The CII organized a daylong seminar on 13 March where 10 heads of missions and top officials from the Latin American and Caribbean Countries represented in India, made presentations on opportunities in doing business with their countries. This event was organized with the full support of the ministry of external affairs.
The ambassadors and embassy officials included, Ernesto Carlos Alvarez, Ambassador, Republic of Argentina; Urvashi Ramnarine, Deputy High Commissioner, Trinidad & Tobago; Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos, Ambassador, Cuba; Soraya Caro, Legal Counsellor, Embassy of Columbia; Alberto Jose Pinzon Mata, Ambassador, Panama, Alfonso Silva, Ambassador, Republic of Chile; K Baijnath, Ambassador, Republic of Suriname; Carlos Abad, Ambassador, Ecuador; Rogelio Granguillhome, Ambassador, Mexico and Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, Ambassador Dominican republic.
Virendra Gupta, joint secretary, Investment and Trade Promotion (ITP), ministry of external affairs, was quite emphatic on the importance the Latin world held for Indian businesses when he said, "The Latin American and Caribbean countries are becoming increasingly important to a globalizing India, to Indian businessmen as well as to the apex shapers of trade and Commerce like the Confederation of Indian Industries".
According to him, the government is very encouraging of any initiative "by Indian entrepreneurs to undertake long-term capacity building in these countries". He feels that the energy resources of that region can be effectively leveraged for that purpose.
Hans Dannesberg Castellanos, Ambassador, Dominican Republic and Coordinator, Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), feels that India must do more to encourage business and tourism in the region. He said that his organization is doing its best to foster contact, and that thirteen Caribbean countries from the region have already set up missions in India with El Salvador is in the process of doing so. He also promised that each country is also working on making visas easy for Indian citizens to facilitate people to people contact and South-South cooperation.
As for the business prospects in the region, with a combined GDP of $3 trillion, Latin America and the Caribbean is the next big destination for Indian Industry, said Sanjay Singh, Vice President, Tata Services. While trade with these countries had grown from $3 billion in 2005 to almost $7 billion in the current financial year, the imports from the region too have seen a similar rise. The need of the hour is to use this complementary potential in a mutually beneficial manner, he added.
Rajeev Dubey, deputy editor, Business World and Harinder Sikka, director, Nicholas Piramal, while moderating the sessions thanked the ambassadors and the senior government and embassy officials on their presentations and efforts to promote business between India and their countries.