All Posts (51)

Economic Developments - March 2017

IMF assesses that Latin America’s economy will grow just 1.2% in 2017: Brazil (0.2%); Mexico (1.7%); Argentina (2.2%); Chile (2.2%) and Peru (4.3%). Venezuela’s GDP will shrink further.
 
UNCTAD figures show that despite a fall in foreign investment in Brazil from $65 billion in 2015 to $50 billion in 2016, it was ranked 7th, ahead of India in 8th place with $42 billion ($59 billion in 2015). Brazil’s Central Bank estimated FDI in 2015 at $75 billion and in 2016…
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Focus India-LAC - March 2017

After Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA and ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), last year signed a deal allowing the latter to get 17,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to recover dues of about $540 million, OVL received the first installment of $19 million in end of January. OVL has invested $200 million in the San Cristobal field in Venezuela and had not received any dividend since 2009. The two companies also agreed that ONGC will arrange a loan of $320 million to boost output from the field,…

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Economic Developments - January 2017

Peru hosted the 24th Summit of the 21-nation Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on 19-20 November. Attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Japan’s Shinzo Abe, the Summit agreed “to carefully study the possibility for an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area”, an idea promoted by China and linked to the ongoing negotiations for an Asian RCEP. Even as the leaders sought to allay fears about the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),…
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Focus India-LAC - January 2017

On 4 November, India’s ONGC (Videsh) Ltd – OVL and Venezuelan national oil company PdVSA signed two agreements.  PdVSA currently owes ONGC about $600 million and will ‘give a volume of crude every month... total dues will be squared off in a couple of years.’ Funds from crude oil sales by PdVSA are to be deposited in an escrow account. ONGC agreed to invest $ 318 million to increase production in the Orinoco San Cristobal field, from around 18,000 bpd to 27,000 bpd.…

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Political Developments - January 2017

Fidel Castro passed away on 26 November, ending an era. After he handed over power to his younger brother Raúl in 2006, because of ill health, and the presidency de jure in 2008, Cuba began changing slowly. The monolithic communist political economy Castro had overseen for almost half a century welcomed foreign investment and private enterprise, subject to conditions, and loosened restrictions on movement and ownership for its citizens. Castro saw the US government re-establish diplomatic…

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Political Developments - November 2016

Vice President M H Ansari led the Indian delegation to the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela. Venezuela presides over the movement till 2019 when it will hand over to Azerbaijan. There had been speculation in Indian media that PM Modi, the second Indian PM after Charan Singh in 1979 to not attend a NAM Summit, had downgraded the movement. Only 8 of the 120 delegations in fact were headed by Presidents, mainly left-wing allies of the ALBA bloc of LAC (35 went to Teheran…
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Economic Developments - November 2016

At a mega business event on 12-15 September, President Mauricio Macri conveyed the message that Argentina is a country that can be trusted. Projects have been announced, inter alia for exploration and extraction of gold, silver, copper and lithium. Incentives include a 30-year fiscal stability agreement, free transfer of profits, a single exchange system, elimination of the state’s export monopoly and free import of capital goods. Latin America’s third-largest economy, with a gross…
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Focus India-LAC - November 2016

On the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Goa, PM Modi had a bilateral meeting with President Michel Temer of Brazil. Both reasserted their interest in permanent membership of the UN Security Council. President Temer reportedly conveyed Brazil’s ‘understanding’ for India’s case at the Nuclear Suppliers Group. At the plenary meeting in Seoul in June, Brazil supported India but wanted a "non-discriminatory process", not country-specific admission. 
 
Four MOUs…
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Economic Developments - September 2016

The  Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2016, of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, released on 26 July predicted that LAC will undergo a -0.8 percent contraction in its growth rate in 2016, a steeper decline than the 0.5 percent in 2015 (www.cepal.org). The economies expected to contract are: Venezuela (-8.0%), Suriname (-4.0%), Brazil (-3.5%), Trinidad and Tobago (-2.5%), Ecuador (-2.5%) and Argentina…
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Political Developments - September 2016

Brazil’s President Ms Dilma Rousseff was formally removed from office on 31 August. The Senate, after an impeachment trial, voted 61-20 against her. A second vote did not render her ineligible for public office for 8 years, seen as a partial victory for her defence. On 29 August, in a 14 hour appearance before mostly hostile Senators, in an impassioned defence, she criticised the ‘parliamentary coup’ and illegitimacy of the process, with several the Senators judging her either being…
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Focus India-LAC - September 2016

Ms Delcy Rodriguez, Foreign Minister of Venezuela visited Delhi and met External Affairs Minsiter Ms Sushma Swaraj to hand over the invitation to the XVII NAM Summit being held in Venezuela on 17-18 September, 2016. She was accompanied by the Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum, Mr Eulogio del Pino who met Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan.


The Indian side reiterated its long-standing proposal for an oil-for-export mechanism for payment of pending dues…

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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 (www.latindia.in)

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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