Chennai, (IANS) There is great opportunity to build a partnership between India, Latin American and Caribbean countries based on their political, economic and cultural strengths, said speakers at a seminar here Tuesday.
Speaking at a seminar on “India and Latin America and Caribbean: Doing Business in Emerging Markets” organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Javier Paulinich, ambassador of Peru and chairman of grouping of Latin American and Caribbean Ambassadors, said: “It is our duty as ambassadors to spread the opportunities of a region that offers to India.”
He said Latin American countries need Indian goods and technology while offering one of the most favourable economic investment environment and diversified good quality goods.
According to Paulinich, asymmetry in investment flows between India and Latin American countries could be improved by diversification of trade, opening of markets and removing trade barriers through trade agreements and increased commercial and business meetings.
Other measures could include more proactive trade and investment polices and creating regional business alliances linking businessmen and the people of both the regions, he suggested.
According to him, food security, raw materials, sustained economic growth, common values and similarity of socio-economic challenges were the four essential characteristics between Latin America and the Caribbean and India regions.
About food security, Paulinich said India needed great amount of food and Latin American region had large fertile territory and water resources and the region was top exporters of many food items like edible oils and several fruits.
In raw materials, Latin American countries have a huge mineral resources like 40 percent of world’s copper, 45 percent of silver reserves, larger iron ore and gold mines, besides the huge hydrocarbon reserves.
M Ganapathi, secretary (West), in India’s foreign ministry, said that the India-Latin America trade was only $25 billion, just one per cent of the trade of the region.
India’s investment in the region was only is $15 billion, while Latin America’s investment in India was not even $1 billion.
“We cannot be satisfied with that, we have to look at greater numbers. We should have greater engagement through mutual investment in both the regions,” he said.
The partnership could be in areas like food, energy, IT, entertainment and cinema, he said.
According to R.Viswanathan, former Indian ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, said the Latin American countries have achieved greater political stability and macro-economic resilience and there was a great opportunity for India both for investments and for import of energy, food and minerals.
Ambassadors of Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and minister counsellor (Commercial ProChile Trade Office of Chile) made presentations on their respective countries.