India - LAC Business Cooperation, Special Focus On West Bengal: ICC
At the Conference on India - LAC Business Cooperation: Special focus on West Bengal, organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Kolkata today, H.E. Mr Augusto Montiel, Coordinatinator of GRULAC & Ambassador of Venezuela exploded the commercial relations between India and Latin American & Caribbean (LAC) countries. He stated that LAC region, with a population of around 650 million has a combined GDP (USD actual prices) of around 5.4 billion. He informed that over 150 Indian companies are currently operating in LAC countries and Indian investment in sectors such as wholesale, retail, hospitality, construction etc. has exceeded 15 billion already. H.E. Mr Montiel felt that there is great business potential between the two regions and the countries of LAC and Eastern India can collaborate in sectors such as Pharmaceuticals, Mechanical Equipments, Electric Machineries, Vehicles, Textiles, Minerals, Oil & Energy.
Dr Amit Mitra, Hon’ble Minister, Department of Industry, Commerce & Enterprise, Finance, MSME & Textile, Government of West Bengal opined that West Bengal has emerged as the preferred investment destination in the country and highlighted its business potential. He discussed the deep cultural and social linkages between West Bengal and LAC countries. Hon’ble Minister informed the audience that West Bengal is one of the leading states in India in terms of human capital generation and employment creation and Government of West Bengal has already established many universities and industrial training institutions all over the state. He felt that India needs to step up its engagement with all the Trade Blocks of Latin American regions, sector by sector. He categorically mentioned that there exist huge business opportunities for LAC countries in West Bengal, especially in sectors like Automobiles, Textiles, Leather products, IT, Tourism and also in Infrastructure development and Raw Material Extractions. Dr Mitra urged investors from West Bengal to increase their trade with the Latin American countries.
Mr. Rudra Chatterjee, President, ICC in his welcome address mentioned that West Bengal has become the leading state in domestic Ease of Doing Business. He discussed the commonalities between Eastern India and Latin American countries and the key areas of interest. He felt that there exists huge untapped business potential between India and Latin American countries and that the two regions should increase their interactions through more B-2-B and B-2-G connect.
Mr Vikash Agarwal, Vice President, ICC offered the formal Vote of Thanks. Dr Rajeev Singh, Director General, ICC was also present in the conference.
The event was attended byHon’ble Ambassadors from eighteen Latin American nations - Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Ecuador, Argentina, Panama, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru, Suriname, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Regional Groups in LAC like ALBA, Caricom, Mercosur, Pacific Alliance & SICA gave a powerpoint presentation at the session. There was also a B2B session where the Ambassadors of GRULAC countries interacted with Indian companies.