Friday, September 29, 2006

Latin America Seminar at Bangalore, 29 september

I was the key-note speaker in the seminar. I spoke about the change of mindset of bz and political leaders of India and latin america, which has opened up tremendous opportunities for trade and investments.
-The trade of 6.2 billion dollars in 2005 could be doubled in the next three years. The growth in the coming years is going to be quantum jumps and not just incremental.
-More than trade, the investment of indian cos in latin america have reached close to 3 billion dollars, with plans for additional investment of another billion in the next two years.
- Latest investment is by BEML in Rio de janeiro in a plant for production of railway wagons, mining and earth moving equipments. The 20 million dollar investment in the plant will make it a platform for exports to the other markets of latin america as well.
-Indian brands such as Reliance, Tata, Mahindra, Mittal, Essar, Jindal, bajaj, Thermax, Praj, Maruti are well established and recognised in the region, opening the doors for the entry of other Indian cos.
- Engg products are the leading items of export to mexico and central america, while chemicals and pharma are the main exports to Brazil and south America.
-The exporters should participate in sectoral fairs in sao paulo and mexico, as well as in ITPO fair in march 2007 in sao paulo.
-The exporters should have three distinct strategies for the three different markets of large ( brazil, mexico and argentina), medium size countries( colombia, chile etc) and small markets of central america and caribbean.
-Finally I gave an overview of the latin American market which is becoming stable and prosperous.
The Chilean Ambassador Jorge Heine, Miss Canela from Dominican Republic Embassy and Mr Alonso Gortari, Director General of Foreign Economic Relations of the Mexican foreign office gave presentations on their markets.
Eximbank and ECGC representatives gave details of their schemes for supporting exports to latin america.
Jibu mathew of UL India Ltd gave a useful presentation on the certifications and standards required in the latin american market. His contact: and
Deepak Kumar of UTI worldwide spoke about logistics for trade with latin america. contact:
I was surprised by the punctuality of the audience, despite the notorious bangaore trafic jams. The 100 plus exporters arrived and took seats well before the starting of the function at 10.45 am. Good bye to IST ( Indian Stretchable Time ) and welcome to the new business mindset, which values time !
During the function, Dr Ravichandran , secy- general of Indo-latin American chamber of commerce , Chennai presented to me a copy of his Ph.D thesis " Differentiated market strategies for business with latin america". He has generously acknowledged my "guidance, advice, inputs and support" for his research.
The seminar was held at Hotel Capitol, Bangalore by EEPC , southern regional office. Credit for the success of the event goes to Ganesan of EEPC Chennai.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CII meeting with Mexican business delegation

This meeting on 26 September, was with the business delegation lead by the Vice Minister of Small Scale Industries, currently visiting India.

The Minister highlighted the growing strength of mexican economy.
- inflation is just 3 percent.
- interest rate 7.3 percent. This is important since interest rates are generally high in other countries of the region and especially in Brazil, where the primary rate is double that of Mexico.
-Fiscal deficit nearing zero
-country risk is a historic low of 111 basic points. In the case of Brazil it is 222 and Argentina 324.
- Forex reserves at a high of 80 billion dollars.
- Mexico has signed FTAs with 43 countries in the world, the largest

The political economy in the next six years is going to be better with the pro-business Felipe Calderon taking over as president on 1 December.

Mexico is expected to take part in the International Engg Fair of CII in feb 2007.

I advised CII to take a bz delegation to mexico, as was done by them in the case of Brasil earlier this month.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Amitabh of Aditya Birla group, which is setting up a carbon black plant in mexico and has other investment plans.

This is the first visit of a software delegation from mexico, which is a virgin mkt for our IT bz.
here is the contacts of some of the mexican delegates and their interests:

1 Eduardo Ruiz Esparza
Director General
IDZ Online
RFID – Tecnología
0181 8363 7260 cel 0181 1277 1508
Monterrey NL
IDZ is the most active RFID research and development center in Latin America, integrated by a multidisciplinary and RFID certified team with expertise in native and enabled solutions for all stages of RFID projects. We offer: staff outsourcing, consulting services, and build solutions.
Alliances, Developers
2 Dr. Jorge Alonso
Border Tech / Ceni2t
Innovation Center for the Development of Embeded software, Biotecnology, Micro Electronics Projects
664 674 5074
Ensenada, B.C.
Research and Development in Wireless, software, Biotecnology, Micro Electronics
CENI2T is an innovation center for the development of knowledge-based value. Our main service provides a high-profile research and technical team for the development of intellectual property in high tech projects such as: semiconductors, MEMS, wireless, sensors, biotech, pharmaceutical, embedded software, and IT. A key benefit is supplying the teams, facilities, processes, and infrastructure that our clients need, at a much lower cost than the United States.
Alliances with Research Centers and Innovation Centers.

