Honorary Consuls of Ecuador in The Hague, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, also graced the occasion.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the evening was the introduction of Ecuadorian wines, a hidden gem relatively unknown to many attendees. During the reception and dinner, three exceptional wines, Armonia (Cabernet Sauvignon), Paradoja (Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec) and the Enigma (Chardonnay) from Bodegas Dos Hemisferios, took center stage. Dos Hemisferios Winery, located in the town of San Miguel del Morro, Guayas, Ecuador, charmed everyone with its unique wines, influenced by the region’s radiant days, cool nights, chalky soil, and constant sea breeze. This revelation underscored the strong potential of Ecuador’s wine industry.
Ambassador Teran Parral, in his opening remarks, emphasized Ecuador’s commitment to deepening economic engagement with the Netherlands, highlighting the country’s open-for-business stance. He noted that the Netherlands had become Ecuador’s second-largest destination for exports, with $665 million dollars worth of products exported in 2022. He also announced upcoming negotiations for a double taxation treaty, which would further boost investments and service exports between the two nations.
Juan Carlos Yepez’s presentation, “Ecuador Open to Business,” provided a comprehensive overview of Ecuador’s economic landscape. He highlighted Ecuador’s advantages, including a dollarized economy, low inflation, tax incentives, infrastructure development, highly qualified human resources, and an impressively low inflation rate of 0.65%. Yepez outlined priority sectors for investment, such as agroindustry, aquaculture, the orange economy, IT services, tourism, energy, real estate, infrastructure, and transport.
However, the crowning moment of the celebration was the Investors & Buyers Dinner, where Ecuadorian chef David Reyes, hailing from Quito, showcased his culinary mastery. He crafted a sumptuous menu featuring authentic Ecuadorian dishes, allowing guests to savor the nation’s rich gastronomic heritage. The dinner was a gastronomic journey, characterized by warmth, abundance, and flavors that transported guests directly to Ecuador. The four-course dinner featured a range of succulent dishes, including appetizers like Corn with coriander sauce, Chifles (fried plantain chips) with avocado sauce, and Pork croquet with dried roasted corn sauce. It was followed by three types of ceviche, three main courses, and three delectable desserts, all accompanied by Ecuadorian coffee from Illimani.
Ecuador’s week of activities in The Hague, orchestrated by the Embassy of Ecuador, transcended mere diplomacy. It exemplified Ecuador’s openness to international collaboration and investment while showcasing its cultural richness, culinary excellence, and the potential of its emerging wine industry.
This event will undoubtedly be remembered as a memorable and fruitful gathering for all who had the privilege to participate, a true celebration of the Ecuadorian soul.