Latin America trade with India could go up to 50 billion dollars by 2014 on the back of projected high economic growth in both the regions, said R. Viswanathan, India's ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
”The region (Latin America) is going to be a regular source of imports of crude oil, edible oil, minerals, timber and other products which India needs to sustain its high growth. Agribusiness, food processing, energy and mining are the growth areas of Latin America and the Indian companies should target them for trade and investment said the top Indian official.
At present, the Latin American region accounts for 4% of India's trade. Two-way trade between India and Latin America was recorded at 23 billion dollars in 2010. It included 9 billion of India's exports to Latin America and imports of 14 billion.
India targets to increase its exports to Latin America to 20 billion by 2014.
Viswanathan said the region would also offer in the coming years great investment opportunities to Indian companies. The 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympics and the 270 billion dollars investment in hydrocarbons by Brazil are the big ticket projects offering unmissable opportunities for Indian companies.
India is diversifying its product basket and foreign trade market to shield its economy from uncertainties in Europe and the US. It has increased economic engagement with Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
As part of its market diversification program, the Indian government is offering various incentives to boost exports to Latin America and the Caribbean.
There is a unique opening for India at this time. The Latin Americans are disillusioned with Europe and US who are facing crisis after crisis. They are reassessing the China euphoria after their industries and jobs have been hit hard by the flood of cheap imports,” said Viswanathan.
India has entered into preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with Chile and the Mercosur bloc, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Viswanathan said Latin Americans were attracted by the large, growing, democratic and non-threatening India which faces political and developmental circumstances similar to theirs.
They see the value addition of Indian investment to their economies, industries and especially human resource development by the Indian IT and BPO companies who employ 20,000 Latin American youth, he said.