India interested in the "West India"

· Economics
Authors

Picture: The Bombay Stock Exchange.

Last June 19 President Uribe received Mr. Anand Sharma, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India in his journey through some Latin American countries to promote bilateral and multilateral issues such as trade, investment and commercial relations. Mr. Sharma met also Mr. Fernando Araújo Perdomo, the Colombian Chancellor, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, Ministry of Defense, Mr. Hernán Martínez Torres, Ministry of Mines, Mr. Armando Zamora, Director of the National Agency of Hydrocarbons of Colombia, a sector of the interest of India and Mr. Luís Guillermo Plata, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. With Araújo Perdomo, Sharma signed a cultural agreement of binational cultural program for the period 2007-2009.

What is India?

Being so far from Colombia, India can be seen as a country of a millenarian culture, a huge population and much poverty, just what we can see from the International Media and just in the same way many people around the world have their own “International-Mass-Media-Image” of Colombia. That generalization, therefore, is not the same of how economists see India today and how it is seeing by the government of President Uribe. India is not other thing that one of the most biggest and fast growing economics of the world and it is as huge as its territory (the 7th biggest country of the planet).

Its GDP growth rate as established by 2006-2007 is 9.4% with a rate exchange of US$1,103 billion, becoming the 12th largest economy of the world according to the reports of the World Bank. Coming from a protective economy since its independence from Britain, India started a process of open markets in 1991. Today its GDP is located in the 4th place of the world with US$4.156 trillion according with CIA Factbook India. The India’s per capital income is UU$979 that locates the country in the 128th place while its PPP in US$3,700 places it in the 118th.

The second most populated country of the world (1.12 billion inhabitants), has also a labor force of 509.3 million working especially in agriculture (60%), services (28%) and industry (12%). The imports by 2006 were estimated in US$187.9 billion in things like crude oil, machinaries, fertilizers and chemicals, while exports were of US$112 billion in textiles, jewelry, engineering goods and software.

India is also a key country in thecnology becoming an exporter of Software, outsourcing and other services, thanks also to have many citizens who can speak English. The main trading partners of India are in order United States, the European Union, China and the United Arab Emirates.

What it means for Colombia?

Trading with India means for Colombia and the Latin American countries to trade with one of the Asian giants. Asia has much to offer to our countries, not only in economics and markets, but also in wisdom. The Asian countries did know how to come inside the international market and do well much of the time. Among their keys of success we have to consider their own culture and identity. They did not renounce to what they are, their history and culture, and at the same time have become strong economic dragons that are today of interest to see and study. It does not mean also that they are the perfect model, since many things must be analyse too, such as the reality of persons living in India with US$0.40 per day making it the 1/4 of its huge population or its higher rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three doing it the 46% of children under the age of three, according with the World Bank report for 2007.

Sectors like outsourcing, shows how a country can profit its strength and offer it to the international community. Internet, education and a good source of English were enough to become one of the leading countries in this technologic service.

Picture by Wikimedia Commons.

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