PR No – 33
8th February, 2024
Despite the existing trade relations between India and the LAC countries, their full potential is yet to be achieved; Mr. Rajesh Agrawal IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GOI
PHDCCI organised the Conference on India’s Trade Opportunities with Latin American Countries: A Future Perspective for investment destinations on 7th Feb 2024.
Mr. Rajesh Agrawal IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GOI emphasized that despite the existing trade relations between the two regions, their full potential has yet to be realized. He acknowledged various challenges such as language barriers, geographical distance, and logistical issues, emphasizing the need for improved connectivity. He expressed surprise at the absence of FTAs with the LAC region and advocated for a focus on new FTAs with both the LAC and African regions.
Additionally, Mr. Agrawal mentioned hearing from industry stakeholders about non-trade issues and technical regulations that provide competitive advantages to other nations, thereby discouraging trade. He appealed to ambassadors to address these challenges.
He further added that to better leverage opportunities and collaborate effectively, attention should be given to, firstly, recognizing the significant role of the LAC region in the global energy transition, particularly in supplying critical minerals required for it. Then, leveraging the land or agricultural potential of the LAC regions to address rising consumption needs of India and enhance food and agricultural resources. Lastly, capitalizing on India’s vast market opportunities, particularly in services such as IT, business, and healthcare, which could lead to expanded trade with the LAC region. Given India’s mobility and large diaspora, there is immense potential for collaboration in these areas.
Furthermore, referring to today’s interconnected world, he mentioned that their department is actively upgrading a Trade connect portal to facilitate communication and access to information. This portal aims to bring all stakeholders on board to address grievances and document issues, ensuring greater accountability and transparency in trade relations,he concluded.
H.E. Mr. Juan Rolando Angulo Monsalve, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Chile in India said enhancing economic ties between India and the LAC region is imperative for deeper integration and mutual growth. We must capitalize on our traditional ties and explore new avenues of cooperation in areas such as clean energy, infrastructure, IT, and healthcare. By leveraging our bilateral partnership and increasing trade and investment flows, we can unlock the full potential of our markets and foster a sustainable and prosperous future for both regions.
H.E. Mr. Federico Salas Lotfe, Ambassador, Extraordinary Plenipotentiary Embassy of Mexico, emphasized the numerous opportunities across diverse sectors in LAC and stressed the importance of leveraging these opportunities. He urged for an elevation of trade figures and emphasized the need for economic relations between the two countries to reach justifiable and reasonable levels. Federico highlighted Mexico’s status as the fourth-largest exporter of flat-screen TVs, tomatoes, beer, and tequila. He noted the significant increase in tequila consumption in India over the past year. Federico underscored Mexico’s strategic location, boasting large ports, competitive infrastructure, and ranking as the third country with the most airports. He mentioned the growing domestic market and the e-commerce industry, which holds the second-largest share in Latin America. Federico highlighted the presence of 200 Indian companies in Mexico and 10 Mexican companies in India, emphasizing ample opportunities in both countries and advocating for exchanges of business delegations.
Ms. Sofia Salas Monge, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Costa Rica in India highlighted the promising partnership and investment potential between Costa Rica and India. With its strategic location, political stability, and vibrant innovation hub, Costa Rica offers a skilled labor force and high English proficiency, making it an attractive destination for business services. With a robust network of free trade agreements and a commitment to education, Costa Rica is poised for growth and collaboration in various sectors, including textiles, agriculture, renewable energies, biotechnology, and IT. The bilateral trade relations between India and Costa Rica, valued at USD 253 million, demonstrate the mutual benefits and opportunities for cooperation in diverse fields, paving the way for enhanced economic ties and prosperity, she added.
H.E. Mr. Alberto Antonio Guani Amarilla, Ambassador, Embassy of Uruguay, discussed the ongoing anticipation for reciprocal actions from both nations. He highlighted Uruguay’s digital agenda as a success story among Latin American countries and noted its status as the second country to introduce renewable energy. He encouraged India to explore opportunities in Uruguay and mentioned the establishment of a commercial group by LAC ambassadors to receive proposals. Mr. Alberto expressed hope for Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Uruguay and urged PHDCCI to explore avenues for bolstering business ties with the country.
Industry Address by Mr. Shiv Sunit Shukla, Co-Chair, Foreign Trade and Investment Committee, PHDCCI, highlighted the trade opportunities between India and Latin American Countries, uncovering new avenues of collaboration. He emphasized the importance of India’s trade and investment needs and how technological advancements are revolutionizing industries. With a focus on renewable sources, he pointed out the vast opportunities available in Latin American countries. Mr. Sunit also discussed the digitization of trade practices and stressed on the significance of diversification for sustainable growth, minimizing risks associated with dependence on specific regions. He expressed hope in fostering new partnerships and creating a beneficial environment for mutual growth.
Concluding remarks and vote of thanks was presented by Mr. Sanjay Beswal Co- Chair, Foreign Trade and Investment Committee, PHDCCI who highlighted the key takeaways from the conference and emphasized the potential for new avenues of cooperation between LAC and India. He mentioned that Indian services such as UPI and E-commerce have the potential to bridge the gap between the two regions. Additionally, he expressed optimism that such delegation meetings will facilitate future collaborations.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry