Thursday, December 07, 2006

Experience of an Indian export Executive on his first visit to Latin America

Let me reproduce the executive's email which speaks for itself

"Please refer to your meeting with undersigned regarding his visit to Latin America.

I am back in India after my visit. We are really very thankful to you for all your assistance and cooperation regarding the visit of undersigned.

Also, we would like to inform that the assistance and cooperation we receive from our embassies was amazing.

We really feel that our embassies are doing great jobs in promoting our trade with Latin American countries.

We must add that our missions in Colombia, Chile & Uruguay ( through our embassy in Argentina) helped undersigned with all his appointments and we hope they all would be fruitful for us in future.

We would like to make a special mention of Mr. Martin de Castro (Commercial officer Uruguay, Indian Embassy in Argentina).
He was such a big help for us in Montevideo. He took time off his schedule to assist us in our meetings.

I would like to come in person and share my views with you, would make a request with you in coming week for an appointment.

Thanking you,Sincerely Yours,

(Shivreet Dhillon)

GTP Overseas Private LimitedC-10, Sector-1,Noida - 201 301

So I met the young Dhillion yesterday. oops ...I was taken aback. He has become more enthusiastic about Latin America than me..

Here is what he told me.
- He has got orders from Colombia and Uruguay in this very first trip. He found the Colombian customer in the internet!. He sees great scope for his rubber products which go into the second hand market of auto parts. He is planning to try other mkts in mid 2007.
-More than the business, he has discovered Latin Americans. He found the people friendly, warm and hospitable. He spent 4 days in Colombia but his customer spent only a total of 4 hours in business discussion. She took him to the night club, restaurants, bars and for sight seeing. Whenever he mentioned business, she said " relax.. enjoyment first.." . No wonder the youthful Dhillion's eyes have a new shine and there is a romantic smile in his face now.

Joao Pessoa - unusual destination in Brazil for Indian Investment

Vijay Electricals from Hyderabad has acquired a transformer making plant in Joao Pessoa in Brazil for about a Million dollars.
Wonder where is it..? One needs to look at the large map of Brazil. It is a small city located in the eastern -most point of Brazil in the state of Paraiba. Population 500,000. About 2000 Kms from Rio de janeiro. One can reach Joao Pessoa without having to go to Sao Paulo or Rio. There is direct flight from Lisbon to Recife, the famous resort town of Brazil. From there just one hour drive. Of course, the Municipality of the city has all the info in its website. Its claims include
- new International airport by 2008
- the greenest city in South America
-the third oldest city of Brazil
- the sun salutes Joao Pessoa first before the rest of Souh America
- and of course silver white sanded beaches

I asked Mr Jai Ramesh the Chairman of Vijay Electrivals, how did he choose this place so remote and unknown. He smiled..Fiscal and other incentives...

Vijay electricals has already started production of transformers in the Joao pessoa plant. They are going to invest more millions of dollars to expand the capacity to reach a turnover of 50-60 million dollars !!. Indian managers have already been positioned there.

How did Vijay Electricals go to Brazil? They had supplied transformers in the past. They had been watching the market and found that Brazilian electrical supplies to homes are going to be increased with the importance given to people-centred development by President Lula.

I salute the venture or rather the adventure of Vijay Electricals and their ambition in the farthest corner of Brazil and wish them success !

Monday, November 20, 2006

Business Delegation from Peru

I spoke at the CII meeting with the Peruvian business delegation on 21 November 06 at their Hqrs. I mentioned the four typical and unique businessplus attractions Peru offers; to drink, to eat, to see and to read:
-Pisco sour is the famous Peruvian drink.
-Ceviche, raw fish marinated in lime is a healthy and delicious food
-Machu Pichu is a must- see tourist destination.
-Mario Vargas Llosa is the famous writer of Peru and my favourite Latin American author. I have read 15 of his books.
Bonus offers of Peru: pima cotton( extra long staple and fine one) and Alpaca wool( from llama found in high altitude).
Peruvian market is medium-size with 28 million people, 90 billion GDP, 17 billion exports and 12.5 billion imports in 2005. Inflation in 2005 at 1.8 % was the lowest in the whole of latin America. Growth over 6%. Politically Peru is becoming mature and pragmatic. Peru's importance increase with its membership of Andean Community and FTA with USA.
There is scope to significantly increase our exports of 122 million $( 2005). There is potential for investment and joint ventures in energy, mining and metallic industries. Reliance is scouting for energy. Ranbaxy, NIIT, APTECH and bajaj have presence there.
Bharti group ( Airtel) has exported over a million telefone instruments to Peru. Apparently, every second fone instrument in Peru is that of Bharti. Bravo Bharti !!!
This is the first ever visit of a business delegation. Credit for this goes to Kishore Gupta of Indo-peruvian chamber in Lima.
Mr Natarajan CEO of BEML, who presided over the meeting was upbeat about his company's bz with peru.
Victor Munoz acting Ambassador of Peru in Delhi is proactive and issues business visas readily for Indian bzmen.
Mr A. Ramesh, Ambassador-designate to peru and Bolivia ( reaching there in january) was also present in the meeting.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Delegations from Latin America

The season of Latin America is here...

A 50 plus member Brazilian delegation was here 14-19 November.

Visit of Minister of IT from Dominican Republic 16-25 November
Minister Eddy Martinez will visit Chennai, Mumbai,Cochin and Delhi. This is his fourth visit to India in the last two years. CII organised an interactive meeting with him on Thursday 16 Nov at their Hqrs.
contact :

Visit of delegation from peru 19-25 November
This is the first time a business delegation is coming. Delegation has over 15 members.
CII organising a meeting on Tuesday 21 November at their Hqrs.
Delegation going to Bangalore and Mumbai too
contact: Gunveena Chada from CII and Victor Munoz from Peruvian embassy.

Jamaican business delegation 20-29 November
A seven member delegation visiting India, for the first time, as per following programme. Interested in software.
November 20 - 23 Delhi
November 23 – 26 Mumbai
November 26 – 29 Bangalore
Contact: Ambassador( retd) Malik

Thursday, November 16, 2006

CII meeting on Dominican Republic 16 November

The meeting was in honour of Mr Eddy Martinez, Minister of IT and Investment promotion. This is his fourth visit to India. He is the one who took the initiative to open the Dominican Embassy in Delhi. In his speech, he said DR and Latin America, in general consider China as a challenge but India as a partner. He ponted out that DR lost thousands of jobs as a result of Chinese competition. This positive attitude towards India is good news for the Indian businessmen.
In my speech I said Dominican Republic(DR) offers scope for pleasure and business. The beautiful beach resorts, great golf courses, merengue music and the warm and friendly people make DR as an attractive destination.
DR imports in 2005 were 10 billion dollars and exports 6 billion dollars. Even if India gets one percent of their total imports, it should come to 100 million dollar exports. Per capita income of DR is over 6000 dollars. Growth rate in 2005 was over 9 percent. Number of tourists who visited DR in 2005 were 4.2 million. The macroeconomic fundamentals are becoming strong.
With its FTA with USA, it is an attractive destination for investment. An Indian IT company and a medical equipment company have invested already.
The dynamic Dominican Ambassador Hans Dannenburg and Miss Canela give one year multi entry visas with a smile and handshake and cigar and rum!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Brazilian Business delegation 13-19 November

A 55- member multiproduct Business delegation from Brazil will be in Delhi to visit/participate in the India International Trade Fair. They can be contacted thru the Brazilian embassy in delhi.

Here is the list

1 M/s Gravatas e Acessórios Imp. e Com. Ltda
Mrs. Marcia Maria Saraiva
Address: Rua Xavantes, 719 – Sala 724 – Zip Code: 03027-000
Phone: 5511 6096 6799

2 M/s Gravatas e Acessórios Imp. e Com. Ltda
Mrs. Vilma Santana
Address: Rua Xavantes, 719 – Sala 724 – Zip Code: 03027-000
Phone: 5511 6096 6799

3 Ms Elvi Cozinhas Industriais
Mr. Cristiano das Neves Sola
Phone: 5511 4341 4466
Address: Rua Oneda, 300 – SBC – SP – Zip Code: 09895-280
Stainless Steel

4 M/s Elvi Cozinhas Industriais
Mr. Luciano das Neves Sola
Phone: 5511 4341 4466
Address: Rua Oneda, 300 – SBC – SP – Zip Code: 09895-280
stainless steel

5 M/s Foxlux Ltda
Mr. Paulo Sérgio Velloso Ribeiro
Phone: 5541 3344 8090
Address: Rua padre Estanislau Trzebiatowski, 96 – Boqueirao Zip: 81750-390 Curitiba- PARANÁ
Electrical Material and Hand Tools

6M/s Letande Indústria e Comércio Ltda
Mr. Orlando Luiz Toqueton
Phone: (5519) 3881.7670 / 3881.7676
Address: Benjmain de Paula Franca 604 – Valinhos – Zip Code: 13279-014
automobile electrical parts

7 M/s Letande Indústria e Comércio Ltda
Mr. Rafael de Oliveira Carvalho
Phone: (5519) 3881.7670 / 3881.7676
Address: Benjmain de Paula Franca 604 – Valinhos – Zip Code: 13279-014
Automobile and Electrical parts

Mr. Luciano Morganti Ribeiro
Phone (5551) 470 6789
Address: Trav. João Tavares n° 245 - RS 118 KM 11,4 - Costa do Ipiranga – Gravataí - Rio Grande do Sul – Zip Code: 94010- 970
Furniture and Decorative Items

Mr. Sergio Mendes Ribeiro
Phone (5551) 470 6789
Address: Trav. João Tavares n° 245 - RS 118 KM 11,4 - Costa do Ipiranga – Gravataí - Rio Grande do Sul – Zip Code: 94010- 970
Furniture and Decorative Items

Mr. Felipe Mendes Ribeiro
Phone (5551) 470 6789
Address: Trav. João Tavares n° 245 - RS 118 KM 11,4 - Costa do Ipiranga – Gravataí - Rio Grande do Sul – Zip Code: 94010- 970
Furniture and Decorative Items

