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EXIM Bank releases India-Latin America & Caribbean Region Trade Trends & Opportunities study for exporters

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) organised a seminar on trade and investment opportunities in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to explore the substantial untapped potential for Indian exporters which present opportunities for India due to their high import demand in the LAC region.

  The seminar was organised on the sidelines of a visit of senior-level delegation of the Latin American Association of Development Financial Institutions (ALIDE). 

 The objective of the seminar held in Mumbai on October 25, 2018 was to provide a platform to bring together various stakeholders to discuss the trade and investment potential of LAC region. 

On this occasion, Exim Bank released a working paper titled ‘India-LAC Trade: Recent Trends and Opportunities in Select Countries’. The paper was released by Mr Debasish Mallick, Deputy Managing Director, Exim Bank; Mr. Edgardo Alvarez, Secretary General, The Latin American Association for Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE); and Mr. R. Viswanathan, Former Ambassador and Former Distinguished Fellow, Latin America Studies, Gateway House.

In his welcome address, Mr Debasish Mallick, Deputy Managing Director of the Exim Bank of India, said, “India and the LAC region have recognized the growing influence of each other in the world economy, and the mutual benefits that could be derived from partnering with each other. The potential strength of this partnership can be gauged from the fact that the combined GDP of the two regions is close to US$ 8.1 trillion with a combined population of almost 2 billion people. In the last decade, India’s total trade with LAC has more than doubled to reach US$ 36 billion in 2017, with significant untapped potential existing for expanding the level of this bilateral trade.

 In an era of growing challenges in the world economy, diversification of trade partners and access to new markets has become a priority for both the sides, with the LAC region clearly emerging as an important economic partner for India. Such interactions would help showcase opportunities, expertise and capabilities of industry players and could generate viable business propositions among interested parties.”

Mr. R. Viswanathan, Former Ambassador and Former Distinguished Fellow, Latin America Studies, Gateway House, said, “LAC has phenomenal potential and India should grab the opportunity of setting ambitious targets of increasing bilateral trade to USD 100 bn by 2025 (including targeted exports of USD 50 bn) from the USD 36 bn levels and of 2017.”

Mr. Edgardo Alvarez, Secretary General, The Latin American Association for Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE) said, “Despite the early stage of their relations, thanks to the trade between the two, India has been able to take a leading position as a trading partner with some of the region’s countries. It has become Argentina’s fifth-ranking export market, Chile’s sixth, Brazil and Paraguay’s eighth, and Bolivia’s tenth.  LAC, for its part, allocates 2.1% of its exports to India and receives 1.5% of its imports from that country. With 50 years of existences. ALIDE’s aim in the activities it promotes and develops is to achieve a cohesion and to strengthen the actions and participation of financial institutions in the social and economic process of the Region.”

The study notes that the Latin America and Caribbean region is home to around 644 million people and had combined GDP of US$ 5,493 billion, accounting for 6.9% of the world GDP in 2017. The LAC region has a young, educated and skilled workforce, and is considered an important investment destination due to its growing industrial and manufacturing strength, and continuous improvements in the ease of doing business parameters. It is also endowed with rich reserves of agricultural and natural resources like oil, silver, gold, copper, coal, bauxite, lithium and nickel, besides others. During the last ten years, India’s total trade with LAC has more than doubled from US$ 17.5 billion in 2008 to US$ 36 billion in 2017. Indian exports have grown by around 70% to reach US$ 11.9 billion in 2017 from US$ 7 billion in 2008. On the other hand, Indian imports have more than doubled to reach US$ 23.6 billion in 2017 from US$ 10.5 billion in 2008. 

The seminar was attended by high-level delegation from ALIDE, trade promotion bodies, Indian corporates, diplomats and region experts.

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