High transport costs, import duty impeding trade: Ecuador envoy

February 14th, 2011 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 14 (IANS) Ecuador’s ambassador to India Carlos Abad Monday said the high transport costs and heavy import duties levied by India have been acting as hurdles in strengthening trade relations between the two countries.Speaking at an interactive session on Indo-Ecuador trade relations organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, the ambassador said: “We are eager to increase the trade volume with India, but shipping has been a problem. It is very costly.”

“The Pacific Rim countries of Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Peru annually trade about 2.5 billion USD with India. I think that’s large enough cargo to claim a fair transport price.”

“Are we trading for ourselves or for the shipping companies?” asked the ambassador.

Abad also said that the custom duties in India are ‘much too high’. “Since the opening of the Indian economy efforts have been made. But I think India needs to rethink on the subject of duties. My businessmen do not feel encouraged to enter Indian markets because of the high duties.”

The ambassador also pitched for exchange of commercial missions on a regular basis. “We need to understand our mutual business strategies. We need to have frequent business missions from both the countries.”

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