After exploring opportunities to strike bilateral deals with several Latin American countries, India is set to take a major leap in its trading ties in the region by forging alliance with the New Pacific Alliance, the world's seventh largest exporting entity and eighth largest economy.
Envoys of the New Pacific Alliance, which includes Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, recently met minister of state for external affairs Gen VK Singh to seek more participation from Indian companies in the alliance countries. India is pushing for a preferential treatment for its investment in the alliance. The country recently became an ‘observer’ in the Alliance.
“Partnering with New Pacific Alliance will be beneficial for the Indian companies, some of whom are already present in the region while others are aggressively exploring opportunities in the lucrative market,” said a government official.
India has identified Latin America as the region that will help the country widen its export basket at a time when traditional markets like the US and EU have slowed down. Several Indian companies, including Hero MotoCorp, Tata Group, Wipro, Infosys and Reliance Industries, have invested in the region while several others have explored the region for mineral resources and crude oil imports.
The top diplomats of the four countries explained some of the procedures they were planning to put in place, including the facilitation of travel for business people in the countries of the Pacific Alliance, the lowering of tariffs, and simplification of regulations to attract more investment
In a presentation made to the MEA, the ambassador of Mexico, Jaime Nualart, invited Indian companies to see his country as a “springboard to invest in Latin America and the Caribbean region”.
“We constitute a very successful mechanism of regional integration with the wish to establish a strong, long lasting partnership with India, he said.
“In Peru, we have predictable regulations and free capital transfers” that should be attractive for Indian investors,” Javier Paulinich Velarde said. Peru was also trying to conclude a a trade pact with India to increase two-way commerce, the Peruvian envoy added.
Several Indian companies are present in the renewable energy sector in Chile and they are inviting more firms to invest citing the countrys’ good infrastructure and availability of skilled manpower.
“Mexico is positioned as the largest investor from the region in India with investments of over $500 million in recent years that represents more than all LAC altogether. Currently, there is presence of nine.