Visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Friday discussed ways to advance trade and economic relations between the two countries. During a meeting with Correa, Chen, who arrived here late Thursday, said his visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of trade and economy, as well as expanding Ecuador's exports to China. Correa said Ecuador-China relations have developed steadily in recent years, with their trade and economic cooperation continuously deepening. Ecuador welcomes China's investment and hopes to increase exports, mainly agricultural products and food, to the Asian country. Also on Friday, Chen and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation. According to figures released by the General Administration of Customs of China, the total value of China's trade with Ecuador reached nearly 2.27 billion U.S. dollars in July 2012, a 57.3 percent increase year on year.