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First Person | July 2012

India needs to expand the trade, since currently trade...

  "India needs to expand the trade, since currently trade is dominated by petroleum imports from Venezuela." - Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry

"ONGC Videsh has led Indian consortium to raise its investment in Venezuela to US$ 3 billion inorder to deepen and diversify economic cooperation between the two countries. There is a need to expand trade basket, since the current trade is dominated by petroleum imports from Venezuela. Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez's visited India in 2005 & was successful in creating a strong bond between India & Venezuela. It is now the time to translate cultural commonalities between the two countries into a strong economic bond. Healthcare, IT, energy, mining, textiles and auto sector have the maximum potential for increased cooperation. In particular, the Indian Pharma companies can help the Venezuelan Govt in its health mission plan by supplying required critical drugs at an affordable price. Currently, Venezuela imports medicines worth US$ one billion annually. However, India's share in this is less than seven per cent. The trade relationship is in true sense a complementary relationship as India's energy deficit can be tackled by Venezuela, which in turn needs India's help in manufacturing and engineering sectors. There is a need to expedite finalisation of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India & Venezuela. For enhanced relationship in the energy sector, Indian public sector oil companies want to enter into agreements on a spot basis. ONGC Videsh has already invested $ 350 mn and intends to invest additional $500 mn in the San Cristobel oil field. ONGC Videsh with an Indian consortium proposes to invest US$ 2.2 billion in the Carobobo project. GAIL would like to explore opportunities in the natural gas value chain. BPCL is keen to explore opportunities to export base oil to Venezuela and its marketing. Engineers India (EIL) would like to provide its design and engineering services in the hydrocarbon sector."
 
(As stated while conveying to the Venezuelan leaders about India's desire to deepen and diversify economic cooperation between the two countries)

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