Latin America wants to diversify trade with India

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) Latin American countries Brazil, Chile and Mexico are seeking to diversify their trade with India by cooperating in the technology, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, mining and energy sectors.

Brazil, which is India's biggest trade collaborator in the region, said that there is a need to broaden economic engagement between the two nations.

"The challenge now is to diversify our economic engagements and to enable exchange of best practices," said Brazilian Ambassador to India Carlos Sergio Sobral Duarte said at a seminar on deepening trade ties.

The two nations have have witnessed a 10-fold increase in trade in the last decade with the figure reaching $10 billion in 2012 and set to touch the $15 billion mark by 2015.

Mexican Ambassador Jaime Virgilio Nualart Sanchez said his country was looking to partner with Indian companies in the fields of science and innovation, biotechnology, water management and new and renewable energy.

"India and Mexico must work together as dynamic partners for sustained economic growth," said Sanchez.

Currently, India's bilateral trade with Mexico stands at $5 billion, but is expected to reach $10 billion by 2015 owing to better connectivity and a free trade agreement.

Cristian Barros Melet, Chile's envoy to India since 2000, said Chile has emerged as one of the world's most open economies, with a growth rate of five percent.

"This new economic scenario has deepened the relationship between both countries. Chile and India have been steadily establishing dynamic ties with political and commercial engagements," Melet said.

Two-way trade between India and Chile currently stands at $2.6 billion, but there is scope for greater cooperation.

Indian commercial vehicles, cars, two-wheelers and pharmaceutical are in demand in the Chilean market.

Indian companies have invested over $12,000 million dollars in the region in sectors such as information technology (IT), pharmaceuticals, chemicals, mining, energy and manufacturing.

Data furnished by Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), show that trade between the two regions could double in the next five years, from the existing $30 billion to $50 billion by 2018.

Top diplomats of the three countries were participating at a seminar, "India-Latin America: A Growing Partnership", Thursday organised by the Aspen Institute India. It was attended by other experts.

These experts said that direct shipping, air connectivity, visa on arrival facility and free trade agreements (FTAs) will be key to enhancing economic ties between both the regions.

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