Friday, January 9, 2009

South-South Cooperation -- Ecuador seeks $280 million credit line from Iran

Ecuador is reaching out to its new buddy, Iran for a credit line of $280 million usd to finance pipeline and other oil-sector related projects according to what Mining and Oil Minister Derlis Palacios told the Dow Jones Newswires yesterday (click here for the article, provided via Rigzone).

Senor Palacios seems confident Ecuador will get the money too. Stating in a telephone interview "We are asking for a credit line of $280 million, especially to invest in our pipelines. We are sure that this money will come."

This is all very intriguing. I must admit Correa has done some good for Ecuador and my opinions on him have personally evolved over the years, and in a positive way. However, messing around with Iran on the heels of months of intense fighting with foreign companies and THEN causing hysteria with the country's bonds will definitely reverberate for years to come in the international community.

Yes, it is true Ecuador probably would probably have a hard time securing a loan from any normal western financial institution and that it has all the right in the world to look elsewhere. I just question the path Correa and the political big whigs in Ecuador think is best for the future of Ecuador.

If the political situation changes and new leadership seeks to pursue a different path, one less antagonistic of the international community perhaps, it will be a hard process of re-affirming confidence after all of it.

However, if the world was fair I think Ecuador should be able to go ask Iran for a loan if it wants. They are in the end both developing countries that could probably benefit from cooperating with one another. Sadly we don't live in a fair world, and considering the degree to which Ecuador is connected to the international financial system, I think it should have thought a bit more carefully about its foreign policy in the last year or so.