11 M/s Mendes & Uchôa Consultoria Empresarial Ltda.
Mrs. Thaysa Santos Uchoa
Endereço: Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 351 sala 922, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, CEP: 22.410-003
Tel.: 5521 9826-6762

12 M/s Irgovel – Industria Riograndense de Óleos Vegetais Ltda
Mr. Gilson Teixeira do Amaral Brito
E-mail –
Phone/fax: ++5562 3311—5565
Anápolis – Goiás
vegetable Oil

13 M/s Alm Brazil International Ltda.
Mrs. Marlucia Gusmão dos Santos Martire
Phone 5521 2669 2600 / 5521 9613 7332
Address: Rua Carmen de Freitas Salgado, 368- Nova Iguaçu - RJ
Zip 26220-470

14 ZAK Importação e Exportação e Representaçoes Comerciais Ltda
Mr. Paolo Zaccagnini
Rua Padre Anchieta, 2454 CJ 1802
CEP 80730-000 Curitiba -PR
Tel./Fax 0055 41 3335 7605
Marbles and Granites to India

15 M/s Silk Route Com. e Representações
Mr. Luis Cabral
Adress: Rua Dr. Jose de Moura Resende 428
Jardim Caxingui – Near to Butantã
Phone/Fax: 5511 3368 0389
Mobile: (11) 8147 4037
Silk Textiles

16 M/s Filó
Mrs. Angelica Schwingel Markus
Phone: 5511 3285-0297
Mobile: 5511 9483-0108
Address: Alameda Ribeirão Preto, 410, Apt. 1107 - Bela vista – São Paulo - SP
Belts, Flip Flops, Necklaces and Rings

17 M/s Filó
Mrs. Erika Akemi Hino
Phone: 5511 3285-0297
Mobile: 5511 9483-0108
Address: Alameda Ribeirão Preto, 410, Apt. 1107 - Bela vista – São Paulo - SP
Belts, flip flops, necklaces an rings

18 M/s Q & A
Mr Russell Dowding
Mobile: 5511 8491 4238
Rua Martins Francisco 678 – Zip Code: 01226-000 –São Paulo - SP
Joint venture with Pavilion Construction Companies

19 M/s Gouvêa de Souza & MD Desenvolvimento Empresarial Ltda
Mr. Marcos Souza
Address: Av. Paulista, 171 – 10th Floor - Zip Code: 01311-000
São Paulo - SP
Tel.: 55 11 3262-0666
Fax.: 55 11 3263-0066E-mail:
Mr Orlando Diniz -
President, Board of Directors, SEBRAE/RJ
Tel.: 55 21 2563-4681 Fax: 55 21 2563-4040
Address: Rua Santa Luzia 685 - Centro 9th Floor - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Brazilian Small and Medium Size Companies Association

Mr. Sergio Malta -
Tel.: 55 21 2563-4681 Fax: 55 21 2563-4040
Address: Rua Santa Luzia 685 - Centro 9th Floor - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Brazilian Small and Medium Size Companies Association

Mr. Fabio Braga -
Executive from the Government of State of Rio

Tel.: 55 21 2563-4681 Fax: 55 21 2563-4040
Address: Rua Santa Luzia 685 - Centro 9th Floor - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Brazilian Small and Medium Size Companies Association

Mr. Mauricio Chacur -
Secretary of Economic Development of the State of Rio de Janeiro
Tel.: 55 21 2563-4681 Fax: 55 21 2563-4040
Address: Rua Santa Luzia 685 - Centro 9th Floor - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Brazilian Small and Medium Size Companies Association

M/s Zipping

Mr. Geraldo Aguiar

Phone: 5511 3868 4141
Mobile: 5511 9759 3137
Address: Rua Guaricurus, 1200 – Lapa – São Paulo – SP –Zip: 05033-002

M/s Zipping

Mrs. Maria Cândida

Phone: 5511 3868 4141
Mobile: 5511 9759 3137
Address: Rua Guaricurus, 1200 – Lapa – São Paulo – SP –Zip: 05033-002


Mr. Claudio Fisch

Phone: 5511 7244 4080
Address: Rua Maestro Elias Lobo, 796 – Jardim Paulista Zip:01433-000 SP – São Paulo
M/s Ordene

Represented by Mr Claudio Fish
Phone: (55-51) 3473-4888
Address: Rua Dois s/n° - Novo Esteio Industrial - caixa postal 83 - CEP 93270-260 - Esteio /RS
Plastic Home Products

M/s Grupo Bettanin
Represented by Mr Claudio Fish

Address: AV INDEPENDENCIA 8885 ESTEIO - RS - CEP 47395 70
Phone: 55 51 4736499
Home Cleaning Products
M/s San Remo - Home Ware
Represented by Mr Claudio Fish
Plastic Products

Represented by Mr Claudio Fish
Address: R COUTINHO E MELO , 196
VAUREA - SP CEP 08411 090
TEL 55 11 6553 7000
Ice Creams
Represented by Mr Claudio Fish
CEP 08340-150
TEL 55 11 3383 3195
Foot Wears and accessories

