I had created and maintained a website businesswithlatinamerica.com since August 2005. Due to technical challenges, I have abandoned it in 2018. But I keep following India’s business with Latin America and write a blog http://businesswithlatinamerica.blogspot.com/

Below is the basic information on trade and investment between India and Latin America.


What is new


Investment by Indian companies in Latin America

Latin American investment in India

Latin American market

What is new

BRICS Business Forum in Brasilia 13 November 2019

CII, the Indian coordinator invites Indian business to join their delegation for the Forum

Those interested can contact CII Headquarters, New Delhi

HCL acquires Xerox business in Guatemala - September 2019

HCL has acquired the R and D facilities and services of Xerox in Guatemala. The centre has around 600 staff

Lithium is the latest element entering Indo-Latin American business

Indian companies have started exploring opportunities for extraction of Lithium in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. These three countries, called as the Lithium Triangle, have more than fifty percent of world’s reserves. In addition Peru has also discovered Lithium reserves and is wooing Indian investors. The Indian government has signed MOU with some countries for cooperation in Lithium sector. A new company called as Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) has been established for acquisition of strategic minerals globally and to develop and process them. It is a consortium of three state-owned companies, National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd., (MECL) under the Ministry of Mines. KABIL delegation has already made preliminary visits to South America.

Genpact opens new Delivery Centres in Costa Rica and Mexico

Indian BPO firm Genpact will open a new delivery center in Heredia, Costa Rica and a digital innovation hub focused on advanced analytics in Guadalajara, Mexico to service Walmart's Finance and Accounting operations in Latin America. Genpact already has Delivery Centres in Monterrey and Juarez in Mexico.

Oyo Rooms has entered Latin American countries

Oyo has made entry into Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. More countries will follow.

Aditya Birla Group company Novellis had a turnover of 2 billion dollars in Brazil

The turnover was 7.8 billion Reais ( almost 2 billion dollars) in its Aluminium production operations in Brazil in the fiscal year April 2018- March 2019. The company is investing 160 million dollars to expand capacity in its Pindamonhangaba plant.

Latin America's modest economic growth in this year and decade

Latin American GDP is forecast to grow by a modest 0.5% in 2019 and end this decade with 1.9% as against 3.15% in the last decade.

One bright spot in the map of the region is Bolivia, which will end the decade with an impressive 4.83% average growth. What is interesting is that this has been achieved by the Leftist government of Evo Morales. He has been in power for the last 14 years since January 2006. The cumulative GDP growth in this period is 67.2% , at an average annual growth of 4.8%. This is not only a commendable achievement. This kind of sustained growth and stability for 14 years at a stretch should be a record in the history of Bolivia.

It is not just growth. It is an impressive Inclusive Growth. The socialist government of Morales has reduced poverty and inequality in the last 14 years much more than any other country in Latin America. This is a success story of Socialism in the contemporary democratic history of the world. Unfortunately Chavez and a few other Leftist have given a bad name to socialism with mismanagement of the economy. 

 More in the blog http://businesswithlatinamerica.blogspot.com/

CRI Pumps Coimbatore setting Mexican subsidiary - July 2019

The company is setting up a subsidiary in Mexico for its operations in Mexico and Central America. They are already exporting to these markets as well as the rest of Latin America.

Ecuador joining Pacific Alliance

Ecuador has started the process to become member of Pacific Alliance in the first week of July 2019. 
It is geographically logical given the fact that Ecuador is tucked in between Colombia and Peru, the only neighbours of the country. 
Since UNASUR and Andean Community (of which Ecuador was a member) are dead, Ecuador needs to join a Group and Pacific Alliance is a natural choice.
In any case, Ecuador has already signed FTA with Colombia, Peru and Chile..

More in the blog http://businesswithlatinamerica.blogspot.com/

Indo-Ecuador FTA -May 2019

The two countries have decided to pursue a Free Trade Agreement and plan to hold the first round of negotiations soon.

Indo- Peru Trade Agreement

The two governments have held three rounds of negotiations to conclude a Comprehensive Trade Agreement which would also include investment and services besides goods. The next round is to be held in August 2019

Argentine inflation at 43% in 2019

Argentine inflation will be 43% in 2019 according to IMF. This will be the highest inflation rate in the last 30 years..More than the figure during the Leftist regime of Kirchner who mismanaged the economy.

More bad news ahead...The high inflation is likely to persist for five more years and could come down to single digit only after 2023..

still worse news..The GDP is expected to shrink by 1.2% in 2019..

I cry for you Argentina..

Sterlite gets another power transmission project 12 April

Sterlite will invest 200 million dollars in Rio Grande do Sul..More info in this report

The company has already won large Brazilian power transmission line projects involving investment of 2 billion dollars since December 2017. They will build,own and operate the lines for 30 years. Sterlite has an optic fiber plant in Curitiba in a 50:50 joint venture with Brazilian company Conduspar Condutores Eletricos.

There are other Indian power transmission cos like KEC, Karamtara who are also doing well in Brazil and the rest of Latin America.

Latin America contributes 34% of the global business of 4.7 billion dollars of UPL

UPL’s turnover in Latin America was 1.6 billion. Of this 1.2 bn was from Brazil which accounts for a quarter of the total global business of UPL.

More in the blog http://businesswithlatinamerica.blogspot.com/

Indian IT firm Zensar starts operations in Mexico - April 2019

The company will have 50 local Mexicans to start with. More info https://www.zensar.com/about-us/media/news/zensar-starts-operations-mexico

India- Mexico trade crosses the 10 billion mark in 2018 reaching 10.15 billion dollars. India’s exports were 5.23 billion USD and imports 4.92 billion USD. This is according to the Mexican government statistics.. Mexico has overtaken Brazil as the largest Latin American trade partner of India..Viva Mexico..congrats to the Indian and Mexican embassies for their proactive economic diplomacy..

India gives 100 million dollar credit to Bolivia

This was announced during the visit of Indian President to Bolivia on 30 March. Indian companies interested in utilising the credit can contact EximBank of India




Latin America is more important for India’s exports than some neighbours and traditional trade partners

India exported more to the distant (15000 km) Guatemala ( 305 million dollars) than to the neighbouring (3400 km) Cambodia ( 196 million $) in 2018-19,.

India’s export of 181 million dollars to the remote and small Uruguay  (15000 km away; population 3.4 million) is more than to Kazhakstan ( 143 million dollars) which is 1600 km from Delhi and has more than five times population with 18 million.

India exported more (216 m $) to Dominican Republic (DR) than to the near by Uzbekistan ( 201 m) which has double the population of DR.

India’s exports to Central America ( 968 million dollars) are more than to the Central Asian Republics ( 442 m $) although the latter is close by and has more population (72 million) than Central America’s 42 million.

India’s exports to Mexico ( 3.84 billion $) are more than the exports to Myanmar ( 1.2 bn),  Russia (2.4 bn), Canada (2.9 bn) or Egypt (2.9 bn) or Nigeria ( 3 bn).

Mexico is the second largest destination for India’s vehicle exports with 1.61 billion dollars. This is more than the exports to neighbouring Bangladesh – 1146 million, Nepal -738 m, Srilanka – 473 m. 

India’s vehicle export to Colombia ( 360 m) is four times the export to neighbouring Myanmar -72 m.

India’s motorcycle exports to Colombia ( 216 m) are more than the exports to Srilanka ( 215 m) and Nepal ( 186 m). Colombia is the third largest export destination in the world for Indian motorcycles. In 2014-15 it was the top destination, now overtaken by Bangladesh (261 m) and Nigeria (240 m).

For Latin America, India is the # 2 supplier of motorcycles, # 3 supplier of organic chemicals, # 5 supplier of pharmaceuticals and # 6 supplier of Textiles.

The above statistics should open the eyes of those who might think that Latin America is less important for India’s exports on the ground that the region is too far and less familiar. 2018-19 is not the first year that Latin American countries have overtaken neighbours and traditional partners as more important for India’s exports. This trend has started since 2010 when the Indian exporters started exploring the Latin American market more seriously. Even with longer shipping time and heavier freight cost, Indian goods have become competitive in Latin America. Some brands such as Bajaj, Hero, Mahindra and Tata have become popular in the region. Indian motor cycles have become the leaders  with the highest market share in a few countries.

