India & Chile are celebrating 70 years of bilateral ties in 2019. How do you view the relationship between the two countries so far?
The relationship has always been extremely friendly and cordial, beginning with Chile being the only Latin American country to be represented on August 15, 1947, when we celebrated our first Independence Day. Subsequently, we have seen some periods where interaction has been more intensive than others, such as in the 60s and most recently in the first decade of the 21st century. We hope that the 70th anniversary will see another period of enhanced interaction at all levels.
What is the balance of trade like? What are the major exports from India to Chile and likewise Chile to India?
The balance of trade is in favour of Chile mainly because of copper imports by India. Apart from copper, Chile exports chemicals, woodpulp, molybdenum, apples, walnuts, iodine, coal, aluminium waste & scrap to India. Indian exports to Chile include vehicles and auto parts, medicines, industrial leather, gloves, towels, machinery etc and of course, IT.
What is your mission and vision to enhance the bilateral relationship between two countries?
Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations will enhance our cultural relationship with Chile. Many Chileans are interested in our classical arts and yoga, and to a lesser extent in Ayurveda and Bollywood. We also hope to use the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations to promote India as both a tourism destination and an investment destination. Looking into the future, I hope to see increased cooperation in all spheres, and especially in health, space, education, renewable energy, organic farming and eco-friendly technologies.
What are the major investment opportunities for Indian business in Chile? What is the presence of Indian Business in Chile?
Not many Indian businesses are based in Chile. We have some major IT companies such as TCS, some pharma firms, and TATA and Mahindra with their vehicles. Major investment opportunities for Indian business in Chile would include mining, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, IT, renewable energy and organic farming technologies.
Your message for the readers of Envoy Excellency.
Visit Chile! It has highly developed public infrastructure and an European vibe, though it is expensive in comparison to most other countries in the region. It is a country worth visiting, especially for its abundance of natural beauty, with glaciers, deserts, lakes, gently rolling hills and valleys, the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Chile has been maintaining its position as one of the best tourism destinations in the world for a few years now.