Mr. Daniel Martins
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Hospital Equipments
M/s Crown Telecomumications
Mr. Fernando Lima
M/s Atico Brasil.
Mr. Nick Thomas

Super Market Products
M/s Gouvêa de Souza & MD Desenvolvimento Empresarial Ltda
Mr. Marcos Souza
Address: Av. Paulista, 171 – 10th Floor - Zip Code: 01311-000
São Paulo - SP
Tel.: 55 11 3262-0666
Fax.: 55 11 3263-0066E-mail:
General Products
M/s Sada
Mr. Eduardo Rigo
Av Nicola deMarqui 1500 SBC SP
097 700 -000
Phone: 5511 4396 8181
Automobile Parts
M/s Sada
Mr. Edson Luiz Pereira

Av Nicola deMarqui 1500 SBC SP
097 700 -000
Phone: 5511 4396 8181
Automobile parts
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Mrs Carolina Christo
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Mr. Leonardo Ananda
Phone: 5531 3264 5444
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Mrs. Patrícia Lages
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Mrs. Verônica Winter
Phone: 5531 3264 5444
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Mr. Mauro Federici
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Honorary Consulate of India in Minas Gerais
Mr. Élson de Barros Gomes Jr.
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Honorary Cônsul
M/s Rama Empreendimentos

Represented by Mr. Élson de Barros Gomes Jr.

India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
International Business Company

João Andrade
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Engineering and Construction

Mr. José Eduardo Kury de Oliveira Coelho
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444


Mr. Ricardo Maia
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Steel Company
M/s G&P

Mr. Armando Oliveira
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444


Mr. Daniel Martins
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Electronic Equipments

Mr. Marcelo Avanci
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Kitchen Items & Furniture
Represented by Mr. José Carlos Vieira Jr.
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Represented by Mr. José Carlos Vieira Jr.
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Chemical Items

Represented by Mr. Jair Rodrigues
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Represented by Mr. Jair Rodrigues
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Automobile Parts

Mrs. Renata Mello
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444


Mrs. Luciana Saad
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Clothing Accessories and Shoes
M/s Letaflex Ltda
Mr. Rafael
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce in Minas Gerais
Phone: 5531 3264 5444

Auto Mobile Parts

IMF report on Latin American economies

The November 2006 regional economic outlook report of IMF has positive things to say about the latamerican economies, like the recent reports of other sources. Highlights:

  • robust growth of Latamerican and caribbean economies around 4.75 percent in 2006- making the ongoing expansion as the most vigorous in decades. Growth rate in 2007 projected to be 4.25%.
  • Domestic demand is buyont, driven by public spending, private consumption and investment
  • Inflation in 2006 will average to 5.25% and is likely to decline to 5% in 2007. countries with high inflation in 2006; Argentina 10.9%, venezuela 13.7%, costa Rica 13% and Haiti 14%
  • external current accounts and primary fiscal balance are in surplus, exchange rates flexible and public debts safer
  • Exports booming adding to trade surplus in many countries
  • Reserves reached 300 billion dollars in 2006
  • unemployment and poverty have been declining.
  • IMF's assistance to the region fell dramatically from about 18 billion dollars per year in 2002-3 to just 0.5 billion dollars in 2006. outstanding credit to the region decreased from 48 billion $ in end 2003 to 3.1 billion in july 2006.

Of course, these are subject to the usual risks including growth and interest rates in USA and commodity prices.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Iflex in Latin America

I visited the Iflex Hqrs in Bangalore on 29 Sept.
The building goes with the name... interesting architecture.
The company was started and is still run by professionals. They have achieved global leadership in their niche area of banking solutions with 660 customers in 120 countries.

i-flex began its operations in Latin America in 2002 with a small team of two people and has now 100 professionals working in the region, including a multinational mix of people from India, Colombia, Venezuela , Honduras, amongst others. They have 20 banks in the Latin American and Caribbean region as customers including Banco de Chile, Bladex, Sicredi, Citibank, Inverunion, PanCaribbean Financial Services, and FirstCaribbean International Bank.
Banco de Chile, one of their early customers selected i-flex to replace its entire core processing system and the project is currently underway in Chile. Likewise, Bladex of Panama, a leading 2nd tier bank in the region, selected their solutions to transform their core and business intelligence platforms.

To know more, visit:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Talk on Latin America at IIM Kolkata 2 November

My friends laughed... when I mentioned that I was going to give a talk at the IIM. They asked if i was inspired by a colourful politician who gave a talk at IIM recently.

It struck me. Surely the rustic wisdom of Bihar and the lusty Latin America add new dimensions to the otherwise staid and serious business of management. The first one is important to understand the growing rural market of India while the second one will help to reach out to the promising Latin American market. Understanding of the culture is the key to business success in both the cases.

Latin America can surely teach how to have fun and enjoy life to our young managers, who miss out on these, in their unrelenting pursuit of career glory. Salsa and Samba will reinvogorate the management mind.

Of course, our globalising managers need to understand the culture of Latin America to do business with this region which is becoming prosperous and stable and is offering opportunities for Indian business.