3 Ing. Mauricio Santillan
Director General
IT Business Consulting
55 5093 0900
México, D.F.
Consulting to High Tech Small and Médium Companies to acellerate their process to introduce new technologies to the market, quality control and Business Models.
Venture Capital Fund in the high tech industry based in Mexico. Provide business acceleration consulting services to small and medium companies. Attract and develop small and medium companies creating ecosystems to cover specific vertical markets i.e. Government, Health, Information technology and banking. Also provides headhunting services for the IT industry in Mexico
Looking for companies interested in landing high tech products in Mexico. Willing to explore investment ventures in Mexico

4 Ing. Claudio Arriola
Director General
Grupo Logistico Mexicano
664 647 5787
Tijuana, B.C.
Logistics services to maquiladora companies around the world
Technology and Logistics Software

5 Dr. Raúl Carvajal
Innovation in Small and Medium Size Technology Companies
55 5200 0589
México, D.F.
India Technology Maps, to have a clear vision of the IT nitch markets and business opportunity areas.

6 Ing. Eduardo Valtierra Padrón
CANIETI Noroeste
Electronics, Telecomm and IT
664 686 6646
Tijuana, B.C.
Education and Certification programs in IT and Multimedia
Educational Software

Sunday, September 24, 2006

ECLAC report on the importance of India for Latin America

The september 2006 report of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean, based in Santiago, attaches importance to India and China for the exports of Latin American countries. It has dedicated one whole chapter on this out of the total of six chapters on its report "Latin America and caribbean in the world economy"
Here is what they have said:

-The robust growth occuring in China and india is of great importance to the world economy and in particular for latin America and caribbean.
- India has already concluded trade agreements with Mercosur and Chile. South America should consolidate this trend by further strengthening its trade links based on greater productive complementarity with both China and India, creating the necessary trade and technology partnerships.
- For Mexico and Central America to attain more strategic relations with China and India, the ECLAC report suggests that increased intra-industry trade. This could open new access routes to Asian markets and foster incorporation of new technologies, rather than compete face-to-face in third markets like the United States.
-Latin America should take advantage of the opportunities offered by both China and India to enter existing production and distribution chains. One way of achieving this is through trade agreements with both countries. In this respect, the agreement already signed by Chile and China and the agreement negotiated between India and Mercosur are promising, but require more depth and wider scope.

ECLAC has noted that 30 percent of world trade growth last year has come from India and China.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Visit of Chemexil delegation to Latin America 19 Nov - 3 Dec

This delegation of 16 chemicals and basic pharma exporters will visit

mexico - 19-20 Nov
Venezuela - 21-23 Nov
Chile - 24-29 Nov
argentina- 28-29 Nov
Brazil 29 Nov - 3 dec

Chemicals and pharma are the leading items of exports of india to Latin America.

IMF forecast for Latin America

According to the latest IMF forecast, economic growth in the region will be around 4.8 percent, better than the previous prediction of 4.1 percent. Growth in 2007 is projected to be 4.2 percent. This makes five consecutive years of continuous growth for the region, a kind of record and indicative of the new paradigm of stability and growth of the region. In 2005 growth was 4.3 percent.
This year, Argentina's economy will expand 8 percent, Venezuela's will grow 7.5 percent, Mexico 4 percent and Brazil 3.6 percent.

The economies have been buoyed by a surge in revenue from commodities exports such as oil and copper after prices touched a record this year.

Average inflation will slow to 5.6 percent in 2006 and 5.2 percent next year, from 6.3 percent in 2005.

The good performance of Latin American economies in 2006 and promise in 2007 and in the near term are good news for Indian exports.

According to IMF report of September 2006, following is the
GDP ranking. Figures in billion dollars.

