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From left to right: Daniela Muñoz, Manuel Echeverria Castro and Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee

Manuel Echeverria Castro, Ecuador’s trade commissioner for the southern United States, and Daniela Muñoz, the business development manager in an Ecuador trade development office, visited Port Manatee this week to discuss expanding ties between the port and the South American nation. Shipments to Port Manatee from Ecuador have included bananas and fertilizer; Echeverria suggested that the nation could also begin sending mangos and other fruit, shrimp, cocoa beans, hats and more. About 30 percent of Ecuador’s non-oil exports go to the United States, with approximately 40 percent of those products currently entering via South Florida ports on the Atlantic Ocean.

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