IIM Kolkata has a tie up with a management school in Rio and their delegation has come back from a successful trip to Latin America recently.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mexican Printing Business delegation 18-23 october

This 9- member delegation will stay at taj mahal hotel, New Delhi. The programme is being arranged by the mexican Embassy. contact Luis Gerardo
CII organising meeting on 19 oct. contact Gunveena Chadha
Progr includes meeting with Federation of Printers and Printing machinery Association

Delegation List

Mr. Alfredo Virgen Vallado Director General of Educational Programs S.A. of C.V. and National President Canagraf

Mr. Carlos Almeida HerreraDirector General of Color Cuatro S.A. and National Vice President Canagraf

Prof. Marco Suárez Director General of Commercial Lithography S.A. and Advisory Secretary Canagraf

Mr. Arturo Adona Castro Director General de Cajas Micro, S.A. and National Ex-President Canagraf

Mrs. Maria de los Angeles Cuevas de Virgen Director General of Mexican Publidiza

Mr. Ricardo Macias González Director General of Canagraf

Mr. Eduardo Pérez Abarca Coordinator of Projects for Canagraf

Mr. Araceli Aguerre Balido

Business with the New Latin America- book by Thomas Becker

Doing business in the New Latin America
a guide to cultures, practices and opportunities

by Thomas Becker- 2004

The title of the book is self explanatory. I finished the book(230 pages) in two sittings today. The reason is obvius. The subject is dear to my mind and heart. While many conclusions of the author are similiar to mine, I learnt some new things particularly on the historical roots of Latino business culture.

It is meant for the Americans, who have stereotyped vision about Latin America.
It is useful for the Indian businessmen too.

The author brings out the emerging new Latin America breaking free from its forgettable past.
He is optimistic about the new latino mindset driving politics and business of the region.

The author has dug into the historical reasons for the difference in business approach of Latinos from those of Americans. he has traced it to the Iberian colonial mindset, vertical hierarchy, influence of the sword and cross, unrealistic and rigid royal rules to be flouted in practice and the civil law deriving from the Romans and Napoleonic code. The last is important since it limits what is permissible as those predefined. But in the common law followed in Anglo American world, the right to act exists unless otherwise specified.

The author has vividly portrayed the cultural dimension of latino business. some highlights:
- language of latinos has two more forms besides the verbal. watch out for silence and the body language.
-manana does not mean tomorrow. It means not today.
-Negocios ( business) in spanish means denial of leisure (nego- denial, ocios-leisure).
-trust and face saving more important than a piece of paper called as contract.
- time is construed as cyclical ( another opportunity might come!) by latinos while Americans take it as linear.
- negotiations are spontaneous and impulsive.

I will recommend this book for the Indian businessmen pursuing opportunities in Latin America.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Business Visas for Central America

good news !

Honduras and Guatemala have agreed to give visas for Indian bz visitors, without the need for prior approval from their immigration depts and foreign offices. Prior approval used to take lot of time earlier .

Of course, they do not have embassies in India. But visa application can be made in their embassies in other countries.

Costa Rica has announced that Indian bz visitors do not need visas for entry. Ideal solution !

Credit for this goes to Ambassdor Tomar in Panama, who has been pursuing this vigorously.

We are hoping that Nicaragua and El salvador will also follow this lead soon. There is still no success with panama, which takes months for prior approval for issue of visa. There is also problem with Belize, which has onerous conditions for visa. For belize, visa application can be made with the British High Commission in India.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Latin America Seminar at Bangalore, 29 september

I was the key-note speaker in the seminar. I spoke about the change of mindset of bz and political leaders of India and latin america, which has opened up tremendous opportunities for trade and investments.
-The trade of 6.2 billion dollars in 2005 could be doubled in the next three years. The growth in the coming years is going to be quantum jumps and not just incremental.
-More than trade, the investment of indian cos in latin america have reached close to 3 billion dollars, with plans for additional investment of another billion in the next two years.
- Latest investment is by BEML in Rio de janeiro in a plant for production of railway wagons, mining and earth moving equipments. The 20 million dollar investment in the plant will make it a platform for exports to the other markets of latin america as well.
-Indian brands such as Reliance, Tata, Mahindra, Mittal, Essar, Jindal, bajaj, Thermax, Praj, Maruti are well established and recognised in the region, opening the doors for the entry of other Indian cos.
- Engg products are the leading items of export to mexico and central america, while chemicals and pharma are the main exports to Brazil and south America.
-The exporters should participate in sectoral fairs in sao paulo and mexico, as well as in ITPO fair in march 2007 in sao paulo.
-The exporters should have three distinct strategies for the three different markets of large ( brazil, mexico and argentina), medium size countries( colombia, chile etc) and small markets of central america and caribbean.
-Finally I gave an overview of the latin American market which is becoming stable and prosperous.
The Chilean Ambassador Jorge Heine, Miss Canela from Dominican Republic Embassy and Mr Alonso Gortari, Director General of Foreign Economic Relations of the Mexican foreign office gave presentations on their markets.
Eximbank and ECGC representatives gave details of their schemes for supporting exports to latin america.
Jibu mathew of UL India Ltd gave a useful presentation on the certifications and standards required in the latin american market. His contact: and
Deepak Kumar of UTI worldwide spoke about logistics for trade with latin america. contact:
I was surprised by the punctuality of the audience, despite the notorious bangaore trafic jams. The 100 plus exporters arrived and took seats well before the starting of the function at 10.45 am. Good bye to IST ( Indian Stretchable Time ) and welcome to the new business mindset, which values time !
During the function, Dr Ravichandran , secy- general of Indo-latin American chamber of commerce , Chennai presented to me a copy of his Ph.D thesis " Differentiated market strategies for business with latin america". He has generously acknowledged my "guidance, advice, inputs and support" for his research.
The seminar was held at Hotel Capitol, Bangalore by EEPC , southern regional office. Credit for the success of the event goes to Ganesan of EEPC Chennai.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CII meeting with Mexican business delegation

This meeting on 26 September, was with the business delegation lead by the Vice Minister of Small Scale Industries, currently visiting India.

The Minister highlighted the growing strength of mexican economy.
- inflation is just 3 percent.
- interest rate 7.3 percent. This is important since interest rates are generally high in other countries of the region and especially in Brazil, where the primary rate is double that of Mexico.
-Fiscal deficit nearing zero
-country risk is a historic low of 111 basic points. In the case of Brazil it is 222 and Argentina 324.
- Forex reserves at a high of 80 billion dollars.
- Mexico has signed FTAs with 43 countries in the world, the largest

The political economy in the next six years is going to be better with the pro-business Felipe Calderon taking over as president on 1 December.

Mexico is expected to take part in the International Engg Fair of CII in feb 2007.

I advised CII to take a bz delegation to mexico, as was done by them in the case of Brasil earlier this month.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Amitabh of Aditya Birla group, which is setting up a carbon black plant in mexico and has other investment plans.

This is the first visit of a software delegation from mexico, which is a virgin mkt for our IT bz.
here is the contacts of some of the mexican delegates and their interests:

1 Eduardo Ruiz Esparza
Director General
IDZ Online
RFID – Tecnología
0181 8363 7260 cel 0181 1277 1508
Monterrey NL
IDZ is the most active RFID research and development center in Latin America, integrated by a multidisciplinary and RFID certified team with expertise in native and enabled solutions for all stages of RFID projects. We offer: staff outsourcing, consulting services, and build solutions.
Alliances, Developers
2 Dr. Jorge Alonso
Border Tech / Ceni2t
Innovation Center for the Development of Embeded software, Biotecnology, Micro Electronics Projects
664 674 5074
Ensenada, B.C.
Research and Development in Wireless, software, Biotecnology, Micro Electronics
CENI2T is an innovation center for the development of knowledge-based value. Our main service provides a high-profile research and technical team for the development of intellectual property in high tech projects such as: semiconductors, MEMS, wireless, sensors, biotech, pharmaceutical, embedded software, and IT. A key benefit is supplying the teams, facilities, processes, and infrastructure that our clients need, at a much lower cost than the United States.
Alliances with Research Centers and Innovation Centers.

3 Ing. Mauricio Santillan
Director General
IT Business Consulting
55 5093 0900
México, D.F.
Consulting to High Tech Small and Médium Companies to acellerate their process to introduce new technologies to the market, quality control and Business Models.
Venture Capital Fund in the high tech industry based in Mexico. Provide business acceleration consulting services to small and medium companies. Attract and develop small and medium companies creating ecosystems to cover specific vertical markets i.e. Government, Health, Information technology and banking. Also provides headhunting services for the IT industry in Mexico
Looking for companies interested in landing high tech products in Mexico. Willing to explore investment ventures in Mexico

4 Ing. Claudio Arriola
Director General
Grupo Logistico Mexicano
664 647 5787
Tijuana, B.C.
Logistics services to maquiladora companies around the world
Technology and Logistics Software

5 Dr. Raúl Carvajal
Innovation in Small and Medium Size Technology Companies
55 5200 0589
México, D.F.
India Technology Maps, to have a clear vision of the IT nitch markets and business opportunity areas.

6 Ing. Eduardo Valtierra Padrón
CANIETI Noroeste
Electronics, Telecomm and IT
664 686 6646
Tijuana, B.C.
Education and Certification programs in IT and Multimedia
Educational Software

Sunday, September 24, 2006

ECLAC report on the importance of India for Latin America

The september 2006 report of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean, based in Santiago, attaches importance to India and China for the exports of Latin American countries. It has dedicated one whole chapter on this out of the total of six chapters on its report "Latin America and caribbean in the world economy"
Here is what they have said:

-The robust growth occuring in China and india is of great importance to the world economy and in particular for latin America and caribbean.
- India has already concluded trade agreements with Mercosur and Chile. South America should consolidate this trend by further strengthening its trade links based on greater productive complementarity with both China and India, creating the necessary trade and technology partnerships.
- For Mexico and Central America to attain more strategic relations with China and India, the ECLAC report suggests that increased intra-industry trade. This could open new access routes to Asian markets and foster incorporation of new technologies, rather than compete face-to-face in third markets like the United States.
-Latin America should take advantage of the opportunities offered by both China and India to enter existing production and distribution chains. One way of achieving this is through trade agreements with both countries. In this respect, the agreement already signed by Chile and China and the agreement negotiated between India and Mercosur are promising, but require more depth and wider scope.