The growing importance of Latin America to Indian companies is best illustrated by the success story of UPL. This largest Indian agrochemical firm, has more business in Brazil (1.2 billion dollars) than in India. Brazil's share is 25% of the global business of UPL. Latin America accounts for 1.6 billion dollars (34% ) of the total global revenue of 4.7 bn of UPL. The region’s share is more than that of Europe, US or Asia. 


According to the figures just released by the Ministry of Commerce, India’s exports to Latin America increased by 9.6% in 2018-19 ( April to March) reaching 13.16 billion dollars from 12 billion in 2017-18. The Imports from the region went up by 5.3% to 25.73 billion from 24.44 bn in 2017-18. Total trade with the region has gone up by 6.7% to 38.89 bn from 36.45 bn last year.

Mexico has overtaken Brazil as the top trading partner of India in Latin America for the first time in 2018-19.  

Trade with the 19 countries of Latin America is given in the table below:

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Mexico is the top destination in the region, having overtaken Brazil in the last two years.

 Vehicles are the leading item of exports to Latin America which accounts for 18% of India’s global vehicle exports. India’s exports of 460 m % of motor cycles to Latin America are 22% of India’s global exports ( 2127 m). Major destination of vehicle exports in the region are: Mexico -1.62 billion dollars, Colombia-360 million, Brazil -319 m, Chile -305 m and Guatemala -90 m.

 The region has emerged as a significant destination for pharmaceutical exports.  Major  importersof Indian pharmaceuticals: Brazil – 270 million dollars, Chile -91 m, Peru -70 m, Colombia- 62 m, Mexico – 49 m and Guatemala -43 m. 

The main export items of India to the region are given in the table below

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 12.48.56 PM.png



 Latin America contributes to India’s strategic energy and food security by supplying 12% of India’s global imports of 117 billion dollars of crude and 22% of India’s vegetable oil.

The competition of Latin American crude and edible oil have put pressure on the monopoly suppliers of these items from the Middleast and South East Asia ( Indonesia and Malaysia supply palm oil) to offer to India lower prices and better terms.

 The suppliers of crude were: Venezuela – 7.25 billion dollars, Mexico – 4.27 billion, Brazil – 1.6 bn, Colombia – 571 m, Ecuador -128 m and Argentina – 47 m.

Main imports: 

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 12.51.44 PM.png

The region has abundant reserves and the potential to meet India’s needs of Lithium ( for electric vehicles) and pulses in the long term.

 India has started importing raw gold from Latin America in the last five years. Peru is the top supplier at 2.2 billion dollars, followed by Bolivia 849 million, Brazil -541 m, Dominican Republic – 537 m and Colombia -380 m. The direct imports from the region have helped India to cut costs by saving from the margins paid to gold sellers in Switzerland and UAE.

Venezuela continued as the main source of imports in the region with its crude oil supply. But this will go down drastically this year since India has been forced to stop import of Venezuelan oil by the US sanctions. But India can source more crude from other Latin American suppliers.

Mexico’s cellfone exports to India have increased to 503 million dollars in 2018 from 184 m in 2014.

India imports fresh fruits such as apples, blueberries, kiwis, strawberries,grapes, pears and cherries as well as avocados, prunes and some dryfruits from Chile, Argentina, Peru and Brazil.

For Latin America’s exports, India is the # 3 top destination after US and China.

Latin America exports more to India than to Germany, France, Spain, Italy, UK or Japan

India is the #1 destination of Latin American exports of vegetable oil, # 2 destination for crude oil, #3 market for gold and # 4 for copper exports.

 The Market

 Latin America is a large market of 600 million people with a combined GDP of 6 trillion US dollars. The regions’ imports are around a trillion dollars.

 The economies of the region are doing relatively well. The GDP of the region is projected to grow by a modest 1.3% in 2019 and continue its growth trajectory in the medium and long term. The average inflation and external indebtedness are in manageable figures. Democracy has become stronger in the region with more political stability.

 The only exceptions are Venezuela and Argentina.

 Venezuela’s GDP is forecast to shrink by 10%. The country suffers from hyperinflation of several hundred thousand percent, devaluation of the currency by 99%, shortages of essential consumer items and energy shortage. The economic misery is compounded by the political crisis, break down of instituitions and social instability. The US sanctions have made the economic situation worse. 

 Argentina’s GDP is expected to contract by 1.2% in 2019. The inflation is over 40% and the country has contracted a debt of 57 billion dollars from IMF. The country is preparing for elections in October. It is hoped that 2020 will see recovery of the economy.

 Brazil and Mexico, the two largest markets are set to grow in the coming years with the new Presidential terms starting from the beginning of 2019. 

 Moving forward

 India’s exports can be increased to 25 billion dollars in the next five years if the exporters, the export promotion councils, the government and the embassies coordinate with a plan of action seriously and systematically. India should get inspiration from the Chinese who have set a target of 500 billion dollars of trade with Latin America by 2025 taking it up from their 2018 figures of 148 billion exports and 157 billion imports. 

The Commerce Ministry of India should revive its Focus LAC programme which had helped in the past in encouraging and supporting Indian exporters to explore the business opportunities in Latin America.

 The Indian government should consider extending large Lines of Credit to support Indian exports. While China has given 150 billion dollars of credit to the region, India has given less than 300 million. 

 India should open embassies in countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Dominican Republic.

 This is a good time to accelerate the economic push into Latin America which has started attaching importance to India, the third largest export destination for the region’s exports after US and China. Disenchanted with the protectionist US and Europe and determined to reduce the overdependence on China, the Latin Americans see India as a large and growing market as well as a benign economic partner for win-win in the long term.


India and Latin America becoming important to each other's exports

India’s exports to Latin America in 2018 (January-December) increased by10.9% to 12.9 billion dollars in 2018. This is higher than the 9.1% increase in India’s global exports. The increase in export to Latin America is creditable in view of the following two unfavourable developments: The regions’ imports in 2018 had gone down by 10.2% to 894 billion dollars from 996 bn in 2017 and: the regional GDP growth rate was just marginal at 1.1% last year. 

India had exported more to Mexico than to neighbours such as Iran (2.85 bn), Myanmar (1.2bn) or traditional partners such as Canada ( 2.39 bn), Russia ( 2.33 bn), Egypt (2.79 bn) and Nigeria ( 2.74 bn).

According to Mexican statistics, the bilateral trade reached 10.15 billion dollars in 2018. India’s exports were 5.23 billion USD and imports 4.92 billion USD.

Exports to the distant Uruguay at 189 million dollars is more than the exports of 178 million to Cambodia which has four times more population in the neighbourhood.

India exported more to the distant Guatemala (305 m) than to the nearby Uzbekistan (193 m)which has twice the population of Guatemala.

India’s exports of 918 m to Central America (6 countries with population of 47 m) was more than the 589 m exported to Central Asia (8 countries with population of 95 m).

Mexico continued as the largest export destination with 3.83 billion dollars, having overtaken Brazil (since 2016) which accounted for 3.56 billion. The other top destinations were: Colombia 1.08 bn, Chile 925 m, Peru 758 m, Argentina 631 m and Ecuador 306 m.

Vehicles continued to the top export to Latin America with 3.5 bn dollars, followed by chemicals- 2bn, equipments and machinery-1.1 billion, pharmaceuticals-877 m, iron and steel-775m, textile materials-668 m, apparels-590 m, plastic products-560m and aluminium products-451m.

India’s vehicle exports to Mexico are more than its exports to large neighbouring markets such as Bangladesh or Indonesia. Mexico is the second largest global destination for India’s vehicle exports, after US. 

Colombia is the fourth largest global destination of India’s motorcycle exports. In 2015, Colombia was the number one destination.

Car exports to the region were 2.1 billion, motorcycles-499m and tractors-78m. 

Latin America accounts for 30% of India’s global exports of vehicles and 23% of motorcycle exports. Mexico has maintained its position as the leading destination with 1.7 bn dollars, followed by Colombia 334 m, Chile 326m, Brazil307m, Peru170m and Guatemala-95m

It is interesting that India’s pharmaceutical exports have gone up by 21% to 877 million dollars from 725 m in 2017. Brazil was the number one destination at 257 m, followed by Chile-82m, Colombia-64, Mexico-56, Vnezuela-55, Guatemala-35m, Dominican republic-34m and Ecuador-30m. Argentine domestic lobby has managed to restrict India’s exports to just 9 million dollars. Indian exporters need to focus on the large Mexican market which remains under explored.

