About Us India-Ecuador

Brief on India-Ecuador Bilateral Relations

Political Relations
India-Ecuador established diplomatic relations in 1969. The Embassy of India in Bogota is concurrently accredited to Ecuador. Initially, Ecuador opened its Embassy in New Delhi in 1973, which functioned till 1977. The Ecuadorian Embassy re-opened in February 2005 and a Consulate General in Mumbai was established in 2013. India and Ecuador signed MoU on Foreign Office Consultations in 2000. So far, four rounds of Foreign Office Consultations have been held between the two countries in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014. India has appointed Mr. Eduardo Dousdebes as Honorary Consul in Quito.

2. In April 2018, then EAM met the then Foreign Minister of Ecuador, Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa in Baku on the sidelines of the Mid-term Ministerial Conference of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). In September 2018, then EAM met the Ecuadorean Foreign Minister, Mr. Jose Samuel Valencia Amoreson the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Bilateral Visits
3. In August 2014, Ecuadorean Vice Foreign Minister, Mr. Leonardo Arizaga visited India for the tenth round of Foreign Office Consultations. From India, the last high level visit to Ecuador was by former Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen.( Retd.) V.K. Singh in May 2015. During the visit, MOS (VKS) met the then Foreign Minister of Ecuador and held discussions on issues of mutual interest. In May 2017, then Commerce Secretary visited Ecuador to participate in the first Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in Guayaquil. From Ecuador, the Ecuadorean Minister of Hydrocarbons, Mr. Carlos E. Pérez attended the 16th Ministerial Meeting organized by the International Energy Forum in New Delhi in April 2018. A list of other important bilateral visits is placed at Annexure I.

Agreements signed
4. Several Agreements/ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) have been signed between India and Ecuador for cooperation in the fields of defence, economic and commercial links, technical cooperation and culture.

5. A number of MOUs/Agreements are under consideration of both sides including the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP); Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA); MOU on cooperation in AYUSH; Technical cooperation; Information Technology and Information and Communication Technology (ICT); etc.

Multilateral Cooperation
6. Ecuador has been appreciative of India’s role in the UN and has supported UN reforms including reforms of the UN Security Council. Ecuador has expressed support for the permanent membership of India in the UNSC. At the IAEA, Ecuador supported India’s Safeguard Agreement in August 2008. Ecuador belongs to the G20 group with India in WTO.

Defence Cooperation
7. Our Defence Attaché in Embassy of India, Chile is concurrently accredited to Ecuador. In January 2018, Ecuador withdrew its Defence Attaché in its Embassy in Delhi.

8. In February 2007, the Ecuadorian Vice Chief, General Rodrigo Bohorquez, attended Aero India and Brigadier General Raúl Banderas Duenas attended the Defence Expo in February 2010. Colonel Luis Marcelo Altamirano Junqueira and Colonel Francisco Javier Narvaez attended the 53rd and 55th NDC course in India in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

Economic and Commercial relations
9. Under the MOU on Economic Cooperation (2013), a Protocol to establish a Joint Econmic and Trade Committee (JETCO) was concluded in 2015. In May 2017, at the first meeting of the JETCO, the two countries decided to conclude a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). The Joint Feasibility Studies for the PTA were concluded in July 2019. The Protocol on Joint Feasibility Study is expected to be signed soon to commence formal negotiations on the PTA was signed in New Delhi in October 2019.

10. From 2018, bilateral trade with Ecuador has started to pick up after experiencing a slump from 2015 due to global fall in oil prices, which adversely affected Ecuador’s economy. In 2018, India’s exports to Ecuador were US$ 305.95 million while India’s imports from Ecuador were US$ 221.72 million. The total volume of trade in calendar year 2018 was US$ 527.67 million.

India’s main export items to Ecuador: Vehicles, Iron and steel, plastics and related articles, pharmaceutical products, Aluminum and articles thereof, etc.

India’s main import items from Ecuador:Mineral fuels/oils, wood and articles of wood, cocoa and cocoa preparations, natural pearls & semiprecious stones, coffee etc.

11. A number of impediments have restricted the growth of bilateral trade including Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. These mainly affect Indian cotton exports. In addition to onerous documentation procedures for trade, implementation of the above-mentioned regulations have added to the transaction cost of doing business with Ecuador.

12. Several Indian companies are operating in Ecuador in the IT sector (Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra, etc); pharmaceutical sector (MSN Laboratories, CIPLA,etc); agrochemicals (UPL, Sharda Cropchem Limited, etc); automobiles and tractors (Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj, Mahindra, TVS, Sonalika, etc.)