Brazil - $966.8, Mexico - $811.3 , Argentina - $219.6 , Venezuela - $164.4 , Chile - $140.4 Colombia - $129.4 , Peru - $89.3 , Ecuador - $41.3 , Guatemala - $29.7 , Dom. Rep. - $28.5 Costa Rica - $21.4, Uruguay - $18.6 , El Salvador - $18.2 , Panama - $16.9, Bolivia - $10.3 Honduras - $9.0, Paraguay - $8.6, Nicaragua - $5.4 , Haiti - $4.3

GDP Per Capita Ranking

Chile-$8,569, Mexico-$7,593, Venezuela-$6,098, Uruguay-$5,809, Argentina-$5,745 Brazil-$5,176, Panama-$5,139, Costa Rica-$4,874 , Dom. Rep.-$3,291, Peru-$3,151 Ecuador-$3,081 , Colombia-$2,763, El Salvador-$2,602, Guatemala-$2,107 , Paraguay-$1,460 , Honduras-$1,217 , Bolivia-$1,075 , Nicaragua-$908 , Haiti-$505

Latest Indian investments in Latin America

ONGC Videsh Ltd ( OVL ) has acquired an oilfield in Colombia for 425 million dollars this month. They bought this from from a private company. OVL bought this oilfield in a joint venture with a Chinese oil company who paid another 425 million dollars. If u cannot beat them , join them !!! The oil field is already producing about 20,000 bpd and has the potential to yield upto 60,000 bpd.

Earlier, Reliance had acquired 2 off-shore blocs in the pacific side of Colombia for exploration.

In April 2006, OVL bought an offshore oil field in Brazil for over 400 million dollars.

OVL signed a contract with the Cuban government for exploration in 2 offshore oil blocks. OVL has also got a 30 percent share in six other Cuban offshore blocks in the consortium lead by Repsol.

BEML signed a MOU on 12 Sept with CCCE a Brazilian company for setting up a plant for production of railway wagons, mining and earthmoving equipments, near Rio. BEML will invest about 20 million dollars in this venture. The railway wagons will be supplied to CVRD, the Brazilian mining company. BEML will use the Rio plant as a platform for exports to the whole of Latin America.

Reliance, Bajaj Hindustan ( has earmarked 500 million dollars and has already formed a Brazilian subsidiary ), Rajshree sugarmills, Renuka sugar mills and Godavari sugar mills and some Indian public sector oil cos are pursuing acquisition of sugar and ethanol plants and sugarcane estates in Brazil, which is a low-cost and high productive manufacturer of sugar and ethanol.

Wokhardt and Ajantha pharma are looking for acquisition of pharma cos in Brazil.

Bilcare, a pune-based pharma packaging company is planning to put up a greenfield plant to produce pharma packaging materials in Brazil. They already have plants in Singapore and USA. The young and visionary CEO Mr Bhandari wants to take his company to the top five in the world in the next few years.

Aditya Birla Group is on the look out for mining ventures in the region.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Chile overtakes Colombia in GDP

According to the latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund, Chile's GDP has reached $140.4 billion, which is larger than the $129.4 billion economy of Colombia. The economy of Chile has become the fifth largest in latin America after Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela. hmmm.. the population of Chile is just 15 million!

Chile has also passed Mexico as Latin America's top GDP per capita nation. Thanks to strong economic growth in the past two years, Chile is now the country in Latin America with the highest GDP per capita. Chile now has a GDP per capita of $8,569, a 20.3 percent increase from 2005. Mexico's GDP per capita is now $7,593, a 4.0 percent rise from 2005.

The Chilean economy is the most open, dynamic and transparent in latin America, with the strongest macroeconomic fundamentals. Fiscal and current account surpluses are sizeable. Their pension fund system is one of the best in the world. They have a single uniform tariff of just six percent for imports.

Seminar on Latin America by EEPC at Bangalore 29 sept

Here is the invitation by EEPC

(Southern Region)
cordially invite you to attend the


at Senate Hall, Hotel The Capitol,
Raj Bhavan Road, Bangalore
on Friday, the 29th September, 2006 at 10.30 a.m.

Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Chile
has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest

Joint Secretary & Head, Latin American and Caribbean Division
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
has kindly consented to deliver the Keynote Address

Other Speakers

Ms.Maria Gabriella Bonetti ( Miss Canela !! )
Minister-Counsellor (Economic & Commercial), Embassy of Dominican Republic

Mr.Alonso de Gortari
DG, International Economic Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Shri C.S.Shukla
Executive Director, EEPC, NewDelhi

Shri S.Prabhakaran
Executive Director, ECGC of India Ltd., Mumbai

Shri Sanjay Sarkar, Director, Eximius Centre for Learning
EXIM Bank of India, Bangalore

Shri Jibu Mathew, Business Manager,
UL India Ltd., Bangalore - on Certifications and
Standards desired in LAC

Shri J.Deepak Kumar
Regional Manager – OCEAN
UTI Worldwide India Pvt Ltd., Bangalore -
on Logistics issues in LAC

Exporters and bzmen are welcome to attend the seminar. For invitation and info
contact Mr Ganesan

visit of Mexican business delegation 23-29 Sept

The Mexican bzmen have started giving more importance to India than the Indians do.
Several delegations hv visited in recent months. Here is an IT bz delegation of small and medium cos visiting Delhi 23-27 sept. They will hv interaction with NASSCOM, ESC and Ministry of Small scale industries.
ESC has a meeting and reception on 25th evening
FICCI breakfast meeting on 26th
CII lunch meeting on 26th

Some of them will go to bangalore 27-29 sept.

delegation list:

Prof. (Mrs.) Esperanza Gómez-Mont y Urueta, Director General of Exports, Ministry of Economy.
Mr. Victor Hugo Estrada de la O, Deputy Director of Internal Trade on Information Technology , Ministry of Economy.
Mr. Alonso de Gortari Rabiela, Director General of International Economic Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Eduardo Valtierra, President of the National Chamber of Electronic Industry and Information Technology (CANIETI), North West .
. Mr. Eduardo Ruiz Esparza, Director General, IDZ Online.
Dr. Jorge Alonso, Border Tech/Ceni2t.
Eng. Mauricio Santillán, Director General, Visionaria.
Eng. Claudio Arriola, Director General, Grupo Logístico Mexicano.
Dr. Raúl Carvajal, Innovation in Small and Medium Size Technology Companies.
Mrs. Lourdes Ibáñez Aldana, Treasurer, Cluster IT@Baja.
Mr. Carlos Duarte, Director General, Border Tech/Ceni2t.
Mr. Ernesto Aello, Director General, Center for Higher Studies of Northwest.
Eng. Raúl Morales, Sales Representative, Softtek

They will stay at Hotel Intercontinental, newdelhi
contact: Mexican embassy

Already some Indian IT cos such as NIIT, TCS, Sasken hv presence in mexico.
There is tremendous scope for IT bz in the large and virgin mkt of mexico, which could be used as a platform for the larger market of NAFTA.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

business with latin america- why this blog?

Blogmania...blogfreak....Hold on...Before u call these names, let me explain the reason for this new blog. Sure ..I have a website with the same title. I also have a blog with the title " latin american affairs" So why this new blog?

I am creating this new one to focus exclusively on business with latin america. The other blog is for " affairs "and for matters of heart. But this one is serious !..hmm . This will supplement the website, while giving me more flexibility and freedom to post information of interest quickly, easily and simply. This will spare me the time of looking for the right page in my large website to put things in the correct place. Here I can write in one place all the things I want to. Moreover, I can do this from my office. I cannot do website work in office since the Ministry's ( bureaucratic! ) server does not allow uploading and downloading.

Of course.. you have seen through my vanity, desire to ride this new vehicle. Websites are passe... blogs are in. While my other two blogs are in blogger, this one is being hosted in the newer beta version of blogger. faster and better..

In this blog, there will be news on specific bz opportunities, visits of delegations, trade fairs, economic and commercial news for businessmen and leads and tips. The idea is to disseminate the latest information and complement the website.

Welcome to this new journey of blogging... on business with latin america !!

Disclaimer- This is a non-profit venture as part of my passion to promote relations with Latin America. The views and comments expressed here are strictly personal and do not reflect those of the Government of India.

Businessmen should use their own judgement and additional info to complement mine. I will not be responsible for the actions of contacts and companies given in the blog.