Latin American exports to India

Latin America is also happy with its increase of its exports to India by 9.9% to 26 billion dollars from 23.4 bn in 2017.

India was the third largest global destination of Latin American exports in 2018. The region exported more to India ( 26 billion dollars) than to their traditional European partners such as Germany-19 bn, France-8 bn, UK-9bn, Spain-16 bn, Italy-10 bn or even Japan-20 billion.

Obviously, the Latin Americans have started attaching importance to the large and fast growing market of India.

Venezuela was the main source of imports with 7.4bn dollars followed by Mexico-5bn, Brazil-4.6bn, Peru-2.5bn, Argentina-1.8bn, Chile-1.7bn, Colombia 1bn, Bolivia 763m and Dominican Republic 549m.

Major imports were: crude oil-13.5bn, gold-4.4bn, Veg oil-2.2bn, copper-2bn,equipments and machinery-990m and raw sugar-567m.

India is the third largest market for Latin American crude (after US and China) and for gold exports ( after US and Switzerland). 

Venezuela continued to be the top supplier of crude with 7.4bn, while Mexico supplied 3.7bn, Brazil-1.5bn, Colombia-574m, Ecuador-127m and Argentina-47m.

It is significant that gold imports have jumped from 1.6bn in 2016 to 4.4 bn in 2018. Peru was the largest supplier with 2.2bn dollars while Bolivia supplied-760m, Dom Republic-510m, Brazil-487m and Colombia-360m

Most of the vegetable oil (soy oil) came from Argentina while Chile was the largest source of copper. Raw sugar was imported from Brazil for refining and reexports. 

Total trade with Latin America in 2018 

India’s trade reached 38.7 billion dollars in 2018 increasing by 10.2% from 35 bn in 2017

Mexico emerged as the largest trading partner in the region with total trade of 8.7 bn, followed by Brazi 8.2 bn, Venezuela 7.4 bn, Peru 3.2 bn, Chile 2.6 bn, and Colombia 2 bn.

This is the first time that Mexico has overtaken Brazil as the largest trading partner of India in Latin America.


UPL continued its bullishness increasing its investment to over a billion dollars in Latin America. This largest Indian agrochemical company does more business in Latin America than in India. Indian autoparts and IT companies have increased their investment and operations in the region.

There have been some minor increase in Latin American investments in India in food processing and other sectors.

Prospects in 2019.

The Latin American GDP is projected to increase by 1.7% in 2019. Brazil and Mexico the two largest economies are expected to show 2 plus percent of GDP growth in 2019. The pro-business Bolsonaro administration will have positive impact on investment and trade. Except for Venezuela and Argentina all the other 17 countries in the region will experience reasonably positive growth in the 2019. 

The region’s exports were 916 billion dollars and imports 894 bn in 2018

Average inflation of the region had gone up to 8.5% in October 2018 from 5% in 2017. Venezuelan hyperinflation went up to six digits, Argentina’s inflation stood at a high of 45% in October 2018. Except for these two, all other countries had only single digit inflation. Brazil’s inflation rate was 4.6% while Mexican rate was 4.9%.

Given the better prospects of the Latin American market, India’s exports to the region can be expected to increase by another 10% in 2019.


Venezuela’s GDP is expected to fall by 10% in 2019, on top of the 50% contraction in the preceding four years. Given the worsening political and economic crisis following the US sanctions, Venezuela is set to collapse in 2019. 

Consequent to the US sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports, India will reduce/minimise the Venezuelan purchases in 2019.

Argentina is likely to suffer a GDP contraction of 1.8% in 2018 after the 2.6% reduction in 2017. Argentine economy cannot avoid further challenges in 2019 consequent to the austerity conditions imposed by IMF which has lent the country over 50 billion dollars.

The recent political developments in the two biggest Latin American countries pose some challenges for Indo-Latin American relations. Bolsonaro, the new President of Brazil has downgraded the strategic partnership with India, established by President Lula. He is pro-Trump and Pro-christian Europe and dislikes South-South cooperation.

India’s relations with Mexico, the second largest country in the region after Mexico, is also becoming less substantive under the new President Lopez Obrador. He is fully absorbed in his domestic priorities and does not have time for foreign policy.  

But the foreign ministries and business leaders of both Brazil and Mexico are likely to sway their governments Presidents to realise the importance of India for their countries in the long term.

China-Latin America

Chinese trade with Latin America reached 305 billion dollars in 2018. Of this their exports were 148 billion and imports 157 bn. The Chinese have a target of 500 billion dollars by 2025.

They have given credit of 150 billion dollars to promote and facilitate exports and have made investment of around 110 billion dollars.

Suggestions for action

The Commerce Ministry of India should revive its Focus LAC programme which had helped in the past in encouraging and supporting Indian exporters to explore the business opportunities in Latin America. There could be a 10 year plan to take our exports to 30 billion dollars. Annual plans and reviews should be instituitionalised. China has 10 year plan to take trade to 500 billion and investment 250 bn in the period 2015-25.

The Export Promotion Councils should also have their own sectoral 10 year plans. They should take delegations atleast once a year to the region and should participate in Latin American trade fairs regularly. Both the councils and embassies should be asked to prepare professional market studies.

India should expedite conclusion of trade agreements with Mexico, Colombia and Peru which are major destinations for exports.  India should extend large lines of credit to Latin American countries as it is doing in the case of Asia and Africa. While China has extended about 150 billion dollars of credit to Latin America, India’s credit is just under two hundred million dollars. A one billion dollar LOC for the region could be announced during the proposed visit of President to Latin America later this year. China has given credit of 150 billion.

India could become a member of the Inter American Development Bank in whose projects Indian companies can participate. China and South Korea are already members. 

The annual India-Latin America Business Conclave needs to be scaled up and organised regularly by pooling and coordinating the efforts of CII and FICCI and other trade bodies and export promotion councils with substantive financial support by the government. ECLAC, IADB, CAF ( Latin American Bevelopment Bank), BCIE ( Central American Dev Bank) CDB ( Caribbean Dev Bank) and such regional organisations and banks should be coopted as permanent participants/sponsors in the Business Conclaves.

Indian universities need to be encouraged to open Latin America study centres and Spanish and Portuguese language courses. China has 65 Latin America study Centres. India has only three centres: one in JNU, another in Jindal University and the third in Goa University. 

Latin America business events should be organised in second tier manufacturing centres such as Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Jullundur, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Ahmedabad etc in collaboration with Export Promotion Councils, CII, FICCI and other trade bodies as well as Latin American embassies in Delhi.

Heads of pharma regulatory agencies and Health Ministers from the region could be invited to visit India to see for themselves India’s manufacturing and quality control, so that they loosen the restrictions on registration of Indian pharma in their countries. 

Eximbank should transfer its Latin America office from Washington DC to Sao Paulo/Buenos Aires to focus exclusively on the region. 

Sources of Statistics: ECLAC, Santiago and ITC Geneva

PTA with Mercosur

Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was concluded in march 2005. Preferential duty ( 10-20 percent in most cases) is given to 452 Indian products entering mercosur and reciprocal concession to 450 products of mercosur entering India. The PTA has become effective from June 2009.

Duty discount for 452 Indian exports as follows:

10 % : 394 products 
20 % : 45   products 
100%: 13 products 

Duty discount on 450 Mercosur exports:

10 % : 93 products 
20 % : 336 products 
100 % : 21 products 

Negotiations are going on sporadically for the last several years to expand the PTA. Bigger lists of items to be covered have been exchanged. The chances of any outcome in the near future are slim given the current uncertainty faced by Mercosur. The new administration of Brazilian President Bolsonaro does not attach the same importance to the group as the previous Presidents had done so since the formation of Mercosur in 1991.

PTA with Chile

India and Chile signed expanded PTA on 6 September 2017 to build on the original PTA signed in 2006.

Under the expanded PTA, Chile has offered concessions to India on 1798 tariff lines with Margin of Preference (MoP) ranging from 30%-100% and India has offered concessions to Chile on 1031 tariff lines at 8-digit level with MoP ranging from 10%-100%.