13. India’s investment in Ecuador is estimated to be US$ 2.3 million, mainly in the construction, agriculture and trade sectors. Ecuadorian investment in India is insignificant.

Oil and Gas
14. On 9 December 2013, an MoU was signed between OVL and Ministry of Strategic Sectors (MICSE) of Ecuador. The MoU envisaged participation of ONGC Videsh in hydrocarbon sector of Ecuador based on technical data to be provided by MICSE regarding Ecuadorean blocks and basins. The MoU lapsed in 2015 and currently, OVL has no project in Ecuador.

15. In recent years, several Indian Export Promotion Councils have expressed interest in expanding business ties with Ecuador.There is growing demand for Indian pharmaceutical products and automobiles in Ecuador. Mining and oil and gas sector present opportunities though ease of doing business in Ecuador is an impediment. In September 2012, CHEMEXIL organized a Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) in Quito. In April 2013, a CII delegation accompanied then MOS (Commerce & Industry) to Ecuador and held meetings with their counterparts. In July 2013, a 26-member delegation from PHARMEXCIL visited Quito and participated in a BSM. In November 2015, an 11-member delegation from PLEXCONCIL visited Guayaquil and participated in the in the International Plastic Fair, IPLAS. In September 2016, the India Tourism Office (ITO) in New York participated in the FITE International Tourism Festival in Guayaquil and India participated in the International Artisan Fair in November 2016 in Cuenca. In May 2017, a 10-member PLEXCONCIL delegation visited Guayaquil and met their counterparts. In May 2017, a delegation of Indian companies led by FICCI, accompanied Commerce Secretary on her official visit to Ecuador. In August 2017, CAPEXIL organized a BSM in Quito. In February 2018, the Mission participated in a Trade Promotion event in Guayaquil, organized by the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, four “Make-in-India” trade and investment promotion events were organized in all the four major cities of Ecuador on 21 March at Guayaquil, on 27 November at Cuanca, on 30 November at 30 November and on 14 December at Manta.

Technical Cooperation
16. Ecuador values the ITEC slots allotted to them since 2002 and the utilization of these slots have been satisfactory. In 2007-08, at the request of Ecuador, a special IT course was conducted exclusively for 56 Ecuadorian nationals. In the current Financial Year viz., 2019-20, 40 ITEC slotshave been allocated to Ecuador. In 2018-19, utilization of ITEC slots exceeded the allocation (32 out of 30 slots allocated) and two additional slots were added. At the request of Ecuador to conduct a special training programme in Science and Innovation at the Indian Institute of Science for Vice Chancellors of 25 universities of the country is being organised in February 2020.

17. In June 2007, a Line of Credit (LOC) of US$ 50 million to Ecuador was announced by then MOS, Shri Anand Sharma. It has not been possible to utilize the LOC as Ecuador over the years for various reasons.

18. In August 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Center of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) was signed in Quito with the Institute of High National Studies (Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales; IAEN). The CEIT was established in the North Technical University [Universidad de Norte (UTN)], in the city of Ibarra. The CEIT-UTN became operational in May 2015. With the help of three C-DAC experts sent from India to train Ecuadorean nationals, the CEIT remained operational till April 2017 and trained 775 people.

19. On the request of Ecuador, India donated medicines, worth US $ 1 million through two separate donations in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Government of India donated 15 tonnes of medicines/equipment worth Rs. 1,61,29,957 to Ecuador in the wake of 16 April 2016 earthquake.

Culture
20. Indian culture, yoga and philosophy is very popular in Ecuador.Several Centres/schools impart training in yoga and Indian culture.India and Ecuador signed a Cultural Cooperation Agreement in 2006 and a Cultural Exchange Programme was signed for 2009-2011 in 2008 during the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration of Ecuador, Mrs. Maria Isabel Salvador Crespo. In 2017 and 2018, three Indian cultural troupes under the sponsorship of Ministry of Culture, GOI visited Ecuador and gave performances. A group of 3 Indian artisans is imparted training and exchanged handicrafts making experiences in August 2019 in Cuenca, Ecuador and on the local hospitality by CIDAP (Centro Interamericano de Artesanías y Artes Populares).

21. Over the last few years, the Mission has been receiving Grant-in-Aid from Ministry of Culture, which is being utilized for yoga, Gandhi@150 related events, etc. through groups and Association of Friends of India who are involved in the promotion of promoting Indian culture and heritage.

