Ecuador interested in PTA with India, Colombia seeks co-op in agri and food processing sectors
The Dollar Business Bureau
Commerce Secretary, Rita Teaotia had led an official and a business delegation to Ecuador and Colombia from 16th to 19th May.
The Commerce Secy’s visit to Ecuador could in many ways reveal India’s keenness to further its interests in the country. The Indian side had representatives from Pharma, IT, Auto, Mining & Construction, Bio Fuels, Agro-Chemicals, Iron & Steel and Textiles and representatives from FICCI accompanying the Secretary.
Ecuador though a tiny country holds many promises through its natural resources. It has gold reserves of 2,25,000 tons, silver reserves of 12,500 tons and as per an OPEC official release, its total share of OPEC production in crude is 1.7% and as per Jan 2017 stats, has produced 536.00K barrels of crude per day. India’s total exports to Ecuador during 2016-17 Apr-Feb period stood at $244,801.55 with total imports during the same period touching $340,902.16
Teaotia held bilateral meetings with Minister of Commerce of Ecuador, Juan Carlos Cassinelli and discussed bilateral trade and investment relations. A meeting with the industry representatives of both sides was also held which was attended by the Ecuadorian Commerce Secretary and Mr. Juan Carlos. From the Ecuador side, Pro Ecuador and their business representatives participated in the meeting.
Teaotia also co-chaired the First Meeting of the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO). It was agreed during the meeting that both the countries would boost their bilateral relations to promote a growing and balanced trade in potential sectors. It was during this meeting that Ecuador conveyed its interest in initiating the process of negotiations for a Preferential Trade Agreement to strengthen their relationship for mutual benefit.
Both sides also agreed to deepen the cooperation between their respective investment promotion agencies to promote a greater exchange of information on investment and business opportunities in both countries.
In Colombia, the Commerce Secy held a bilateral meeting with Francisco Echeverri Lara, Vice–Minister Multilateral Affairs, at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bogota and discussed on bilateral trade and investment relations.
Both sides expressed their commitment to explore different areas to work jointly aiming at sectors of mutual interest benefitting the current economic situations of both countries. Sectors like telecommunication, infrastructure development, metals, hydrocarbons, information technology & industrial technology, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology products, chemicals, textiles, two wheelers, automobiles & auto-parts, mining of coal, gems & jewellery, minerals, machineries, non-conventional energy, etc. have great promise for developing commercial relations between the two countries.
India’s bilateral trade with Colombia stood at $1695.89 million with exports touching $888.11 million and imports at $807.79 million during 2015-16.
As Colombia is exploring to diversify its export basket the country seeks cooperation in Agriculture and Food Processing sectors. Major export commodities of Colombia include petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas and apparel.