In the original PTA concluded in March 2006, India’s offer list to Chile consisted of 178 tariff lines the Margin of Preference (MoP) ranging from 10%-50% at 8-digit level and Chile’s offer list to India consisted of 296 tariff lines with MoP ranging from 10% - 100% at 8-digit level.

FTA with Peru, Colombia and Mexico

The government of India has initiated preliminary negotiations with Peru and has held three rounds of negotiations. There is need for FTA/PTA with Colombia and Mexico too

Latin American market

There are 19 countries in the region, of which 18 speak Spanish, while Brazil speaks Portuguese. The total population is 620 million and the combined GDP is 5 trillion dollars. The imports and exports are around a trillion dollars each.

Mercosur consists of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. They have a Customs Union with a common external tariff.

Pacific Alliance includes Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. They are in the process of reducing tariffs and barriers to promote trade among the four markets.

The latest report on the market

Business with Latin America blog

Lines of Credit

The Government of India has started giving lines of credit (LOC) Latin American countries at concessional terms since 2003. These are being operated by Eximbank of India.

India has given around 200 million dollars of credit to Honduras, Nicaragua and Cuba. In March 2019, India announced a credit of 100 million dollars to Bolivia. Honduras has received 56 million dollars of which half has been utilised for purchase of vehicles, telecom equipments etc.

Eximbank has given its own commercial Lines of Credit to some Indian companies which have invested in Latin America. It has also given some commercial lines of credit to governments, banks and regional organisations in Latin America, which remain mostly unutilised. The Eximbank office in Washington DC deals with LOCs to Latin America.

Indian investment in Latin America

Indian companies including NRI firms have invested about 10 billion dollars in the region in IT, pharmaceuticals, agro-chemicals, steel, mining, agribusiness and other sectors. The Indian investment reached its peak around 2012 after which some companies have pulled out/sold their operations in the region. These include Renuka Sugar investment of 500 million dollars in Brazilian sugar sector and Havell’s investment of 150 million dollars in the region in Sylvania lighting assets. On the other hand there have been increase in investment by mid-level companies in manufacturing sectors such as autoparts.

Information Technology

Indian IT companies have established software development centres, BPOs, KPOs and Call Centres in fourteen countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Guatemala) of the region employing 30,000 Latin Americans. The Indian companies have developed a new near-shore business model of 12/12 in which they service their North American clients for 12 hours from the same time zone operations in Latin America and the remaining 12 hours from India. The Indian companies leverage the multilingual skills of Latin Americans who speak Spanish, Portuguese and Italian to service European clients. They use the Latin Americans to reach out to the 40 million strong Hispanic market of US. The Indian companies have also got contracts from local Latin American companies.

TCS is the pioneer and has the largest presence in the region with Global Delivery Centres in eight Latin American countries employing 17000 local staff in Chile (1600), Brazil (1500), Uruguay (1400), Mexico (7000), Colombia (1900), Argentina (250), Peru(1000) and Ecuador(2600). TCS plans to open its ninth centre in Costa Rica.
The major local contracts of TCS are a 200 million dollars contract with ABN Amro Bank in Brazil, a 140 million dollars contract from Banco Pichincha of Ecuador, and a $200 million contract from the Social Security Institute of Mexico (IMSS). TCS has established a Regional Training Centre at Montevideo in Uruguay. 

Infosys- has set up Global Delivery Centres in Mexico, in Belo Horizonte and Araraqua in Brazil, in Argentina and a BPO in Costa Rica.They also have operations in Colombia. They have over 2000 staff in Latin America. Infosys employs roughly 1000 people in Mexico, mostly in Monterrey but some in Mexico City as well. Infosys Mexico gets 35% of its business from US and 65% from Mexico and LatAm.

Wipro has presence in 8 major cities across Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina with Sales offices in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), and Bogota (Colombia) and Development Centres in Curitiba (Brazil-530 staff), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Mexico City (Mexico-100 staff), and Monterrey (Mexico). It has acquired a Brazilian company InfoServer (in April 2017) which provides custom application development and software deployment services especially for banks. Approximate cost of this acquisition 9 million dollars.

Tech Mahindra – has 900 Brazilian employees in its centres in Sao Paulo and Londrina in Brazil. In February 2013 it acquired Complex IT, a Brazil-based SAP consulting provider which has about 500 employees and focuses largely on the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market in Brazil. The company has started operations in Mexico from May 2014. It has later acquired a Colombian company LeadCom which has presence in nine Latam countries besides in Africa.

Mahindra Comviva acquired majority stake in January 2016 in Advanced Technology Solutions(ATS) an Argentine IT company which provides mobile software and solutions to telecom companies in many countries of Latin America. With this acquisition, Mahindra expects Latin America to contribute 15% to its global revenue in the next three years. Mahindra Comviva is a subsidiary of TechMahindra which already has operations in Latin America.

HCL has opened IT centres in Brazil ( 315 staff in Sao Paulo and Port Alegre) and Mexico ( 70 staff).

Genpact has BPO operations in Brazil, Mexico ( Guadalajara, Monterry and Juarez), Colombia, Costa Rica (Heredia) and Guatemala. Its Centres in Costa Rica and Mexico service Walmart.

Patni Computer has a centre in Queretaro, Mexico and another one in Campinas in the state of Sao Paulo.

Cognizant has five Delivery Centres in Latin America in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Mexico city, Jalisco and San Jose. The biggest operations are in Argentina with 200 staff. The latest centre was inagurated in San Jose, Costa Rica on 19 December 2013.

24/7 from Bangalore has BPOs in Guatemala and Nicaragua employing 3500 local staff. 

Crisil/Irevna has set up a KPO unit in Buenos Ares for equity research with 80 Argentine staff.

Copal Partners the financial research company has established an office in Buenos Aires in the second half of 2010.

E-Valueserve has a KPO unit for financial research services in Chile, with 70 staff.

Cellent has a joint venture centre in Argentina in mobile software

Amba Research has a KPO in Costa Rica with 100 staff

WNS has a centre in Costa Rica with 300 staff

IDHASOFT has a BPO in Costa Rica with 50 staff.

CSS has a call centre/BPO in Costa Rica with 50 staff

Iflex (now Oracle) has got contracts for banking solutions worth 40 million dollars in Chile, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela and other countries in the region. It has an office in Santiago.

Geodesic Ltd has acquired a Uruguayan mobile phone software company (40 staff) in Montevideo in 2009. 

Hexaware Technologies has acquired a Mexico-based IT company Fox Frames for 34 million dollars to expand its software testing businessIt has operations in Brasil too.

Polaris Software has opened a centre in Santiago, Chile since May 2009.

Sutherland has a BPO in Fortaleza with 60 Brazilian staff. They already have a centre in Bogota with 1600 staff and are planning to open in other cities such as Medellin and Barranquilla in Colombia. They also have a plan toopen a BPO in Lima, Peru

UST Global, a Trivandrum-based IT company has opened a centre in Leon in Guanajuato, Mexico in July 2012 with ten staff. It plans to increase the staff strength to 80 by end 2012. The Mexican centre would provide near-shore service to its north american clients. The company plans to extend its operations to other Latin American countries and employ 5000 Latin Americans in the coming years both for outsourcing operations as well as to service Latin American companies. UST Global has a partnership with Fox Centre( former President Vicent Fox) in Mexico. Fox visited the Trivandrum office of UST Global in September 2012 and his Fox Centre is facilitating the entry of the company in Latin America.

Manthan Systems, a provider of Business Intelligence and Analytics solutions for the retail and consumer goods sectors has centres in São Paulo and Londrina in Brazil.

Mann India Technologies has operations in Venezuela, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

KPIT Technologies of Pune has 3 centres in Brazil ( Sao Paulo,Porto Alegre and Rio de janeiro) employing 120 Brazilian professionals.

Hindujas Global Solutions have global delivery centres in Bogota and Barranquilla and plan to open in Mexico.

Redbus, the online bus ticket booking company of India has acquired ( in July 2016) majority stake in Peruvian company Busportal. The Peruvian co-founderswill continue to lead the operations in Peru and explore expansion to other countries such as Colombia and Chile

Zensar Technologies from Pune has got a contract to work with Unicomer group based in El Salavador. Zensar will upgrade the Oracle business systems of Unicomer, Group which is a large multinational retail firm with 1000 stores in 24 countries. It has started operations in Mexico with 50 local staff in April 2019.