22. The Mission has been organizing International Day of Yoga in Ecuador in several cities(Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta etc.). Some of these events were organized by the Mission and also in association with yoga institutes and municipalities. Over 10,000 yoga enthusiasts participate in these events. International Yoga Days (IDY) have been celebrated with wide participation of local people. In 2018, there were 22 Yoga events and in 2019, 15 events were organized to mark the International Day of Yoga. During IDY 2019, events were organized in Guayaquil, Manta, Quito and Cuenca, which saw wide participation. There is scope for cooperation in traditional medicine in Ecudaor and interest in this regard has also been evinced by Ecuador.A draft MOU for cooperation in AYUSH is under consideration of Ecuador.

23. An Indian gastronomy festival was organized in Ecuador from 8-19 July 2015. On 25 June 2017, ‘India Day’ was organized in Quito by Indian spiritual and yoga associations in collaboration with the Mission. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of India´s Independence, in December 2017, cultural shows by “DivyaParivar”, a troupe sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, GOI, Delhi, were organized in Quito and Guayaquil. In November 2017, India participated in the International Week organized by the Municipality of Cuenca where India was the Guest Country.

24. On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi, Prof. Ravindra Kumar, a Gandhian scholar visited Guayaquil on 30 January 2018 and delivered a lecture on contemporary relevance of Gandhian teachings. A bust of Mahatma Gandhi is installed at ‘Plaza de Republica de la India’ in Quito. On 20 March 2018, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi provided by ICCR was inaugurated at the famous Malecon area in Guayaquil. As part of Gandhi@150 celebrations, an event on the theme of “Incredible India-The Land of Gandhi” was organized at Manta in December 2018. To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Nanak Jayanti function was organized at Quito, on 30 November 2018 in collaboration with the local Indian community.

Indian community
25. Ecuador has a growing Indian community numbering around 355 (300 NRIs and 55 PIOs). Most of the community members are working in the services sector. In the capital city Quito, TCS, has a sizeable number of Indians on its roll. Of late, several Indian nationals are engaged in the teak wood business and several Indian nationals are employed with these companies. Indian companies participate in the commercial events organized by the Embassy, local organisations and chambers of commerce. Indian restaurants have established in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. Mr. Xavier Ganesh, an Ecuadorian businessman in Guayaquil has opened an impressive Prabhupada meditation centre. Another such centre is being established in Quito.The Indian community gets together to organize cultural festivals such as Diwali. The Embassy organizes consular camps periodically to provide consular services in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca cities.

26. On 12 August 2019, Ecuador instituted the requirement of obtaining an Ecuadorian visa for nationals of eleven countries including India. Earlier, Indian nationals were granted visa on arrival by Ecuador.

27. The number of Ecuadorian visitors to India is steadily on the increase. In 2018, 1155 Ecuadorians visited India. Nearly 90 per cent of them availed the e-visa facility. Most Ecuadoreans visit India for spiritual tourism. In the last three years, the number of visas issued by the Mission are as follow:

Year

Visas issued by Mission

e-Visas

2017

238

828

2018

130

1158

2019

126

1342

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February 2020

Annexure I
Important visits from India

Sl no.

Date

Visit by

April 2013

Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Smt. D. Purandeswari visited Ecuador

May 2011

Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri. E. Ahamed visited Ecuador for Foreign Office Consultations. During his visit, he met Vice President Lenin Moreno

June 2007

Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri Anand Sharma, visited Ecuador and met President Rafael Correa and Foreign Minister, Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa

June 2005

Smt. Shashi U. Tripathi, Secretary (West) visited Quito to undertake first round of Foreign office consulations

January 2003

Secretary (EAA) Shri Shashank attended the inauguration of ex-President Lucio Gutiérrez in Quito

Important visits from Ecuador

Sl no.

Date

Visit by

December 2013

Vice President Jorge Glas visited India along with Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration, Mr. Francisco Rivadeneira, Minister of Strategic sector Mr. Rafael Poveda, Minister of Industry Ramiro Gonsalez, Coordinating Minister of Production, Employment and CompetetivenessMr. Richard Espinosa. The visit coincided with CII India-LAC Conclave.

April 2012

Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration, Mr. Francisco Rivadeneira visited India

September 2009

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Integration, Ms. Maria Isabel Salvador Crespo visited India for the Doha Round meeting at the invitation of Minister of Commerce

November 2008

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Integration, Ms. Maria Isabel Salvador Crespo visited India

July 2008

Vice Foreign Minister visited Delhi for Foreign Office Consultations

April 2008

Vice Minister of Agriculture, Mr.XavierCevallos visited India

July 2006

Foreign Minister, Mr. Francisco Carrion Mena, visited India

January 2005

Minister of Energy and Mines of Ecuador, Mr. Eduardo Lopez, visited India and delivered the key-note speech at the PetroTech events organized by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas

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February 2020

Bilateral Relations