Aims to sign a Partial Trade Agreement with India by 2020
Quintessentially Indian by heart, H.E. Héctor Cueva Jácome, Ambassador of Ecuador to India praises India for its achievement in the field of medicines, claiming that the country can give Ecuador a ‘right to health’ being the biggest producer of generic medicines. Talking exclusively to TravelScapes, he claims that the India market is ideal for the much-required drive required to boost Ecuador’s inbound tourism
Post the recent association between India and Ecuador for turning towards the Ecuadorian environment-friendly products, in an effort to reduce India’s carbon footprint, accompanied by the introduction of Corozo — a 100 per cent biodegradable vegetable ivory harvested in Ecuador that Indian companies are now importing, Ecuador has observed plentiful of other opportunities in the Indian subcontinent. One of such scope is India’s high-yielding industry of medicine that has gradually spread its repute in the global market.
Jácome appreciated India’s achievement in the health sector especially in the production of generic medicines and said that India is a laboratory of the world that may further generate ‘survival tourism’ between the two countries. He mentions how medical tourism in India is of around USD six billion that can offer huge prospects to emerging countries like Ecuador. “In the next five years, if we get channelise our resources well we can make Ecuador the medical tourism hub of the world.” Followed by this new term ‘survival’ tourism, Jácome is hopeful to strengthen the bilateral bridge between the two nations.
“India has emerged as one of the most cost-effective destinations with trained manpower and innovative infrastructure for the medical tourism segment. Certainly, foreign nationals in need of complex treatment, surgeries and operations are progressively choosing India because of the country’s affordable, high-quality medical care,” explains Jácome. Expressing his aspiration towards providing every Ecuadorian with advanced medical assistance, the Ambassador informs, “While a Hepatitis C’s treatment in Ecuador costs around USD 45,000, the same in the United States is around USD 1.2 lacs and USD 4,500 in India. Pulmonary Fibrosis medication cost an Indian around USD 90, which can cost up to Ecuadorian dollars of 1000.”
He further says, “Ecuador can become the next hub for medical tourism, globally. For this, we need Indian technology, treatment and knowledge. India has the solution and Ecuador has the land to develop this new segment of tourism. The idea is to build a bridge between our governments through an agreement so that these medicines can reach Ecuador. He reveals that by next year, Ecuador plans to sign a Partial Trade Agreement (PTA) with the Indian government, through which the Ecuadorian government can expect more trade and medical facility exchanges with India. Talk for which is expected to begin from the month of August or September 2019.
Contributing approximately 15 per cent of Ecuador’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Ecuadorian tourism sector is progressively booming with an increasing number of Indian tourists, year-on-year. “Every ten out of 100 Indians that I meet have already visited Ecuador,” boasts Jácome and continues, “Tourism is becoming an important sector for our country and we hope to receive tourists not only from the US or Europe but from the farthest corners of the world including India. Owing to this, we need to develop new kind of tourism that would attract a bigger chunk of Indian tourists flying to the North and South Americas.”
With a range of beaches, mountains, jungles, forests, islands (the Galapagos Islands) adventure activities, sports and diverse gastronomical offerings, and offering a 90-day, no-visa entry to all Indian travellers, the Ambassador is confident of pushing more Indian travellers to visit Ecuador for a similar flavor of nature’s best, owing to the similarities in both the countries’ culture and natural landscapes.
He continues by informing that Indians can experience all the diverse offerings in Ecuador compacted in the shortest period of time, possibly within
10 to 15 days.
“We have got volcanoes along with hot spring waters that make Ecuador a hotspot destination while our historical and cultural inheritance makes us more attractive a destination. Other than the availability of food from across the world, our authentic cuisine is palatable for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indians.” Moreover, Jácome expresses his desire for a full-fledged Bollywood film to be shot in Ecuador in the near future and is keen on offering cash incentives to the adjoining fraternity along with a proposal of having cultural exchange tourism including English teachers visiting Ecuador.