Thursday, September 4, 2014

India/Colombia: India Offers 1 Billion Consumers to Colombia

According to EFE, India, with more than 1 billion consumers, has huge potential for Colombian products at a time when bilateral trade is on the rise, experts from both countries meeting in Bogotá have said.

“Although Colombia is India’s third largest trading partner in Latin America, after Brazil and México, it only deals with the needs of the energy sector,” the director of the Colombia-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Christine Salamanca, told EFE.

Along with the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Indian Embassy, Ms. Salamanca’s organization co-sponsored a conference on Monday (September 1) attended by more than a dozen Indian companies and 58 from Colombia.

Last year, bilateral trade reached $4.1 billion and Colombia’s exports to India amounted to just under $3 billion, 95% of which was petroleum.

Salamanca identified Colombian food products as a potential export to India.

“In addition to Colombian coffee, which we don’t need to publicize as everyone knows, exotic fruits, bread and healthy sweets have an enormous possibility of being well received” in the Indian market, Salamanca declared.

COMMENT: Ms. Salamanca added that for Colombian companies to make the leap and start exporting to the Asian giant “the first thing that they must do is visit India because it is impossible to get there without having knowledge of such a changing and demanding market.”

The second step, she said, “is to find a strategic partner and that takes time, and thirdly, it is essential to understand that India is diverse in itself because each region of the country speaks, writes, dresses and eats differently.”

India’s interest in Colombia is growing and already there are 37 companies with operations and representation in Colombia.

“Colombia has in its favor geographical location, pro-investment policies and trade agreements that open the doors to other countries, and Indian companies have understood that, so it’s highly likely that they will continue investing the more they know what is happening in Colombia,” said Indian Embassy adviser, Sajeev Babu Kurup.