New Delhi, Nov 17 : India and Ecuador signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Agricultural Research and Education and Cultural Exchange Programme for 2009-11 here today.
The agreement was signed by the officials of the two countries in the presence of visiting Ecuador Minister of Foreign Affairs Trade and Integration Maria Isabel Salvador and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi today.
Ecuador Minister Salvador is on a two-day visit to India.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the signing of the MoU. While Agricultural Research and Education agreement would facilitate interaction between agricultural scientists and research institutions in key agricultural sectors, the Cultural Exchange Programme would strengthen cultural and people to people linkages between the two countries.
India expressed appreciation for the decision of Ecuador to purchase seven Advanced Light Helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It also welcomed the decision of Ecuador to appoint a Defence Attache in New Delhi.
Both sides agreed to actively pursue finalization of the MoU on defence cooperation, which is currently under consideration by both sides. In this context, they welcomed the proposed visit of the Defence Minister of Ecuador to India in February 2009 in response to the invitation received from the Indian side.
The two countries agreed that there is immense potential for strengthening cooperation in the Hydrocarbons and Energy sector including Non-Conventional Energy. Both sides agreed to promote and develop cooperation through exchange of experts and finalization of necessary agreements in hydrocarbons and mining for expediting operations by public and private sector entities in both countries.
Later in the day Salvador, is also expected to meet Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath.