|Mahatma Gandhi's bust in Medellin|
The innauguration of the Mahatma Gandhi's bust at the Museum of Memory at Bicentenario Park will take place on May 21 2013 at 5:00 pm. The cityhall of Medellín and the Embassy ofIndia have installed the bust, with the help of the Honorary Indian Consulate in Medellín. The bust was donated by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations ICCR and was brought directly from India.
Commercial and Economic Relations
The similarities of economies of India and Colombia are marked by remarkable performance of all the economic sectors that present excellent opportunities for establishing commercial alliance and economic and technical cooperation between India and Colombia.
The principle areas for developing commercial relations between the two countries are: Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Automobiles & Auto-parts, Motor cycles, Machineries, Information technology & Industrial technology.
In 1970 India and Colombia signed a trade agreement. However, the expansion in bilateral trade was limited to restrictive commercial and economic policies imposed by the two countries in the 1970s and 80s and limitations of language and distance.
The commercial relations between India and Colombia increased significantly after the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalisation in the early 90s and subsequent to the reopening of the Embassy of India in Bogotá in 1994. The visits of President Andres Pastrana in March 2001 to India, and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and Minister of Mines and Energy of Colombia in 2008, besides several visits of Indian Ministers to Colombia during this decade, significantly contributed towards generating interests with regard to bilateral trade in the two countries. Now, Colombia is the most preferred destination for all Indian companies that wish to initiate business relations with Latin America.
India and Colombia enjoy excellent relations for increasing bilateral trade.
The Joint Business Forum between India and Colombia organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the National Association of Industries of Colombia (ANDI) took place in 2002.
Indian exports to Colombia during 2009 rose to US$ 504 mn. (CIF values). The trend of total Indian exports during the last years is represented in the following chart:
The Indian State company ONGC Videsh (OVL), acquired in September 2006 50% of Omimex Colombia in a joint venture with the Chinese company Sinopec. OVL’s investment in Mansarovar Colombia increased from US $ 425 mn in 2006 ( when it bought a 50 % shares from the US Owners) to about US $ 600 million in 2009.
Reliance Industries Ltd. signed a 6 phase contract comprising of 18 months per phase for exploration of oil in four phases in the Borojo North and South blocks in the Pacific coast for an estimated US $ 50 million.
Several brands of motorcycles manufactured in India such as Bajaj, TVS and Hero Honda are assembled in Colombia.TVS has 26% stake in a Colombian company TVS Andina S.A.
Auteco, representatives of Bajaj Auto for several years, launched the famous Bajaj three wheeler auto rickshaw in Bogota in March 2010. The vehicle is being 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.
Praj Industries has obtained contracts for US$ 35 million for the construction of five ethanol factories in Colombia.
Technology training companies such as APTECH, NIIT and TATA Infotech have collaborated with Colombian universities and educational institutes and private businessmen to establish about 20 IT education centers in several Colombian cities.
An Indian pharma company IPCA, is actively working in Colombia, it has employed 12 employees with an investment of US$ 0.5 Million. Claris, Cipla , Nirma have local distributors in Colombia.
IT and BPO
In the IT sector Tata Consultancy Services opened a branch in Colombia in 2006. ,Infosys signed an important contract with Bancolombia, the largest Colombian bank and is providing banking solutions, through a local partner Sophos. Flat World Solutions an Indian company, has set up a BPO operation in Colombia. Mann-India has got important contracts with some of Colombia's leading companies of the financial sector.
United Phosphorus has bought the Colombian agro company EvoFarm with an investment of approximately US$ 15 Million, to take advantage of Evofarm distribution network .
Consumer goods ( Electrical Lamps )
Havells Sylvania has its headquarter for Andean region in Colombia. Colombia operations are more than 30 years old. Company acquired a local incandescent lamp manufacturer ‘TopLuz’ in 1998.
IMPORTANT VISITS FROM INDIA
- RITES delegation visited Colombia: In June 2008, a 3-member RITES delegation led by the Executive Director of RITES visited Colombia to explore the opportunities of participating in proposed railway projects in this country.
- Texprocil delegation visited Colombia: In June 2008, a 7-member delegation from the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India (Texprocil) visited Colombia to participate in a Buyer-Seller meet organized by the Embassy in Bogotá in association with the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce. About 50 Colombian buyers of cotton yarn and textiles participated in the BSM.
IMPORTANT VISITS TO INDIA
- Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister of Colombia visited India in April-May 2008 and met with the Commerce and Industries Minister of India, Mr. Kamal Nath; the Finance Minister of India, Mr. P. Chidambaram; Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Mr. Anand Sharma and other dignitaries. A group of Indian businessmen, intellectuals, academicians and others to be called Group Tequendama was formed with the coordination of the Embassy of Colombia in Delhi to undertake activities and promote ties between India and Colombia.
- In September 2008, the Colombian Minister of Mines & Energy, Mr. Hernan Martinez, visited India and met with our Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Minister of State for Mining and MOS (AS) besides meeting with representatives of OVL, Reliance Industries Ltd and other Indian companies interested in engaging in the hydrocarbons and mining sectors of Colombia. A MoU on Cooperation in the Hydrocarbons sector was signed during this visit.
- CINSET business delegation visit India: In July 2008, a 6-member Colombian business delegation from the Corporacion Investigacion Socioeconomica y Technologica de Colombia (CINSET) visited India in search for market of products of small and medium scale Colombian enterprises for increasing business relations between the two countries.
- Participation in Trade Fairs in India: A delegation of 19 Businessmen visited IITF 2008, the event was organised by Colombian National Federation of Traders (FENALCO) in November 2008. On return several businessmen complained to their organisers that the fair did not meet their expectations at all. Various companies from Colombia participated in trade fairs held in February 2009 including Plast-India 2009, Reverse Buyer Sellers Meet Ahemdabad, India Gift, Handicraft Fare, Noida and India Soft 2009 Kolkata. Ms Taliana Varagas was the brand Ambassador of IGHF; Minister of Textile hosted a lunch in her honour.
In November 2009 Colombian Ministers of Commerce and Foreign Affairs Mr. Luis Guillermo Plata and Mr. Jaime Bermúdez visited India and signed a MoU on Bamboo Cooperation.