Financial Express - 07 May 2019
First round of negotiations for the India-Ecuador Free Trade Agreement to take place soon
The first round of India-Ecuador Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which will reduce and/or eliminate customs duties on certain items traded between the two is scheduled to take place soon. This assumes significance as the region holds great potential for exports and investments. Senior government officials have confirmed to Financial Express Online that the feasibility study related to the India-Ecuador FTA is completed and the date and place of the first round of negotiations will be decided once the new government is in office.
The respective investment promotion agencies of the two countries are already promoting greater exchange of information on investment and business opportunities in both countries.
Last June, The Financial Express was the first to report that India had initiated a joint study with Ecuador for negotiating a trade agreement for boosting commercial ties and signing an FTA. Also, it may be noted that a protocol was signed in 2015 for setting up India-Ecuador Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) for deepening and strengthening the existing trade relationship between the two countries.
In an effort to expand its trade basket with India, the South American nation has reached out to India for setting up a Centre for Excellency in Agriculture. In an earlier interaction with Financial Express Online, Ecuador’s envoy to India Hector Cueva Jacome had said that his country offers privileged location, extended production diversity, great potential in agri-business, fishery, aquaculture, forestry, mining, tourism. Besides favorable legislation on foreign investment, the government of that country offered preferentially commercial access to different markets.
There are huge opportunities for Indian companies in the oil sector, pharmaceuticals and gold, and silver. The government of the South America nation has recently started exported long-lasting roses and environment-friendly products for the Indian garment industry. So far, 99% of the teakwood used in India comes from that country. Agricultural products including canned tuna fish, prawns, and sardines, broccoli and asparagus are some products that can be imported from that country.