The 8th India–LAC Conclave got underway in Santiago, Chile on 1 October. This is the second conclave (organised by the CII sponsored by GOI) held abroad. The first was in Mexico in 2016. Chile is currently the fourth largest trading partner of India, with 89 percent of its exports comprising products from the mining sector and the fifth largest export market for India in 2017-18 ($763 million) in LAC. India and Chile in 2017 operationalised the expanded India-Chile Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) which also incorporates new chapters on Rules of Origin, Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, contributing to the reduction of non-tariff barriers.
Media reports in September reported official sources saying that ONGC (Videsh Ltd – OVL) has rejected the offer of Venezuela’s national oil company PdVSA to buy an additional stake in the San Cristobal oilfield joint venture in Venezuela in which OVL already holds 40 percent since 2008. OVL has been demanding payment of $ 537 million in dividends from the project, which produces 18,000 barrels per day (bpd). Venezuela has paid a small portion but still owes $ 449 million for dividends till 2013. Dividends since 2014 have not yet been declared by PdVSA. Under an agreement in November 2016, OVL agreed to guarantee $ 318 million in additional investment to raise production from the field, in exchange for 17,000 bpd of crude. The Venezuelan side has been unable to meet its commitments.
TVS Motors announced in September its alliance with Torino Motors, a subsidiary of Groupo Autofin in Mexico. The agreement involves a distribution network for the two-wheeler manufacturer, which exports to over 60 countries and already has a presence in Latin America. Mexico is already a very large market for the Indian auto industry, with active linkages to the vast North American market. Separately, Mexico’s Cinepolis, the world’s second largest multiplex company by admissions (339 million last year) and fourth largest in terms of screens (over 5,300 of which 350 are in India), also announced in September a planned investment of Rs. 1500 crores to add 500 more screens over the next few years. Cineplois entered in India in December 2009 with its four-screen multiplex in Amritsar.
India’s pharmaceutical presence in Latin America has grown. Lupin, which has a strong presence in Mexico, will develop its Brazilian subsidiary, Medquimica into a manufacturing hub for the region, which accounts for four percent of Lupin’s global turnover. The firm exports to Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Lupin, which sold around $88 million worth in Brazil hopes to soon catch up with Torrent, another Indian pharma major based in Brazil with sales of $ 110 million in 2017/18.
November 30, 2018