India is reaching out to emerging markets and Latin America, and more precisely Mercosur is a strategic priority, said India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) India-Uruguay business conference that hosted a large Uruguayan business delegation led by the country’s Vice-President, Danilo Astori.
Minister Scindia underlined that India has made a slow but steady progress in the liberalization process that balances growth with sustainability and inclusiveness and the country now offers one of the most open FDI environments in the world. The Minister also stressed on the growing outward FDI by Indian firm, and referred to such economic linkages as commercial and human bridges that connect India to the world.
In his remarks Vice-president Astori said Uruguay is the gateway to the over 200 million consumer strong Mercosur group adding that Uruguay has the most advantageous position in terms of logistics and connectivity with the rest of Latin America. Mercosur and India have a limited trade preferences agreement.
“For Uruguay in its international insertion strategy, links with India are crucial since it is one of the emerging powers with a growing influence in the global context; this is why it is so important to increase trade, both ways, because currently it is insignificant and negative for Uruguay”, said Astori.
The Uruguayan official emphasized the democratic traditions and the strong governance indicators that make Uruguay such an attractive location for investors coming to Latin American region.
Astori mentioned that the Indian group Tata is already operating in Uruguay and has plans to increase investments and advanced that two other large organizations, Aditya Biria and Essar are interested in exploring the country’s possibilities particularly in the area of infrastructure.
“We need to improve our transport system our communications, ports, energy and railways, and these are all fields in which this group is interested in exploring opportunities”, pointed out Astori.
One of the several accords signed between India and Uruguay refers to the promotion of trade involving small and medium enterprises for which they will have special funding from Uruguay’s Republic bank and India’s Eximbank.
Another accord signed refers to renewable energy, more precisely wind power: “this will allow us to advance in an area which is crucial and strategic for Uruguay”, said Astori. Uruguay has no hydrocarbons and its hydroelectric capacity is at its maximum.
Uruguay and India already have a treaty for the protection and promotion of investments, which is expected to receive legislative approval in the coming weeks.
Astori and the business delegation ended their week long visit to India this weekend.