Practo, an online platform that connects patients with doctors, has launched its services in Brazil, the largest market in Latin America, starting with the city of Sao Paulo. Practo will introduce two of its services - Practo Search and Practo Ray in Brazil and will be available in two languages - English and Portuguese. At launch, the company will have over 5,500 doctors listed on its platform, covering 50 per cent of all clinics in Sao Paulo. Practo now has a presence in 15 countries



Indian companies have established manufacturing units in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina and have marketing offices in other countries. 

Ranbaxy, now merged into Sun Pharma, was the first to break into the region with investment in Brazil in the nineties. They have a turnover of 50 million dollars in Brazil. 

Dr.Reddy's Labs has bought a pharma plant for 60 million dollars in Mexico in 2006.

Lupin has acquired Grin Laboratorios of Mexico which has revenues of more than 30 million dollars. Grin specialises in opthalmic products. Lupin has 100% stake in the Brazilian pharma company Medquimica. Its revenue in Brazil is over 80 million dollars. Medquimica, which has 550 employees, is one of the fastest growing companies in branded generics.

Torrent has a Brazilian subsidiary with 300 Brazilian employees and a business of over 100 million dollars. 

Zydus Cadila  has acquired a Brazilian company Nikho, which has a turnover of over 60 million dollars.

Glenmark has taken over an Argentinian Pharma company “Servycal SA” in 2005 and has set up a new plant for oncological products. It has also invested in a new facility near Sao Paulo which has a turnover of 40 million dollars. It has a subsidiary in Dominican Republic.

Cellofarm (Strides Arcolab) has two factories in Brazil, one in Vitoria, Espirito Santo and another in Campos, Rio de Janeiro. They have over 40 million dollars business. 

Manish Pharma has acquired companies in the states of Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina in Brazil.

Cipla has presence in Brazil and is in the process of forming a subsidiary

Claris Lifesciences has a local subsidiary in Brazil

IPCA Labs has production facilities in Brazil and an office in Colombia.

Aurobindo has invested in a warehouse facility in Anàpolis, Brazil. 

Unichem, Intas and Sunpharma have established subsidiaries in Brazil.

ACG Capsules of Mumbai has acquired (2017) Nova Nordeplast, a Brazilian company that makes films and foils for pharma packing.

Emcure, the Pune-based pharma company has a 50:50 joint venture agreement with the Brazilian company Biolab( turnover 660 million Reais) in Sao Paulo. The Indian company will transfer technology and supply new molecules to the JV called as Biolab Emcure which will operate from Taboao de Serra in Sao Paulo state.

Caplin Point is the largest exporter to Central America. It has regional headquarters in Guatemala and branches in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti and Dominican Republic

Biocon has entered into an agreement with Laboratorios PiSA SA de CV (PiSA) of Mexico for the co-development of generic recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin) for the US market. This collaboration is a part of Biocon’s strategy to address the large demand for generic rh-insulin in the US, which accounts for over 40 percent of the global sales of $ 5 billion. The company has technological collaboration with Cuba for production of some biotech products in India.


Sterling Group has bought a 2000 hectare olive farm in Argentina.

Ishka Renewable Farms Private Lt, Kerala signed a joint venture with Cooperative Alcaparras Argentinas to cultivate 1,000 acres of capers in the next 10 years in the Argentine province of Santiago del Estero Argentina.

UPL has 60,000 hectares of leased land in Brazil, which came with their acquisition of an agrochemical firm. UPL is planning to grow pulses in this land for supplies to India.


United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL) Latin America accounts for 1.6 billion dollars (34% ) of the total global revenue of 4.7 bn of UPL. The region’s share is more than that of Europe, US or Asia. UPL, the largest Indian agrochemical firm, has more business in Brazil (1.2 billion dollars) than in India. Brazil's share is 25% of the global business of UPL which has manufacturing units in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. It has a large Research and Development Centre for seeds in Argentina. UPL is now the top Indian private sector investor in the region.

UPL's focus on South America is logical in view of the fact that South America is an agricultural super power with large fertile land area, abundant water and ideal climate. This natural blessing is complemented by the innovations and best practices of South American scientists, agronomists and entrepreneurs. The region has the potential to bring in another 40 million hectares of land for agriculture and feed 400 million more people of the world. This means more business in the coming years for UPL.

IFFCO has invested 25 million dollars in Americas Petrogas, a Canadian company, which has oil and gas projects in Argentina and a potash mine in Peru. IFFCO is working on the potash project in Peru, as part of their global fertiliser production strategy. They are planning construction of a potassium chloride plant in Bayóvar (Piura) which will involve an investment of 200 milion dollars. IFFCO is also considering a Urea production plant based on the gas produced by Americas Petrogas in La Pampa province of Argentina.

Naq Global, an Indian manufacturer of fertilizer additives, has a local business of over 80 million dollars in Brazil.It has plants in Porto Alegre, Uberaba and Rondonópolis. The Brazilian production is geared mainly to Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.

EID Parry has acquired Alimtec SA, a Chilean manufacturer of nutraceuticals, which belonged to Bayer. EID Parry will export the products of Alimtec to its US subsidiary

Camlin Fine Sciences from Mumbai has acquired 65% stake in Mexican chemical firm Dresen Quimica for $7.8 million. Dresen is engaged in manufacturing and distributing specialty intermediate chemical solutions used by the feed, food and other industrial products. Dresen has operations in five countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Dominican Republic. Camlin's Brazil operations began in 2014 through their 100% subsidiary company CFS do Brasil Ltda with production of antioxidant blends for food applications. 


OVL (ONGC Videsh Ltd) has invested over two billion dollars in the oil fields in Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia. It is the largest Indian investor in Latin America.

In Colombia, OVL’s investment is in a 50:50 joint venture with Sinopec. OVL investment is 600 million dollars in this jv company called as Manasarover Energy Colombia Ltd. Besides this,OVL has also taken exploration rights for some offshore oil blocks in Colombia. 

OVL has offshore oilfield concessions in Cuba on its own as well as separately as part of a consortium lead by Repsol.

OVL is exploring opportunities in Mexico, Ecuador and Argentina.

Bharat Petro Resources, subsidiary of BPCL, along with Videocon International have acquired ten blocs in Brazil valued at US$ 280 million. The Indian consortium has 40% in these blocks and Petrobras 60%. They have already struck oil in some of the blocks.

Assam company has entered into a Farmout Agreement with Sismopetrol and R3 in Colombia for exploration and production of an oil block known as ANH EL Triunfo located in Casanare in Colombia. The block size is 10,200 hectares and contains one discovered well (La Cabana). Assam Company has 70% Participating Interest in the said Block with Sismoperrol holding 30% Participating Interest.

Joshi Technologies International has an oil field in Colombia which produces 5000 bpd. Joshi company, founded by Dr Joshi, also have oil fields in India and USA.

Gammon India Ltd has established a subsidiary company Campo Puma Oriente SA ( based in Panama ) which operates the Puma oil fields in Ecuador which consists of eleven wells with proven reserves of 8 million barrels. They have a 20-year lease of Puma since 2008.
The Puma field investment is a joint venture with Joshi Technology International of USA. Gammon has 66.4% and Joshi 33.6%. The joint venture company in Ecuador is called as Consorcio Pegaso They have already invested 50 million dollars and plan to invest 51 million dollars.

South America is becoming a player in the global petroleum market. Brazil has discovered large new reserves of pre-salt oil and is set to become a significant exporter. Venezuela has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the country with the largest reserves of 300 billion barrels. Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and Peru are the other oil producers with significant oil reserves.

Argentina has the second largest shale oil and fourth largest shale gas reserves in the world. Investment has started in 2013 to exploit these new resources. Brazil and Mexico too have shale reserves.

In the non-conventional energy sector, Brazil has emerged as a global pioneer and leader in fuel ethanol and more countries in the region are following their lead. Argentina is the leading exporter of biodiesel produced from soya.

