Aruba offers to act as India's trade link to LatAm

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, December 10: | Updated: Dec 11 2007, 01:17am hrs
The tiny south Caribbean island territory, Aruba has offered itself to be the base for India's trade links with Latin American countries.

Aruba also invited Indian airlines to set up their bases in Aruba and gain in terms of easy connectivity to Latin American countries.

With a population of around 100,000, Aruba has per capita income of $22,000. Aruba is an autonomous part of the kingdom of Netherlands.

The wave of economic liberalization and growth is literally sweeping across the globe and Aruba is no exception. The visiting Prime Minister of Aruba, Nelson Oduber today showcased the potential of his island territory and invited Indian businessmen to invest.

Speaking at a luncheon meet, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Monday, Oduber said, "Aruba can act as India's hub and gateway to Latin America and provide logistics for transport services We are ready to provide traffic right to Indian airlines."

Highlighting the strategic location of the island nation, Oduber invited Indian airline companies to set up base in Aruba and gain in terms of easy connectivity to Latin American countries. "The airline industry in India is growing exponentially. It is expected that the Indian companies will place big orders for aircraft next year. Aruba has a well-developed financial system and mature institutions. Apart from providing a strategic hub to Indian airline companies, we can also take care of their financial needs," he said.

He also offered Indian companies certificate of origin on safeguard tariffs. He said, "Aruba has free trade zones which offer ideal business climate. Businessmen can also save as we tax only 2% of the profit."

Making a strong pitch for high-value, low-volume industries like pharmaceuticals and information technology, Oduber said. "companies from these sectors can capitalize from Aruba's strategic location and sound logistic infrastructure."

The Aruba Prime Minister also invited tourists from India. He said his country has 8,000 hotel rooms with tourist inflow of around 100,000 per year. The small island nation offers a wealth of natural resources and scintillating landscape.