The “año viejo” dummies for New Year’s Eve are burned, the firecrackers are finished and the champagne glasses have been put away. The New Year has begun! But let’s look back to 2016 one last time – what a remarkable year it was!
Sometimes, the years just go by unobtrusively, but this one I’ll remember for a long time. Because of Trump, Brexit and all the terrorist attacks everywhere. And because of the awful war that still continues in Syria. Maybe you also watched the “NOS Jaaroverzicht” on Dutch TV last week?
The report on Aleppo brought tears to my eyes. The little boy in the ambulance, all those useless bombings. Horrific. But NOS captured it so well. Just like the Channel 4 video about the flower seller of Aleppo, mentioned in this magazine earlier in the year. It really gets you goosebumps. Ecuador is totally different in that respect. News reports are all about sensation here – the more blood and violence, the better.
And there was plenty of important news closer to home of course: the earthquake, the Colombian government’s peace deal with FARC and let’s not forget the Panama Papers. The lists contained quite a few Ecuadorian businesses, including many nurseries.
While investigations are still ongoing, the first tax evaders and corruption scams are being revealed. Several political leaders as well as some of the state oil company’s directors seem to be involved. With parliamentary elections coming up in February, this will surely lead to some fireworks.
Another important event for Ecuador was the signing of the free trade agreement with Europe, which means that our flowers can still be imported in Europe duty free in the coming year. And the reverse now applies to Scottish whisky and Belgian beers. Great news, isn’t it? May the Duvel and Westmalle beers appear on the shelves here soon!
I’d like to wish you a flourishing 2017, filled with new challenges. And may all your goals for this new year be exceeded!
Victor van Dijk,
Area manager South America, FleuraMetz