‘India-Colombia trade to grow by 23 percent by 2011′

August 5th, 2010 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) Bilateral trade between India and Colombia is expected to increase around 23 percent to $1 billion in 2010-11, Colombian ambassador Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra said here Wednesday.
“The bilateral trade was $813 million in 2009-10. In 2011, we expect it to go up to $1 billion,” Saavedra said at an interactive session in the Merchants Chamber of Commerce.

Saavedra said the future of bilateral trade and investment between the two countries was very bright.

“In 2009, we registered an extraordinary growth in our commercial relations and achieved a more equilibrated performance in trade. Our exports grew in 2009 to $449 million with the principal products of trade being oil, coal, sugar, candies, wood furniture, petrochemicals, home furnishing and emeralds,” the diplomat said.

Now, there are 24 Indian companies competing in the Colombian markets making Colombia the second largest partner of India in Latin America after Brazil.

“An evidence of this growing economic relation is the nearly 3,000 visas during the last two years and six months issued by our consulate in Delhi, of which 70 percent of them are business visas,” added Saavedra Alejandro Pelaez, first secretary (commercial), of Colombia in New Delhi.

“BPOs, hospitality, hotels, bio-fuels, IT services, petrochemical, minerals are the sectors where there is lot of potential for Indian businessmen to do business in Colombia. We provide them with the best business in the continent and other facilities,” said Pelaez.

According to Pelaez, food processing and education are sectors where there is potential for Colombian investment in India.

“Six Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed between various Colombian and Indian universities,” he said.

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