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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France continues to enjoy considerable cultural prestige in Ecuador, which still honours the memory of Charles-Marie de la Condamine, the 18th century French geographer and mathematician who chose the Quito region as the site for his work on measuring the length of a meridian arc at the equator. The ideals of the French Revolution played a vital role in the emancipation process in Latin America, a fact that also contributes to the sense of a close connection between the two countries. French is still spoken by the political and intellectual elites and by a small proportion of young people. The entire body of Ecuador’s civil law is based on the Napoleonic Code.

The two countries enjoy close cultural, scientific and technical relations (the prestigious Lycée Français La Condamine in Quito, founded in 1967, with a total of 1,178 pupils, 870 of them Ecuadorean nationals; five dynamic Alliance Française centres with a total of 7,200 students; the development of French teaching, 411 Ecuadorean students in France in 2010). The Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) has a team of 16 researchers in Quito (working on scientific research and cooperation on environmental issues such as volcanology and climate change). The French Institute for Andean studies (IFEA) based in Lima (Peru) also has a research station in Quito (10 researchers providing technical assistance in the field of autopsy).

A branch of the International Cooperation Delegation of the Ministry of the Interior, Overseas France, Local Authorities and Immigration (set up in 1976, the first of its kind in Latin America) provides technical and operational cooperation on justice and police matters. Negotiations are currently under way on a cooperation agreement on internal security. A framework agreement on tourism was signed in December 2006.

Updated on : 05.04.13

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