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India Boosts Latin Trade

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India's trade with Latin America is growing, as are investments by Indian companies.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

As Indian President Pratibha Patil visits Latin America this and next week - her first state visit as president - she can take comfort in the growing trade and business ties between the Asian country and Latin America.

India's trade with Latin America reached $11.2 billion last year, which was an increase from $9.0 billion in 2006 and nearly double the 2005 level of $6 billion, according to data from India's Embassy in Argentina. Indian exports grew from $4.0 billion in 2006 to $5.0 billion last year, while Indian imports from Latin America increased from $5.0 billion in 2006 to $6.2 billion last year.

Trade with countries like Brazil and Chile is growing above 30 percent and in the case of Peru it almost doubled last year.

Meanwhile, Indian companies are increasingly setting up operations in Latin America in everything from IT, steel and chemicals to autos and pharmaceuticals. "This is part of the new global reach of Indian business and India to explore new markets," says R. Viswanathan, the Indian ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay who is widely considered the country's top Latin America expert. "Our companies are seriously pursuing business opportunities here."

One such company is Infosys. The company in February opened up its first Latin American subsidiary in Monterrey, Mexico. The Mexico facility will serve clients in
North America, Latin America and Europe. It started with 100 employees and aims to have another 150 in place by the end of the year.

Infosys decided to open the Latin American office for several reasons, says Mohit Joshi, global head for Infosys' banking and capital markets group. “Latin America was the one place where we didn’t have a presence,” he says. At the same time, the company was seeing a lot of demand from existing clients asking if it could work with them in Latin America.



Keywords: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, PDVSA, Peru, Reliance,Tata, Venezuela

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