Lithium is the latest element entering Indo-Latin American business

Indian companies have started exploring opportunities for extraction of Lithium in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. These three countries, called as the Lithium Triangle, have more than fifty percent of world’s reserves. In addition Peru has also discovered Lithium reserves and is wooing Indian investors. The Indian government has signed MOU with some countries for cooperation in Lithium sector. A new company called as Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) has been established for acquisition of strategic minerals globally and to develop and process them. It is a consortium of three state-owned companies, National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd., (MECL) under the Ministry of Mines. KABIL delegation has already made preliminary visits to South America.

Suzlon Energy Ltd has created a cumulative installed capacity of approximately 750 MW in Brazil and have supplied 185 turbines to a dozen projects.

The company has done projects in Uruguay and Nicaragua.

Sterling and Wilson

This Shapoorji and Paloonji group company has already got a 6MW solar project in Brazil and is pursuing opportunities in Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Honduras besides other countries. It has an office in Sao Paulo.

Vijay Electricals from Hyderabad has acquired a Transformers plant in Joao Pessoa in the northeast of Brazil. They have another plant in Mexico.

DS Constructions Ltd. has acquired Globeleq America's power assets for $542 million, in 50:50 joint venture with Israel Corporation. The assets consists of natural gas and hydro power plants in Peru and Bolivia, fuel based power assets in El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Jamaica totalling a capacity of over 2,180 mw.

Sterling and Wilson This Shapoorji and Paloonji group company has already got a 6MW solar project in Brazil and is pursuing opportunities in Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Honduras besides other countries. It has an office in Sao Paulo and another in Lima.

Wipro’s Infrastructure Engineering division has acquired (may 2011) a Brazilian hydraulic cylinder manufacturer, RKM Equipamentos Hidraulicos which supply components to equipment makers such as Caterpillar and JCB.


Sterlite has won large Brazilian power transmission line projects involving investment of 2 billion dollars since December 2017. In April 2019, it got another power transmission project in which it will invest 200 million dollars in Rio Grande do Sul..They will build,own and operate the lines for 30 years. Sterlite has an optic fiber plant in Curitiba in a 50:50 joint venture with Brazilian company Conduspar Condutores Eletricos.

Karamtara, the Indian power transmission company has projects and business in Brasil and some other countries in the region.

KEC International Ltd has acquired ( sept 2010) SAE Tower Holdings of USA which has manufacturing facilities in Belo Horizonte, Brazil ( 65000 tons) and Monterry, Mexico ( 35,000 tons) as well as in USA. Cost of acquisition was 95 million dollars. SAE Towers is a leader in all three markets. 

Mining and Minerals

Aditya Birla Group has acquired three aluminium plants in Pindamonhangaba, Ouro Preto and Aratu in Brazil. These were acquired as part of the purchase of the global assets of Novelis. It has mining rights to bauxite reserves in Ouro Preto, Cataguases and Crangola regions. The group has also two carbon black plants in Cubatao and Bahia in Brazil, acquired from Columbian Chemicals of US.The total annual turnover of the three Aluminium plants and two carbon black plants are about 2.3 billion dollars. They employ 2600 Brazilians.

Aditya Birla Group is the largest private sector Indian investor in Latin America.

Tega Industries Limited has acquired a Chilean company Acotec S.A which is a $35 Mn company providing products and solutions for abrasion, corrosion and fluid transportation systems to the mining industry in Chile, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.

Jindal has acquired a iron ore mine in northern Chile for 53 million dollars

Essar group has an iron ore concession in Amapa, in northern Brazil. 

Arcelor Mittal has steel plants in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina and Brazil. They have acquired steel-finishing and distribution companies in Argentina, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Zuari Industries Limited of KK Birla Group and its JV partner Mitsubishi Corporation has acquired 30% stake in Fosfatos del Pacifico SA, Peru (Fospac) for $46 million through the Singapore-based JV company - MCA Phosphates Pte Ltd. The mine is located in Bayovar area in the province of Pieura, Peru and is expected to have an initial production capacity of 2.5 Mn Metric Tons.

Ispat Group is in the process of acquiring concessions for iron ore in Brazil and for coal in Colombia.

NALCO has announced plans to invest in copper mining in Chile.

Zamin Group, promoted by Pramod Agarwal is the most successful Indian mining company in Latin America. Agarwal bought Bahia Minerals mine in Brazil for a few million dollars.He developed it for six years and sold it for a royal sum of a billion dollars in 2010 to ENRC.

Zamin has mine concessions in Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay. But the Uruguayan project is under litigation since there is opposition to the mining project from environmental activists and agency.

IRK International has acquired an iron ore mine in Julica, Peru for 35 million dollars. The name of their local company is Pacific Minerals and Metals del Peru.

Minergy Resources of India has acquired mining concessions in Brazil. It has a JV with Neepaz Mineral Resources in the Iron Ore and Gold Concessions in the State of Tocantins and in Parana State in Brazil,

Indo Borax has acquired a small borax mine in Argentina and has plans for more acquisitions.

Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd (MIEL), India’s second-largest coal-based sponge iron producer has acquired majority stake in a coal mine in Colombia.

Indian Diamond business establishes presence in Panama Diamond Exchange - May 2015

About fifteen Indian diamond and jewellery firms such as Rosy Blue, Kiran Gems, Diarough (NV), Bhavani Gems, Interjewel, Jewelex, M Suresh and Niru Group have purchased office space at the Panama Diamond Exchange (PDE) and in the World Jewellery Hub (WJH) to cater to the Latin American market.

Latin America is endowed with rich reserves of minerals and precious metals such as Lithium, copper, iron ore, gold, silver and diamond. India will need more of these to fuel its high growth and consumption in the coming decades. There is scope for mining ventures in Argentina,  Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru

Automobiles and autoparts

Mahindra has a joint venture with Bramont for assembly of Scorpio 4-wheel drive vehicles in Manaus, Brazil and another JV for assembly of tractors in Venezuela. Mahindra plans to invest 70 million dollars in the next four years to increase the capacity of its plant in Dois Irmãos, Rio Grande do Sul, to 4,000 tractors a year from its current production of 1000 a year.

Tata Motors inagurated its Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility near Rio de Janeiro in June 2016. The 342 million dollar- plant will produce Land Rover and Range Rover SUVs. The company will source some components such as seats, chassis and powertrain assembly from local Brazilian suppliers.

Samvardhana Motherson Group from Noida has 15 plants, most of them in Mexico and a few in Brazil. They employ 22000 local staff and supply autoparts to OEMs.

Ashok Leyland is exploring possibility of joint venture with Plaza Group of Argentina to produce buses and trucks.

Sonalika Tractors is exploring possibility of assembling their tractors in Argentina in collaboration with Apache group. 

TVS has tied up with DAFRA Motos, a Brazilian company of the Grupo Itavema which has an assembly plant at Manaus with capacity to produce 200 thousand motorcycles annually.  In this plant TVS Apache RTR 150 motorcycles are produced. The TVS motor cycles run even with fuel ethanol, like the cars in Brasil. TVS has 26% stake in a Colombian company TVS Andina S.A.

Bajaj three wheelers are assembled in Medellin and the Colombian government has authorised Bajaj Autos to be used as public transport in municipalities with population less than 50,000. They have a 3 wheeler assembly plant in Nicaragua too. Bajaj has a motorcycle assembly plant in Mexico City in partnership with Autofin.

Hero Motors manufacturing unit was inagurated on 8 sept 2015 by the Colombian President. It is located in the Parc Sur free zone of Villa Rica in Cali in the state of Cauca, 500 km south west of Bogota. Hero has invested 70 million dollars. Annual production capacity 80,000 motorcycles and scooters and can be expanded to 150,000 units in the next phase. production from this plant will also be used for exports to other Latin American countries and US. Hero motorcycles are sold in Colombia through 160 outlets in 133 towns and cities.

Hero is also looking for a partner to set up a unit in Brazil. Hero is developing special engines for the Brazilian market where ethanol is mixed with petrol.

RSB Transmissions has opened a plant at Silao in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. The plant will produce transmission parts and equipments for automobiles.Investment said to be around 20 million dollars. Employment upto 500 local people. It has entered into a JV in Brazil with a local company for autoparts production.