ECLAC has noted that 30 percent of world trade growth last year has come from India and China.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Visit of Chemexil delegation to Latin America 19 Nov - 3 Dec

This delegation of 16 chemicals and basic pharma exporters will visit

mexico - 19-20 Nov
Venezuela - 21-23 Nov
Chile - 24-29 Nov
argentina- 28-29 Nov
Brazil 29 Nov - 3 dec

Chemicals and pharma are the leading items of exports of india to Latin America.

IMF forecast for Latin America

According to the latest IMF forecast, economic growth in the region will be around 4.8 percent, better than the previous prediction of 4.1 percent. Growth in 2007 is projected to be 4.2 percent. This makes five consecutive years of continuous growth for the region, a kind of record and indicative of the new paradigm of stability and growth of the region. In 2005 growth was 4.3 percent.
This year, Argentina's economy will expand 8 percent, Venezuela's will grow 7.5 percent, Mexico 4 percent and Brazil 3.6 percent.

The economies have been buoyed by a surge in revenue from commodities exports such as oil and copper after prices touched a record this year.

Average inflation will slow to 5.6 percent in 2006 and 5.2 percent next year, from 6.3 percent in 2005.

The good performance of Latin American economies in 2006 and promise in 2007 and in the near term are good news for Indian exports.

According to IMF report of September 2006, following is the
GDP ranking. Figures in billion dollars.

Brazil - $966.8, Mexico - $811.3 , Argentina - $219.6 , Venezuela - $164.4 , Chile - $140.4 Colombia - $129.4 , Peru - $89.3 , Ecuador - $41.3 , Guatemala - $29.7 , Dom. Rep. - $28.5 Costa Rica - $21.4, Uruguay - $18.6 , El Salvador - $18.2 , Panama - $16.9, Bolivia - $10.3 Honduras - $9.0, Paraguay - $8.6, Nicaragua - $5.4 , Haiti - $4.3

GDP Per Capita Ranking

Chile-$8,569, Mexico-$7,593, Venezuela-$6,098, Uruguay-$5,809, Argentina-$5,745 Brazil-$5,176, Panama-$5,139, Costa Rica-$4,874 , Dom. Rep.-$3,291, Peru-$3,151 Ecuador-$3,081 , Colombia-$2,763, El Salvador-$2,602, Guatemala-$2,107 , Paraguay-$1,460 , Honduras-$1,217 , Bolivia-$1,075 , Nicaragua-$908 , Haiti-$505

Latest Indian investments in Latin America

ONGC Videsh Ltd ( OVL ) has acquired an oilfield in Colombia for 425 million dollars this month. They bought this from from a private company. OVL bought this oilfield in a joint venture with a Chinese oil company who paid another 425 million dollars. If u cannot beat them , join them !!! The oil field is already producing about 20,000 bpd and has the potential to yield upto 60,000 bpd.

Earlier, Reliance had acquired 2 off-shore blocs in the pacific side of Colombia for exploration.

In April 2006, OVL bought an offshore oil field in Brazil for over 400 million dollars.

OVL signed a contract with the Cuban government for exploration in 2 offshore oil blocks. OVL has also got a 30 percent share in six other Cuban offshore blocks in the consortium lead by Repsol.

BEML signed a MOU on 12 Sept with CCCE a Brazilian company for setting up a plant for production of railway wagons, mining and earthmoving equipments, near Rio. BEML will invest about 20 million dollars in this venture. The railway wagons will be supplied to CVRD, the Brazilian mining company. BEML will use the Rio plant as a platform for exports to the whole of Latin America.

Reliance, Bajaj Hindustan ( has earmarked 500 million dollars and has already formed a Brazilian subsidiary ), Rajshree sugarmills, Renuka sugar mills and Godavari sugar mills and some Indian public sector oil cos are pursuing acquisition of sugar and ethanol plants and sugarcane estates in Brazil, which is a low-cost and high productive manufacturer of sugar and ethanol.

Wokhardt and Ajantha pharma are looking for acquisition of pharma cos in Brazil.

Bilcare, a pune-based pharma packaging company is planning to put up a greenfield plant to produce pharma packaging materials in Brazil. They already have plants in Singapore and USA. The young and visionary CEO Mr Bhandari wants to take his company to the top five in the world in the next few years.

Aditya Birla Group is on the look out for mining ventures in the region.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Chile overtakes Colombia in GDP

According to the latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund, Chile's GDP has reached $140.4 billion, which is larger than the $129.4 billion economy of Colombia. The economy of Chile has become the fifth largest in latin America after Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela. hmmm.. the population of Chile is just 15 million!

