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Ecuador Congress ends bilateral pacts with France, Sweden

Down Jones Newswire 17.03.2011

Ecuador Congress ends bilateral pacts with France, Sweden

By Mercedes Alvaro

QUITO -(Dow Jones)- Ecuador’s National Assembly has approved a request by President Rafael Correa to end bilateral investment-promotion and protection agreements with France and Sweden.

National Assembly member Linda Machuca told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday that the lawmakers made the decision Tuesday.

According the Correa administration, bilateral investment-promotion and protection agreements are against the country’s Constitution that was approved in 2008. That constitution prohibits international treaties or legal instruments that allow the transfer of sovereign jurisdiction to international bodies when disputes over contracts or investments arise.

Correa is expected to sign the treaty cancellations and communicate the decision to the countries involved.

In a news release, the Embassy of France in Quito said Wednesday that the assembly’s decision doesn’t contribute to create a climate of confidence nor strengthen economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Last year, Ecuador’s assembly approved ending bilateral agreements with Germany, the U.K. and Northern Ireland.

Machuca also said the assembly has begun the process of ending bilateral agreements with Chile and in the coming days will begin the process for Venezuela.

According Machuca, about 20 bilateral agreements should be terminated.

Critics of the left-leaning Correa administration say that the Andean country doesn’t offer legal protection to ensure investments.

 source: Dow Jones