Ecuador reaches oil agreement with China; Gov’t pledges to repay IESS debt; Crafts fair at the Artisans’ Plaza; Expat theater stages Broadway comedy
National oil company Petroecuador announced Friday it has reached an agreement with Chinese-owned Petrochina that will mean additional revenue for the government. Petroecuador said the agreement replaces, in part, an eight-year-old agreement signed by former president Rafael Correa requiring the government to sell oil to China at sub-market prices.
According to Petroecuador, the new deal will deliver $709 million to the treasury over the next nine months.
“The agreement we reached will generate more revenue and extend the delivery deadline of deliveries to China. It also means that Petroecuador will have additional oil to sell on the spot market,” Petroecuador said in a statement.
The government has been in negotiations with Petrochina since late 2021 to revise the oil sale formula agreed to in 2014. According to Petroecuador, the formula meant Ecuador received about 15% less than market prices for oil exports to China.
Government pledges to repay IESS debt
The government agreed Thursday to pay Ecuador’s Social Security Institute (IESS) an additional $140 million by the end of the year. The payment is in addition to $160 paid from January through August.
According to the IESS, the government owes the institute almost $7 billion, with almost $4.5 billion owed to the health system. The debt stems by a government decision in 2015 to end a 40% contribution to IESS.
“This government is recognizing its historical responsibilities to the workers of Ecuador. Unfortunately, previous administrations, through their indolence and poor management, failed to take this responsibility seriously,” said Finance Minister Pablo Arosemena, referring to the governments of former presidents Rafael Correa and Lenin Moreno. “We will continue a program to pay this debt despite financial hardships faced by the treasury.”
IESS board member Raul Iglesias said the lack of funds has had the biggest impact on the hospitals and health clinics operated by the institute. “We have no choice but to put a priority on paying pensions to our members but it is unfair that this comes at the expense of health services, which are suffering huge deficits.”
Crafts Fair Saturday at the Plaza del Portal Artesanal
The Cuenca Cultural Affairs and Economic Development offices are presenting a Crafts Marathon Saturday afternoon, September 17, at the Plaza del Portal Artesanal at Calle Simon Bolivar and Av. Huayna Capac. An exhibition and sale, the event features crafts from Azuay and nearby provinces, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing until 8 p.m.
For more information, see the Facebook page.
Expat theater presents a Broadway comedy
Tickets for the Azuay Community Theater production of “It had to be you,” premiering September 23, are on sale at the ACT sales website, www.actseats.com. The play, a comedy written by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor and starring Cheryl McFarlane-Clark and Ray Lewis, will feature six performances beginning Friday, September 23 and continuing through Sunday, October 2, at the ACT theater on Av. Ordoñez Lasso.
For information, see the ACT Facebook page or write firstname.lastname@example.org.