A diversifying Ecuadorian economy invites Indian investment in sectors beyond crude oil and teak wood

“Ecuador is a promising destination for Indian investors and it’s a gateway to Latin America. The present level of bilateral trade between India and Ecuador is insignificant at USD 716.97 million. But I am sure we would find opportunity to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between both the countries. Government of Ecuador is diversifying its economy from commodities to information technology, minerals and metals, shipyard, petrochemicals and so on. I welcome Indian investors to invest in these sectors and I assure them a stable regulatory regime, fiscal incentives, easy availability of credit and a stable political atmosphere,” said Mr. Mentor Villagomez, Ambassador, Embassy of Ecuador in India at an interactive meeting on ‘Doing Business with Ecuador – The Gateway to Latin America’. The meeting was organized jointly by World Trade Center Mumbai, All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Government of the Republic of Ecuador.

Recently, Ecuador signed a free trade agreement with European Union and hence it can also serve as a gateway for Indian companies to European countries. In the last seven years, the Government of Ecuador has invested heavily in education, healthcare and infrastructure as part of its broader diversification strategy. Ecuador is transforming into a knowledge-based economy with considerable investment in education, Mr. Villagomez added. Ecuador has competitive edge in the export of flowers, panama hat, wood, aquaculture (especially shrimp and tuna), coffee, coco beans, palm hearts and processed foods, he pointed out.

Highlighting the strengths of the Indian economy, Mr. Hector Cueva Jacome, Consul General, Consulate General of Ecuador in Mumbai said Ecuador stands to benefit from transfer of knowledge and technical know-how from India. India has advanced technologies in agriculture, information and communication technology and so on.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai remarked, ”There is tremendous opportunity for economic co-operation between India and Ecuador. WTC Mumbai would set up a special cell to promote bilateral trade and investment among Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and India. The Indian government’s Make in India campaign, along with other ambitious initiatives such as Digital India, Skill India offer tremendous opportunity for collaboration between both the countries. Moreover, in recent years, Latin America has emerged as India’s focus country for doing business. I suggest all the Ambassadors of the Latin American countries to have a joint conclave to discuss trade and investment co-operation with India. I expect the shipping and logistics cost for transport of goods between India and Latin America to fall as bilateral trade volume increases.”

In his vote of thanks, Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai said, “WTC Mumbai is delighted to receive the Ambassador and Consul General of Ecuador and hear them make presentation on their country. Ecuador is a fascinating country, blessed with pristine beauty. Agriculture, tourism, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals are some of the dominant sectors in the country. Ecuador is the first country to implement legislation on ‘Right to Nature’. Quito, the capital of Ecuador is a planned city with heritage value. The country has a stable political regime, with US dollar as domestic currency. There is lot of opportunity for collaboration in film, music and other entertainment sector. We are committed to support the initiatives of your embassy to promote bilateral trade and investment.”

Dr. Patrico Garces, Head of Political and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Ecuador in India, Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center, Mumbai, Mr. Hector Cueva Jacome, Consul General, Consulate General of Ecuador in Mumbai, H. E. Mr. Mentor Villagomez, Ambassador, Embassy of Ecuador in India, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center, Mumbai, Y. R. Warekar, Executive Director, World Trade Center, Mumbai.