POLICY INITIATIVES RESULT IN SURGE IN INDIA'S EXPORTS TO LATIN AMERICA
FOCUS LAC PROGRAMME EXTENDED TILL MARCH 2003
Date : 05 Dec 2000
Location : New Delhi
The efforts of the government to enhance trade with Latin America have resulted in a sharp increase in India's exports to the region, according to an assessment of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry with the first quarter of 2000-2001 witnessing a 42 per cent growth in India's exports to Latin America. The rate of growth in exports to the Latin American Countries (LAC) is significant vis-à-vis important traditional trading partners, resulting from governmental initiatives and business enthusiasm. The Focus
LAC programme which has been reviewed and extended upto March, 2003 has paid rich dividends. Special package of incentives proved very vital in developing commercial linkages and in helping trade from both India and Latin America. Interaction at the higher levels have led to the growing interest and increase in quantum of trade. The visits of high level delegations to and from LAC such as the visit of Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Shri Omar Abdullah to Brazil, Argentina & Chile, CII's second trade delegation to Mexico, Brazil & Colombia and the visit to India of the Health Minister of Brazil, Governor of Santa Catarina, Brazil and a Departmental Stores delegation from Brazil have accelerated trade relations with Latin America.
India's trade with Latin America last year reflects this marked difference. Indian exports to Latin America in 1998-99 were US $ 611.31 million which rose to US $ 693.75 million in 1999-2000. The imports from Latin America also went up from US $ 730.69 million in 1998-99 to US $ 893.64 million in 1999-2000. The percentage increase in export was 13.49 and in import, it was 18.19.
The important items of India's exports to this region are Drugs, Pharmaceuticals & Fine chemicals, ready made garments (RMG) Cotton/manmade and accessories, Cotton/manmade yarn, fabrics, made ups etc, Transport equipment, Manufactures of metals, Inorganic, Organic & Agro chemicals, Machinery and instruments, Dyes, intermediates & Coal Tar chemicals, Rubber Manufactured products, Plastic & Linoleum products, Gems & Jewellery, Primary & semi-finished Iron & Steel, Handicrafts etc.
India's major imports from the LAC region are Vegetable oils, Sugar, Metalliferous Ores & Metal scrap, Fertilisers manufactured, Gold & Silver, Machinery, Iron & Steel, Wood and Wood products, Leather, Electronic goods, Organic/Inorganic chemicals, Non-ferrous metals, Crude minerals, Pearls, Precious & semiprecious stones, Pulp & Paper waste, Raw wool etc.
The trade is expected to go up further to touch a new high due to various policy initiatives taken by the government such as assistance for opening of offices, warehouses; facility for translation into Spanish/ Portuguese and vice versa; special language classes through IIFT; assistance for participation in sales cum study tours/BSMs delegations and participation in fairs in LAC; provision for inviting delegations; trade analysis of 12 major countries in LAC by NCTI; study by IIFT of Mercosur countries; preparation of CD Rom by NCTI; sectors specific studies; institution of export awards for LAC; proposal for setting up of a private sector marketing agency; proposal for creation of a corpus $ 500 with Exim Bank for lending to exporters at LIBOR, FTA/PTA with major countries in LAC; trade MOUs with certain LAC countries; mounting of high level delegations; holding of CRs' conference; organising Made in India shows in LAC region, inviting Health Ministers, Governors, Departmental stores delegations, extending Lines of Credit by Exim Bank and upgradation of ECGC (Export Credit and Guarantee Corporation) ratings for grant of commercial cover etc.