Are you disappointed that the expensive bunch of roses you bought for your wife withered away in no time? Take heart, soon you will get roses from Ecuador that can last four-five years!

The Latin American country, which is the size of Maharashtra, is known for its big bud roses grown at high altitudes. And, happily, India has approved their imports.

Not content just saying it with roses, the Latin American nation is keen on bilateral trade with India and hopes to close a Partial Scope Trade Agreement (PTA), which is expected to trigger fresh investments and boost trade flows.

Speaking to BusinessLine , Cristina Chiriboga Tejada, Trade Officer, Consulate of Ecuador, said: “Ecuador has been a top supplier of teak wood and oil to India apart from cocoa beans and a few other items. We expect this list to expand with approval likely for Balsa wood and a few other items.”

The long-lasting roses cultivated and preserved in Ecuador can be exported to India with the Ministry of Agriculture excluding it from plant quarantine.

This has enthused traders who expect to offer them later this year, said Tejada.

No water or sunlight

Once through the preservation process, these roses do not require water or sunlight, and retain their form for at least one year and under optimal conditions even up to five years. Traders are keen to import and market them, she explained.

These roses are grown at altitudes of 2,500 metres above sea level or higher, leading to larger blooms and longer stems than those from other parts of the world. They are picked at peak bloom, freeze-dried and pigmented and are available in a variety of colours. One such customisation has resulted in a rose that looks like the Indian tri-colour, she said.

“After various approvals, teak wood from Ecuador has gained acceptance in India. We are also in the process of securing approvals for Balsa wood, grown in South American rain forest, which is light and strong, she said.

Referring to hand-woven Toquilla Straw Hats, globally popular as Panama hats, she said this has been now customised for India and offered in Mumbai. It will soon be sold across the country.

Oil collaboration

Referring to the huge potential for collaboration in the oil sector, Cristina said: “There has been a growing interest in investments into Ecuador from ONGC Videsh, HPCL, IOCL, Reliance, among others. Likewise there are a number of pharma companies showing interest in setting up units in Ecuador, she said.

On Corozo, or vegetable ivory, a raw material used to make buttons, she said that “a lot of manufacturers import this material to make buttons and even Raymonds uses this material.”