Prime Minister Modi attended the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina end November. Apart from the summit meetings and others, including trilaterals with US and Japan, Russia and China, PM also met with Argentina’s President Maurico Macri, President Sebastian Pinera of Chile and the Prime Minister of Jamaica from the LAC region.
In early November Venezuela’s national oil company PdVSA despatched a cargo of crude oil worth $35 million towards its debt of over $500 million to India’s ONGC (Videsh) Ltd. (OVL). The shipment was reportedly made to Reliance Industries Ltd. which is the principal buyer of heavier Venezuelan crude from India. Reliance will pay OVL in turn. Venezuela which owed OVL $449 million by 2013, is unable to service its debt to OVL and went back on an agreement to supply crude in exchange for the dividends it owes OVL in a joint venture project. OVL announced it was not going to invest any more in its Venezuelan venture as a consequence.
Brazil in December sought consultations at the WTO over India’s subsidies to sugarcane producers, which it claims significantly impact prices in the sugar market and have affected Brazil’s sugar production adversely. India has conveyed to the WTO that its sugar policy is a purely domestic issue and has not distorted international trade in the commodity in any way. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Brazil may concede its status as the world’s top sugar producer to India in 2018. Indian production is expected to rise to 35.9 million tons against a 21 percent lower Brazilian production of 30.6 million tons. Brazil is expected to remain the top exporter, followed by Thailand. In 2017-18 India imported US$ 919 million worth of sugar from Brazil.
January 11, 2019