Varroc Group of India has acquired manufacturing unit in Monterrey to make automotive lighting products. The Mexican unit came as part of its global acquisition of an American autolamp comany Visteon group

Pricol, based in Coimbatore has acquired a Brazilian autoparts company in Sao Paulo, Melling do Brasil, which has a turnover of 50 million dollars. Melling do Brasil is located in Diadema Sao Paulo Brasil and is a manufacturer of pumps (water, oil, fuel, and power steering), cold start valves, and aluminum castings.

Minda Group has autoparts plants in Mexico.

Sandhar Technoligies Ltd has a plant in San Jose Iturbide, Mexico, which supplies components to Tesla.

Other areas

Parle has a plant in Mexico to manufacture biscuits and confectionary, since 2018.

Oyo Rooms has made entry into Brazil , Mexico and Colombia

Havells, the Indian lighting and fixtures firm have some business in Brazil and Chile. They had sold most of their Sylvania assets in Latin America.

Godrej has acquired two Argentine companies, Issue Group and Argencos,which are in cosmetics business with core strength in hair colour. They have a turnover of 50 million dollars and export their products to other Latin American countries. Godrej has acquired majority control in a Chilean cosmetic company too.

Videocon had acquired a TV manufacturing plant (owned by Thomson) in Mexico. 

Besco has a joint venture in Brazil to make cast steel bogies for freight cars

Essel Propack has plants in Colombia and Mexico which produce laminated plastic tubes.

JK Tyres has acquired a Mexican Tyre company Tornel in April 2008 for 68 million dollars. Tornel has three tyre plants employing 2000 people and producing 6.6 million tyres. It has a turnover of over 200 million dollars.

InoxCVA has a factory to make industrial gas equipment in São Paulo.

Elgi Equipments has a subsidiary at Sao Paulo in Brazil. 

Megatherm has set up a Brazilian Subsidiary, Megatherm Group Brasil Ltda, in foundry sector.

Praj industries of Pune has executed ethanol projects worth 40 million dollars in Colombia.They have done projects in Brazil, Argentina and Central America.

Care Group from Gujarat has set up a joint venture in Mendoza province of Argentina to make intraocular lenses used in catract surgery in collaboration with Instituto Zaldvir

JBF Industries has a plant in Araraquara in the state of Sao Paulo to make BioMeg used in recyclable and biodegradable plastic bottles.

Sarla Performance Fibers has invested in a joint venture plant for polyester fibres in Honduras

Sujana Universal Industries Ltd which makes appliances has a subsidiary in Honduras

Muthoot Leisure and Hospitality Services (MLHS), the hospitality division of Muthoot Group has acquired Costa Rica’s high-end property ‘Xandari Resort & Spa’. The resort has 25 villas in a 40-acre plantation. This is the first acquisition by an Indian hospitality company in Central America.

VA Tech Wabag has assets in the region for water treatment,desalinationand sewage treatment projects.

Symphony from Gujarat has acquired a Mexican company IMPCO which makes industrial aircoolers in  Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Apeejay Shipping Ltd and Five Star bulk carriers have offices and operations in Panama

Eleganza Jewellery ltd has a set up in Panama

BFL Hydro has small hydroelectric projects in Honduras and Guatemala with an office in Guatemala city.

Alok Master Batches has a joint venture plant (in collaboration with a local firm) in Paraguay to make colour additives used in plastic industry

Alivira Animal Health Ltd (Alivira) has 70% stake in veterinary health company Interchange Indústria e Comércio de Produtos Veterinários S.A. Brazil (Interchange Brazil).

Appasamy Associates, a global leader (from Chennai) in the ophthalmological market, has a plant of intraocular lenses in Argentina with a manufacturing capacity of 20,000 lenses monthly.

Aziz Abdul of Pondicherry has acquired a vineyard and a microwinery producing wines in Mendoza, Argentina. The brand is Chateau Hana. Blog on this


Entertainment Business

Toonz Animation Ltd of Trivandrum in collaboration with Illusion Studios of Buenos Aires coproduced a cartoon film ¨Gaturro¨ costing five million dollars. It is based on a cartoon character created by Argentine Cartoonist Nick. The film released in September 2010 was a box-office hit.

An Argentine director Pablo Cesar made a feature film ¨Unicorn-the garden of fruits¨ in 1996 as a coproduction with India. His new film ¨Thinking of Him¨ based on the romantic story of meeting of Tagore with Victoria O´campo in Buenos Aires was premiered on 28 November 2017 in the Goa Film Festival.

A Bollywood film Dhoom II was shot in Rio de Janeiro and a Rajnikant film " Robot"in Machu Pichu in Peru. A Telugu film " Sarrainodu" starring Allu Arjun was shot in Bolivia ( salar de uyuni) in March 2016. A telugu film Sarrainodu was shot in Salar de Uyuni salt fields in Bolivia in 2016.

Bollywood is producing a film " The ghost of Che" directed by Nagesh Kuknor and produced by Mauktik Kulkarni.

The Argentine musician, Gustavo Santaolalla composed music for the Amir Khan film ¨Dhobi Ghat¨ directed by Kiran Rao. This was released in January 2011.  

Globo TV of Brazil produced and telecast a soap opera ¨Camino das Indias – Passage to India¨ in 2009. It was partly shot in India and there were Indian characters and Indian costumes. It got the highest ratings during the eight months of its telecast and stimulated Brazilian interest in India. It has been dubbed in Spanish and telecast in other Latin American countries.

Mexican actress Barbara Mori acted as heroine in the Bollywood film ¨Kites¨ released in 2010

The following six Brazilian actresses have acted in Bollywood films:

Bruna Abdullah - started off with an item number in Cash, followed by a small role and a special number in I Hate Luv Storys (2010) and Desi Boyz (2011) respectively. In 2012 she appeared in a Tamil film, Billa II.

Izabelle Leite- Initially labelled the 'mystery woman' that cricketer Virat Kohli was spotted shopping with in Singapore, the Brazilian model has made her Hindi film debut with Raj Purohit's Sixteen.

Giselli Monteiro- She surprised the audience by playing a typical Punjabi girl in Imtiaz Ali's Love Aaj Kal, starring Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone. Then, in 2011, she appeared in Always Kabhi Kabhi, which was produced by Shah Rukh Khan.

Gabriela Bertante- came to India in 2010 and took part in a fashion week in Mumbai. she was roped in as a VJ on a popular youth channel. In 2012, she appeared in back-to-back Tamil and Telugu films, Billa II, Devudu Chesina Manushulu and Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu.

Nathalia Pinheiro- Also known as Nathalia Kaur, she was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She won a calendar's model hunt contest in 2012 and appeared in it that year. Later, she made her film debut in the Kannada film, Dev Son Of Mudde Gowda, followed by an item number in Ram Gopal Varma's Amitabh Bachchan-Sanjay Dutt starrer Department (2012).

Mariah Gomes- She made her B-town debut with a hit item song, Neeyat Kharab Hai in the Amitabh Bachchan-Ben Kingsley starrer Teen Patti (2010). Then, in 2011, the Brazilian model landed a full-fledged role opposite Prateik in Rohan Sippy's Dum Maro Dum.

Vallery Maravi, a Peruvian actress has acted in an Kannadiga film "Neenilada Male" which was released in 2018.

Reynaldo Arenas, a Peruvian actor, coproduced a film in collaboration with Bollywood producers and also acted in the film.

Indian producers have started going to Latin America for location shootings. A telugu film Sarrainodu starring Allu Arjun was shot in the famous Uyuni Salt field area of Bolivia in 2016. Rajnikant shot a dancing sequence in Machu Pichu, Peru for his film Robot. Endemol India shot a TV serial ´Jor Ka Jhatka´ in Buenos Aires in December 2010 – January 2011 with 28 Indian actors who stayed here for 40 days. This show was hosted by Shahrukh Khan in Imagine channel in February 2011.

Indian TV channels have shown Latin American soap operas such as Ugly Betty and Second Chance. Some parts of Indian reality show--Khatron ke khiladi--was shot in Argentina starring Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor.

Omm Moo ( yoga for kids 4-9 years) a famous Colombian TV serial  (2013 production) was telecast in Latin America and other parts of the world. It was telecast in Tamil by Sun TV in Tamilnadu. The 26 episode (7 minutes each) series mixes 3D and 2D animation with live-action and shows cows solving their problems using the exercise method of yoga.

