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Mariella Molina

Mariella Molina, the Ecuador Consul General in Guangzhou, has lived in Guangzhou for years. Born into a business family, she came to Guangzhou for trading after finishing her university degree in France. However, she had never contemplated residing in Guangzhou for such a long time. But she fell in love with her husband in Guangzhou, got married and later successfully applied for the position as Consul General of Ecuador in Guangzhou. In addition to introducing more and more tourists, students and business people to her mother country, she also has taken on the great task of promoting Ecuadorian roses to the south Chinese market.

At home in Guangzhou, Molina has witnessed the rapid development of cooperation between Latin American countries and China. Ecuador established its consulate general in Guangzhou in 2009, the first among the Latin American nations.

"As a Consul General, we cover many areas," she says. "The main thing is, I reenforce the relationship between Ecuador and south China and especially Guangdong province. Besides promoting our products, we are working very hard to export new products or increase the quantity as well as to attract direct investment from Chinese companies to Ecuador and to increase the number of Chinese tourists going to Ecuador."

She says, "Every time I see Guangzhou it impresses me a lot because they are rapidly developing. Not only is the city growing in infrastructure but also I find Guangzhou very special because it has many green areas, which is good for people, good for health and gives us fresh air. There has been a great change in Guangzhou people. When I first arrived, it was very difficult to find people who speak English, now it is very easy."

The Ecuadorian roses are not only sold freshly cut but are designed and packaged to become premium gifts, especially for lovers. Molina says, "The bowl-sized roses imported from Ecuador occupy the major share of the Chinese market in haute couture floral gift shops. By the end of 2014, Roseonly, an online premium floral dealer, opened its retail shop in Taikoo Hui, specializing in the selling of Ecuadorian roses."‍

Consulate General of Ecuador in Guangzhou attends the Guangzhou Travel Expo

Molina and consuls from other countries in Guangzhou and officials of Guangzhou government at the celebration of Ecuador National Day

To help more Cantonese appreciate Ecuadorian roses, the flower was made a special feature of the recent Ecuador National Day celebrations with the help of a famous local florist, Su Lisi. The florist incorporated a number of red roses into the spelling out of the word, "Ecuador," in huge letters, as the backdrop for the stage, which greatly impressed attendees.

Molina adds, "We both created the idea of decorating the celebration with roses that day. Ms. Su is a very good friend of mine and a very good professional in fl oral design. She has long experience creating this kind of decoration. Her professionalism and the high quality of Ecuadorian roses in this market were the perfect match to present to everybody on the national day."

What makes roses from Ecuador so special, though? Well, they have big heads and long stalks! Not only that, they last almost twice as long as other roses. How does Ecuador manage this? Molina explained: "This is thanks to the strategic location of Ecuador in the middle of the world close to the equator, which is the closest point to the sun. Thanks to the rich soil in the highlands where the temperature is 10 – 18 degrees centigrade, and to the strong sun, it is the perfect climate for the rose."

Ecuadorian roses

Molina says, "We have a wide variety of flowers, but the one that is being exported to China is the rose. Ecuadorian roses entered the Chinese market in 2010, with exports increasing over fivefold in the first six months of 2014 compared with a year ago. China has a vast market and everybody seems to like roses. I am very much enjoying promoting roses here in China. Cantonese are fond of flowers and cherish them. They are very open to the outside world. Ecuadorian roses are popular here. "

(By Richard Glauert)

Editor:Vita Lin
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