BEIJING – The Consulate General of Ecuador in Guangzhou, southern China, gave Ecuadorian roses on Wednesday to all passengers of 50 China Southern flights to mark the International Women’s Day.
It is the second time that Ecuadorian representatives in China and the airline have teamed up to promote the flowers, described as iconic by Ecuadorian Consul General Mariella Molina, who added that the 2016 campaign was far more successful than expected.
In 2016, rose exports to China grew by 84.3 percent compared to the previous year, with Ecuador remaining the top exporter of fresh roses to the country.
The Latin American country dominates more than 65 percent of the Chinese market, followed by the Netherlands at 21.5 percent and Kenya at 6.59 percent.
This year more than 11,000 roses were brought in as part of the initiative called “An Ecuadorian Rose, Shines Your Journey beyond the Heights,” up from 3,800 in 2016.
Guangzhou airport, decorated with more than 2,000 Ecuadorian roses, hosted the launch event of the campaign during which Ecuadorian Ambassador to China Jose Maria Borja said that the roses, which can last up to 15 days in a vase, are the best in the world due to the unique climate conditions they grow in.
The diplomat said the flowers have also been used at high-profile events such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, Cannes and Beijing Film Festival.
Borja also took the opportunity to highlight the strong relations between Ecuador and China, which he said are currently at their peak following the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership in November.
In 2016, the value of rose exports from Ecuador to China reached $7.2 million, which is less than that of other major products from the Latin American country such as bananas, fish products and cocoa.
However, exports of the flowers have grown rapidly in recent years as four years ago Ecuador exported just $50,000 worth of roses, while in 2017 the value is expected to reach around $10 million, Molina said.
She added that the Ecuadorian rose is a product catering to the premium market as it can cost around $4.22 per fresh stem, a figure that can increase to $55.90 for preserved flowers.
The floral industry in Ecuador has a 34-year history and is one of the country’s main exports with customers in more than 110 countries.