Team Toon Studio of Barranquilla in Colombia has made a cartoon film for an Indian producer in 2017.

Zindagi channel of India telecast in 2017 a Brazilian soap opera" Total Dreamer" ( totalmente demais) which ran into 175 episodes. This is a Globo TV production telecast in Brazil in 2015-16

Zee TV has a Spanish channel ZeeMundo with Bollywood movies for Latin American viewers.

Yash Raj Films had collaborated with Colombia’s 64-A Films to remake their Bollywood films in Spanish for Colombian audience.

Carolina Grewal, a Uruguayan model is married to an Indian actor and is settled in Mumbai

Bollywood dancing has become fashionable across the region. Some Bollywood groups have become professional and perform in public events. Bollywood music is played in night clubs and gyms in many Latam countries.

Sayana an Argentine fashion designer has launched her collection under a brand name " deWar" in India. She is married to Gaurav Gupta in Delhi.

Indian hero in Costa Rican film

Prabhakar Sharan, settled in Costa Rica, has acted as hero in a Costa Rican film, Enredados, La Confusion ( Entangled, the confusion). Information in the blog

Latin American investment and ventures in India

Latin American investment in India is about a billion dollars

Brazilian companies

Marcopolo has a joint venture with Tata Motors for production of buses in India. Tata Marcopolo buses can be in all the major cities of India.

Sunley Fashion has a joint venture in Chennai for production and exports of shoes.

Weg has invested 70 million dollars in a plant in Hosur to make electrical motors and generators. It has gained 25% share of the Indian market for large motors. It also exports motors from Hosur to China.

Stefanini has set up IT development centres in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Dedini has entered into an MOU with Walchand Group for supply of equipments for ethanol production in India.

COFAP has set up a 50:50 JV in India with the Endurance Group for shock absorbers.

Perto, a Porto Alegre based company making ATM machines has set up a plant in Jaipur and inagurated it in October 2016. They have already sold ATMS to the State Bank of India

Surya Henna has a plan to set up a production unit in India for its Surya brand of henna and other cosmetic products. They are already marketing their products in India

Adhrit Solutions is an IT company with operations in Bengaluru and Brazil. The founder is Avishek Nigam, a Brazilian of Indian origin.

Zetrasoft from Belo Horizonte offers a platform for salaried employees of large companies to take loans from banks and repay through salary deduction. The company has two employees in Gurgaon who are establishing contacts with Indian clients and banks.

Alpargatas has formed a joint venture with Periwinkle Fashion(Shoezone Lifestyle), where Alpargatas India will own 51% of the company, to make and sell Havaianas brand of flip flops in India.

Mexican companies

Cinepolis is investing 1500 crores of Rupees targeting to set up 500 film screens in various cities in India. The company started operations in India in 2009 and already has 350 screens. They are the fourth largest player in Indian film exihibition market and the only foreign company.

Mexichem, has opened a new manufacturing plant in Hyderabad ( May 2015), which will produce cable ducts and pressure pipes for the water, gas and telecommunications industries. The new plant is Mexichem’s fourth plant in India, with two other facilities located in Goa, and another in Rajasthan. Mexichem is a vertically integrated chemical company operating more than 120 plants in over 30 countries and generating annual revenues of $5 billion

TREMEC has invested in a plant in Pune to manufacture auto transmission systems.

NEMAK, part of the ALFA group, has invested in a manufacturing facility in Chennai for aluminium engine heads and blocks for autombile since 2012. It has 100 employees. Nemak is a global leader in its business.

Softtek, the IT firm has acquired an Indian software company Systech Integrators, founded by Indian Americans and headquartered in San Jose, California with centres in India and US. Systech specializes in SAP solutions and services.

Prolec a leading transformer maker ( in collaboration with GE) has invested in a plant in Chennai through majority participation in the company IndoTech Transformers Ltd

Metalsa has invested US$44 million in India and have 141 employees. In two plants, in Jamshedpur and in Pune. They serve mainly Tata motors. From 4% participation with Tata in 2012 to 16% in 2016. By 2019 they want 35%. Also provide to Mahindra.

Ruhrpumpen has a plant in Chennai for making centrifugal pumps used in the petrochemical, mining, industrial, power, chemicals and waste water prevention sectors. The company’s clients in India include Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Reliance Petroleum. Nearly 80 per cent of products manufactured from the Chennai plant will be exported to clients in West Asia and South-East Asia, and the rest sold in the domestic market. The investment is about 15 million dollars

Kidzania has set up a theme park in Mumbai in collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan. The theme park lets children practise adult role as such as bankers, firefighters and salespersons in an educative and entertaining (edutainment) way. They opened the second theme park in Noida in 2016 and have plans to to open another one in Bengaluru soon.

Grupo Bimbo announced in June 2017 a joint venture agreement with Ready Roti India Private Limited (“Ready Roti”), in which Grupo Bimbo will hold a 65% stake. Ready Roti, generates annual sales of approximately US$ 48 million, with four plants and more than 500 associates. Grupo Bimbo is one of the biggest Mexican MNCs and a global leader in bread business. They have operations in 24 countries including in USA.

Great Food & Beverages (GFB): has invested in Processed Foods (snacks and juices).

Katcon: Auto components (Exhausts & Fittings).

C&F International: Steel trading.

Argentine companies

Techint has an engineering outsourcing unit in Mumbai employing around 200 engineers to service their projects in Middle east and Europe

Globant acquired (May 2015) the Pune-based Clarice Technologies for about 20 million dollars. Globant is the largest Argentine IT firm. It has centres in Latin America, US and Vietnam and has ambitious plans for growth. Globant has launched a new Development centre in Pune in October 2016. The centre employs around 300 staff.


Manipal Technologies Ltd has printing presses in India to print credit, debit and other secure cards in collaboration with a Colombian firm Thomas Greg and Sons



Aje Group has established a plant in Patalaganga in Maharashtra for production of cola drinks and mineral water ( 40,000 bottles per hour) since December 2010. Blog on this company.

Resemin, a mining equipment company has a Zinc mining project in Dariba, 100 km from Udaipur. The local company is known as Reliant Drilling Ltd in which the Peruvian company has 90% stake and an Indian firm 10%. There are about 70 Peruvians and 150 Indians working there.

Vistony has up plant in Rajasthan for production of lubricants. They have plants in US, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay.


CSAV the Chilean shipping company has an Indian subsidiary and also does some outsourcing work in India


Biocon has a joint venture with Cuba for manufacture of vaccines in India with Cuban technology.

Latin American market

The market consists of 19 countries, with a population of 620 million and combined GDP of about 6 trillion.Except Brazil where Portuguese is spoken, all the other 18 countries speak Spanish.

The countries are:

Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile - Pacific Alliance, the group which aspires towards a customs union.

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - Mercosur, which is a customs union. It has common external tariff and allows free movement of goods, services, people and capital.

Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela - unattached South American countries

Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras - Central American Integration Group with some common instituitions and some free movement of goods

Dominican Republic and Cuba- the spanish speaking Caribbean countries

Brazil is the largest market with over 2 trillion dollars of GDP and over 200 million people. Mexico is second with close to 2 trillion dollars GDP and population of 110 million. But Mexico is the largest trading nation ( thanks to NAFTA trade) with 464 billion dollars of imports and 451 billion exports.

Latin America's modest economic growth in this year and decade

Latin American GDP is forecast to grow by a modest 0.5% in 2019 and end this decade with 1.9% as against 3.15% in the last decade.

One bright spot in the map of the region is Bolivia, which will end the decade with an impressive 4.83% average growth. What is interesting is that this has been achieved by the Leftist government of Evo Morales. He has been in power for the last 14 years since January 2006. The cumulative GDP growth in this period is 67.2% , at an average annual growth of 4.8%. This is not only a commendable achievement. This kind of sustained growth and stability for 14 years at a stretch should be a record in the history of Bolivia.

It is not just growth. It is an impressive Inclusive Growth. The socialist government of Morales has reduced poverty and inequality in the last 14 years much more than any other country in Latin America. This is a success story of Socialism in the contemporary democratic history of the world. Unfortunately Chavez and a few other Leftist have given a bad name to socialism with mismanagement of the economy. 

 More in the blog http://businesswithlatinamerica.blogspot.com/