Ecuador
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Gutierrez meets with Argentine companies

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Ecuador's President Lucio Gutierrez and finance minister Mauricio Pozo met with officials representing Argentine companies Techint, Repsol-YPF and Compania General de Combustibles (CGC) in Buenos Aires on Monday, Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported. The meetings were held while Gutierrez was in Argentina, along with other Latin American leaders, to meet with Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner, who took office on Monday. Repsol-YPF proposed new investment projects in Ecuador, Pozo said, without giving details, while the CGC officials complained about its problems with indigenous groups in block 23, in Ecuador's Amazon region. CGC was recently forced to halt exploration work on the block after indigenous groups kidnapped workers and threatened further violence if the work continued. Techint officials, for their part, did not disclose the subject of their meeting with Gutierrez. Techint is the main construction firm in Ecuador's OCP heavy crude pipeline, which is about 97% complete and is scheduled to start up by October despite opposition from environmental groups who say the pipeline endangers sensitive ecological areas.

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