German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed Wednesday an appeal from Ecuador to be admitted to an existing free trade agreement between the European Union and Latin American nations.
"The agreement that has already been reached with Colombia and Peru came up," she said after talks with visiting Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.
"Ecuador has made clear again that it has a great interest in joining the group of countries in this agreement. I have said for my part that I will speak to the European Commission to maybe give some impetus for negotiations," she said.
Correa lobbied for investment in his country, which has the highest growth rate in Latin America.
"We have a great dynamic. These are good times to invest in our country," he said.
Merkel noted that she saw good growth possibilities for German investment in tourism and renewable energy in Ecuador, adding that there had to be a "stable, legal framework" to safeguard such projects.
Correa said he and Merkel had discussed "in general" an EU-Ecuador agreement on protecting business investments.
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