Chile has also passed Mexico as Latin America's top GDP per capita nation. Thanks to strong economic growth in the past two years, Chile is now the country in Latin America with the highest GDP per capita. Chile now has a GDP per capita of $8,569, a 20.3 percent increase from 2005. Mexico's GDP per capita is now $7,593, a 4.0 percent rise from 2005.

The Chilean economy is the most open, dynamic and transparent in latin America, with the strongest macroeconomic fundamentals. Fiscal and current account surpluses are sizeable. Their pension fund system is one of the best in the world. They have a single uniform tariff of just six percent for imports.

Seminar on Latin America by EEPC at Bangalore 29 sept

Here is the invitation by EEPC

(Southern Region)
cordially invite you to attend the


at Senate Hall, Hotel The Capitol,
Raj Bhavan Road, Bangalore
on Friday, the 29th September, 2006 at 10.30 a.m.

Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Chile
has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest

Joint Secretary & Head, Latin American and Caribbean Division
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
has kindly consented to deliver the Keynote Address

Other Speakers

Ms.Maria Gabriella Bonetti ( Miss Canela !! )
Minister-Counsellor (Economic & Commercial), Embassy of Dominican Republic

Mr.Alonso de Gortari
DG, International Economic Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Shri C.S.Shukla
Executive Director, EEPC, NewDelhi

Shri S.Prabhakaran
Executive Director, ECGC of India Ltd., Mumbai

Shri Sanjay Sarkar, Director, Eximius Centre for Learning
EXIM Bank of India, Bangalore

Shri Jibu Mathew, Business Manager,
UL India Ltd., Bangalore - on Certifications and
Standards desired in LAC

Shri J.Deepak Kumar
Regional Manager – OCEAN
UTI Worldwide India Pvt Ltd., Bangalore -
on Logistics issues in LAC

Exporters and bzmen are welcome to attend the seminar. For invitation and info
contact Mr Ganesan

visit of Mexican business delegation 23-29 Sept

The Mexican bzmen have started giving more importance to India than the Indians do.
Several delegations hv visited in recent months. Here is an IT bz delegation of small and medium cos visiting Delhi 23-27 sept. They will hv interaction with NASSCOM, ESC and Ministry of Small scale industries.
ESC has a meeting and reception on 25th evening
FICCI breakfast meeting on 26th
CII lunch meeting on 26th

Some of them will go to bangalore 27-29 sept.

delegation list:

Prof. (Mrs.) Esperanza Gómez-Mont y Urueta, Director General of Exports, Ministry of Economy.
Mr. Victor Hugo Estrada de la O, Deputy Director of Internal Trade on Information Technology , Ministry of Economy.
Mr. Alonso de Gortari Rabiela, Director General of International Economic Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Eduardo Valtierra, President of the National Chamber of Electronic Industry and Information Technology (CANIETI), North West .
. Mr. Eduardo Ruiz Esparza, Director General, IDZ Online.
Dr. Jorge Alonso, Border Tech/Ceni2t.
Eng. Mauricio Santillán, Director General, Visionaria.
Eng. Claudio Arriola, Director General, Grupo Logístico Mexicano.
Dr. Raúl Carvajal, Innovation in Small and Medium Size Technology Companies.
Mrs. Lourdes Ibáñez Aldana, Treasurer, Cluster IT@Baja.
Mr. Carlos Duarte, Director General, Border Tech/Ceni2t.
Mr. Ernesto Aello, Director General, Center for Higher Studies of Northwest.
Eng. Raúl Morales, Sales Representative, Softtek

They will stay at Hotel Intercontinental, newdelhi
contact: Mexican embassy

Already some Indian IT cos such as NIIT, TCS, Sasken hv presence in mexico.
There is tremendous scope for IT bz in the large and virgin mkt of mexico, which could be used as a platform for the larger market of NAFTA.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

business with latin america- why this blog?

Blogmania...blogfreak....Hold on...Before u call these names, let me explain the reason for this new blog. Sure ..I have a website with the same title. I also have a blog with the title " latin american affairs" So why this new blog?

I am creating this new one to focus exclusively on business with latin america. The other blog is for " affairs "and for matters of heart. But this one is serious !..hmm . This will supplement the website, while giving me more flexibility and freedom to post information of interest quickly, easily and simply. This will spare me the time of looking for the right page in my large website to put things in the correct place. Here I can write in one place all the things I want to. Moreover, I can do this from my office. I cannot do website work in office since the Ministry's ( bureaucratic! ) server does not allow uploading and downloading.

Of course.. you have seen through my vanity, desire to ride this new vehicle. Websites are passe... blogs are in. While my other two blogs are in blogger, this one is being hosted in the newer beta version of blogger. faster and better..

In this blog, there will be news on specific bz opportunities, visits of delegations, trade fairs, economic and commercial news for businessmen and leads and tips. The idea is to disseminate the latest information and complement the website.

Welcome to this new journey of blogging... on business with latin america !!

Disclaimer- This is a non-profit venture as part of my passion to promote relations with Latin America. The views and comments expressed here are strictly personal and do not reflect those of the Government of India.

Businessmen should use their own judgement and additional info to complement mine. I will not be responsible for the actions of contacts and companies given in the blog.