Interview with H.E. Mr. Hector Cueva Jacome, Ambassador of Ecuador to India

“The investment climate in Ecuador is characterized by the ease to do business and a legal framework that provides stability.”

How do you rate the present relations between India – Ecuador?

India and Ecuador enjoy a friendly and healthy relationship in various fronts. For instance, over the past few years we have strengthen the commercial ties between our countries. In 2015, we set up the India-Ecuador Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), in 2019 the two countries concluded the joint studies required to initiate the negotiations for signing a partial scope trade agreement. With regards to education, in 2019-2020 the Indian government granted more than 100 ITEC scholarships for Ecuadorian students and professionals. We have already started discussions for the signing of a treaty to avoid double taxation. The Government of Ecuador also has presence in Mumbai with a trade office that promotes Ecuador´s exportable offer and promotes investment projects in our country. Although we have made great progress in the last few years the scope for cooperation is still vast and both India and Ecuador are proactively working on strengthening the ties.

India is regarded as the growing technological superpower? What role can technology play to bridge the gap between India and Ecuador?

Information technologies is already contributing to strengthening the ties between India and Ecuador. Tata Consultancy Services and Mahindra Tech are already present in Ecuador. The Embassy along with the trade office are in the process of identifying potential investors for IT projects in Ecuador. Ecuador looks up to India as a global leader in the IT industry. We believe there is an interesting scope for cooperation between IT start-ups in Ecuador and India. The current times bring challenges that require responses in which information technologies play a critical role.

What trade opportunities do you think are available for both the nations to explore?

India and Ecuador have come a long way when it comes to trade. Crude oil is our main export to India; however, we have a few non-traditional products that have made their way to India.  Ecuador is now the top supplier of teak wood to the Indian market. Our country is also one of the top suppliers of cocoa beans to India. Preserved roses (roses that have a shelf life of 1 year), corozo blanks (eco-friendly intermediate material to make buttons), balsa wood (used for the blades of windmills) are some of the products that Ecuador is currently exporting to the India market. India’s exports to Ecuador are concentrated in vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastics. The potential of the bilateral trade is enormous and therefore we are looking forward to the signing of a partial scope trade agreement in the near future. The joint studies conducted by India and Ecuador identified that the signing of a trade agreement could signify an additional USD 2.5 billion in the bilateral trade.

What are the major sectors that offer investment opportunities in Ecuador?

Currently we have an investment portfolio that includes private projects in sectors such as agro industry, aquaculture, tourism, technology, among others. We also have projects available for public-private partnerships that include the construction of roads, hydroelectric power plants, etc. Along with our trade office in Mumbai we offer assistance to potential Indian investors, providing them with information on incentives, regulations and other relevant details. We also welcome projects that are initiative of the potential investors. The investment climate in Ecuador is characterized by the ease to do business and a legal framework that provides stability.

The link in order to access our investment portfolio is:

India is known for producing generic drugs to fight Covid-19 at a nominal medical cost. What can be done to explore this potential?

Indian companies are already exporting hydroxychloroquine to Ecuador. We have been closely working with the Government of India in order to get the permits to ship this product to Ecuador. It is important to mention that the Indian government donated XXX tablets of hydroxychloroquine to our government. We are looking forward to continue working in this front with both the Government of India and Indian pharmaceutical companies. India is playing a critical role in the global fight against Covid-19.

A word for the readers of Envoy Excellency?

Last year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Ecuador. Over these five decades we have strengthen our ties in various sectors. Although a lot has been achieved in the relationship between our countries there’s still an untapped potential that we need to explore and exploit. In Latin America, we associate technology and progress to countries such as US, European nations, Japan, South Korea. In our countries, there is a lack of information regarding what India can offer to the world.  IT, pharma, healthcare, agriculture are some of the sectors in which India is a global leader and can provide solutions to developing countries like Ecuador. The relationship between India and Ecuador has a promising future and we are committed to working to harness its full potential.



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