Wednesday, March 07, 2007

El Salvador business meeting 7 February 2007 at Delhi

CII organised a meeting for the El Salvador Foreign Minister Mr Francisco Lainez and his delegation with Indian business at Habitat on 7 Feb at 1.30 pm.

In my welcome remarks in Spanish, I invited the delegation to look at the opportunities arising from the the emerging New India, which has a new mind-set. Addressing the Indian businessmen, I said Indian exporters should try to get atleast one percent of the total imports of El salvador, which were 7.6 billion dollars in 2006. Our exports in 2006 were 20 million dollars. I spoke about our thrust to open up relations and business with Central America countries. The integration of SICA, the Central American regional group involving infrastructure, electricity grids, railways, roads and logistics open up business opportunities for Indian companies. I advised CII to take a business delegation focussed exclusively on central america.The Government of India is giving a 15 million dollar Line of Credit to promote trade with El Salvador,and is setting up a IT training centre.

The Minister invited the Indian companies for bz and investment. The advantages of El Salvador market he quoted are impressive:
-It is one of the three markets which have an investment grade rating, apart from Chile and Mexico
-interest rate of around 7% is one of the lowest in the whole of latin america
-Government offers sector-specific fiscal incentives.
- There are free trade zones for exports.
- telecom, banking and infrastructure are modern
-FTA with USA, Mexico and being part of SICA gives access to these markets
- Indian companies can look at opportunities in agroindustry, footwear, tourism and call-centres

The meeting was presided over by Harinder Sikka, director of Nicholas Piramal, who is planning to lead a delegation to El Salvador

Mr Shashank Bhagat, the Honorary Consul of El Salvador in Delhi who was also in the dais will promote business and interaction between the two countries.

The Minister was accompanied by a business delegation. Mr Poma CEO of the Poma Group of El Salvador is interested in imports of cars and vehicles from india. Poma Group was the second oldest dealer of Toyota in the world ! Hmmm. The first two markets which imported Toyota cars were El salvador and Taiwan !

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