Mexico is India’s largest Latin American investor, with an FDI of over $800 million USD from 2009 to 2015, said Mexican Ambassador to India Melba Pria.
“Trade between the two countries grew 387 percent between 2004 and 2014 to $6.4 billion. (As much as) 85 percent of Mexico’s exports to India are oil related and 15 percent are manufactured items,” said Pria on Monday May 2, at the CII Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Outreach Programme where 14 ambassadors and senior officials from the region participated.
In response to the Mexican interest in doing business with India, nearly 60 Indian companies, mainly from automotive, pharma and IT sectors, set up base in Mexico, she said.
Talking about the past relationship between India and LAC and the potential for the future, Ecuadorian Ambassador Mentor Villagomez said in two decades, the partners have reached a level of growth which cannot be reversed.
“India perceives the LAC region as a long term contributor to its energy and food security and the county now has a growing presence in the LAC region in remarkably diverse sectors,” said Villagomez.
The envoy said Indian companies have invested about $12 billion in the region in sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals, agro-chemicals, mining, energy, manufacturing and many other verticals mostly driven by private companies.
Inviting Indian investments in their country, Venezuelan Ambassador Augusto Montiel promised uninterrupted oil supply to meet the entire nation’s demand.
Noting the shifting economic trade landscape, CII Karnataka’s former chairman T. Parabrahman said Mexico overtook South Africa in 2015 as the largest importer of cars from India.
“Brazil imports roughly 47 percent of its diesel from India while Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador have recently started exporting gold to India. India is amongst the top five buyers of copper from Chile and the largest buyer of soybean from Argentina. There are more than 130 Indian companies in LAC region,” he said.
Another past CII Karnataka chairman S. Chandrasekhar highlighted India’s imports from Venezuela were more than imports from Japan or Australia while its exports to Brazil have overtaken those to France or Italy.
“Off late more and more Indian companies have started looking to LAC region to diversify their business. Indian companies from sectors like pharmaceuticals, oil, automobiles and IT are already nearshoring and use the region’s growing talent base to grow,” said Chandrasekhar.
Signifying rising trade and importance, CII is planning to organise its first large scale India-LAC conclave in Mexico and launch an Indian Business Forum for LAC countries.
Ambassadors and top officials from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela among others deliberated in the outreach programme.