Latam countries eye IT, energy, pharma sectors

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata Jan 28 | Updated: Jan 29 2008, 06:14am hrs
The Latin American countries are keen to invest in information technology, energy, pharma, tourism and agri business sectors.

At present, the volume of trade between these countries and India was around Rs 39,000 crore, Rakesh Shah, vice-president of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, said here Monady. The figure was expected to touch Rs 50,700 crore by this year-end, Shah said at an interactive session with the ambassadors of the Latin American countries.

A Latin American delegation was expected to visit Coimbatore and Jalandhar in the last week of February with the purpose of buying

as well as selling of engineering goods, Shah said.

Representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay were present at the session. Carlos Abad, ambassador of Ecuador, said: "We want to invest in upstream and downstream oil companies in India." With an investment of around Rs 8,000 crore, ONGC and the state-owned company of Ecuador, Petro-Ecuador, were negotiating for gas and crude oil fields, Abad said.

Mexico was keen to invest in infrastructure, especially building multiplexes across India, said ambassador Rogelio Granguillhome. Indian IT major Infosys was likely to set up a facility in the northern part of Mexico shortly, he said.

The Dominican Republic, keen to set up a huge number of call centres, wants to become a strategic BPO partner of India.

Currently, Indian exports to these countries include chemicals, textiles, engineering goods, auto parts and pharmaceuticals.

Normally, a number of Latin American countries take part in the Kolkata Book Fair, and with the Calcutta High Court disallowing holding of the fair at the Park Circus Maidan, ambassadors of these countries are a bit upset.

Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, ambassador of the Dominican Republic and coordinator of the delegation, told reporters that they would talk to their respective headquarters regarding the issue and might "discontinue investment in the cultural field in future."