Focus India-LAC - September 2017

Venezuela’s cash-strapped national oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PdVSA) has offered India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) an extra stake in a joint venture, according to a July Reuters report. PdVSA is making slow payments under a recent agreement to OVL towards over $500 million in pending dividends. PdVSA reportedly offered 9 per cent further equity to OVL, which holds 40 per cent in the project, currently producing around 23,000 barrels of heavy oil per day. The price of the deal is not known, but could face opposition from the National Assembly, whose constitutional right to veto such transactions was recently suspended by the government.
Chile’s 21 million kg market was the focus of Indian Tea Association in July, given the 80 per cent margin of preference afforded by the recently expanded (preferential trade agreement) PTA in May, along with a lowering of freight rates. Chile is unique in Latin America for its preference for tea over coffee. British ships sailing between India and the US used to stop at Chilean ports in the absence of the Panama Canal, trading this beverage.
On 11 July, Axis Bank, India announced agreement with Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), acting on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to participate in the Trade Finance Facilitation Programme (TFFP) as a confirming bank . The collaboration aims to foster bilateral trade relations by allowing ease of transactions in trade financing of business between Latin America and India. 
September 12, 2017


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About the Author

Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani

Former Ambassador of India to Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba and Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre

Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1978. He retired in February 2012. During his career, he was accredited as Ambassador in seven Latin American countries, resident in Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba, concurrent in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and was Consul General in Sao Paulo. He served abroad in three Continents – Asia (Indonesia and Malaysia), Europe (Spain and Czech Republic) and Latin America.

In the Ministry of External Affairs, he served in the Divisions dealing with Administration; West Asia and North Africa; US and Canada; and had a brief stint at the United Nations.

Ambassador Bhojwani also served as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of India, Mr P.V.Narasimha Rao for two years from 1994 to 1996, and as Special Assistant to the Minister of State for External Affairs and for Science and Technology, Mr K.R.Narayanan, from 1985 till 1988.

He writes extensively on Latin America and its relations with India. He has written a book published in 2015 titled ‘Latin America, the Caribbean and India: Promise and Challenge’.

He is currently a Consultant for Latin America and the Caribbean through his firm LATINDIA (

Ambassador Bhojwani also serves as Independent Director on the Board of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., one of the largest state oil and gas companies of India.

Since January 2017 he has been Country Manager and Director, Magotteaux Industries Pvt. Ltd.

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