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India charting new waters?
India charting new waters?
Oswaldo Morales

SANTIAGO — China has been one of Latin America's main trade partners in recent years, driving the engine of development in the region with a hungry demand for raw materials to help sustain the Asian giant's growth.

But the recent slowdown of China's economy has been felt acutely in the economies of several Latin American countries. In Peru and Chile, for example, where mining is a key industry, international price declines for minerals have discouraged investment and affected national growth expectations.

All of this makes clear that we must step up the search for new markets for our products on the global market that allow us to diversify risk. Given that, it's time to turn our attention in particular to a global giant that's expanding by the day: India.

India, which is on track to surpass China to become the world's most populous country, is currently the 12th largest economy. And though our trade relations with India have been more timid than those developed in China, some Latin American countries have been active in trying to step up bilateral relations with New Delhi.

Soybeans from Brazil are already exported to India. There are also Indian companies investing in mining in Chile and Peru. The energy and pharmaceutical industries are two particularly interesting areas for India, and the country has already engaged in business with Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina.

The software development sector has long been flourishing there, but other technology-based industries, such as like car and motorcycle manufacturing, are opportunities for trade. Companies like Tata, Bajaj and Hero are already offering their products in Argentina, Colombia and Peru, and at very competitive prices.

Vegetarian staple

Peru is currently negotiating a wide-ranging free-trade agreement with India. Beyond its mining interests, including gold, silver and copper, India sees other products with great potential such as quinoa. This grain produced in the Andes is of great interest to a country like India, which has a huge demand for vegetarian food.

There are also Peruvian companies present in India, like Aje Peru, which has a soda bottle production site in the city of Maharashtra, and also Resemen mining machinery, which has established a branch in New Delhi.

For India, Latin America is still a small market, but one with great potential. Latin America is included in India's strategic planning for global growth. In 1997, India even created a formal program seeking to develop relationships with Latin American countries.

There's enormous opportunity for our region's entrepreneurs to increase trade with this up-and-coming global econoic giant. Doing so allows us to diversify our business risk and decrease what has been an unhealthy reliance on China. We may even learn to love Bollywood in the process.

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Geopolitics

What Lula Needs Now To Win: Move To The Center And Mea Culpa

Despite the leftist candidate's first-place finish, the voter mood in Brazil's presidential campaign is clearly conservative. So Lula will have to move clearly to the political center to vanquish the divisive but still popular Jair Bolsonaro. He also needs to send a message of contrition to skeptical voters about past mistakes.

Brazilian votes show a polarized national opinion with two clear winners: former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and sitting president Jair Bolsonaro

Marcelo Cantelmi

-Analysis-

The first round of Brazil's presidential elections closed with two winners, a novelty but not necessarily a political surprise.

Leftist candidate and former president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, was clearly the winner. His victory came on the back of the successes of his two previous administrations (2003-2011), kept alive today by the harsh reality that large swathes of Brazilians see no real future for themselves.

Lula, the head of the Workers Party or PT, also moved a tad toward the political Center in a bid to seduce middle-class voters, with some success. Another factor in his first-round success was a decisive vote cast against the current government, though this was less considerable than anticipated.

The other big winner of the day was the sitting president, Jair Bolsonaro. For many voters, his defects turn out to be virtues. They were little concerned by his bombastic declarations, his authoritarian bent, contempt for modernity, his retrograde views on gender and his painful management of the pandemic. They do not believe in Lula, and envisage no other alternative.

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