Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has sought greater Colombian cooperation on multilateral issues concerning the developing world in the WTO and other multilateral fora.
During the bilateral meeting with the Colombian Minister for Industry and Tourism Mr. Luis Guillermo Plata Paez, Shri Kamal Nath stated that there is tremendous potential in the Indian leather sector and invited the Colombian entrepreneurs to explore the possibilities of entering into joint ventures and technical collaborations with Indian companies.
He added that the Government of India has taken several policy initiatives in recent years, which includes allowing 100% FDI in leather sector with no ceilings on investments and 100% repatriation of profits.
The bilateral was attended by Shri Ajay Shankar, Secretary (DIPP); Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary; senior officials and business delegations from both sides.
Shri Kamal Nath said that Indo-Colombian bilateral trade has been growing at a satisfactory note and during 2006-07, the bilateral trade was approx. US $ 653 million (exports - $ 576 million and imports - $ 76.56 million).
Both sides felt that considering the huge opportunities of mutual interests the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is still low and it could be enhanced manifold by sincere efforts of governments and trade organisations of two countries.
Shri Kamal Nath further highlighted that India’s economy is growing at a rapid pace and India now ranks among the world’s largest economies.
India has also emerged as the fastest growing market in the world for a multitude of products and services, he added.
During the discussions, Shri Kamal Nath urged the Colombian Minister for an early finalisation of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
Major item of exports from India to Colombia are petroleum (crude & products), transport equipments, drugs, pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, cotton yarn fabrics, made-ups etc.
The main imports from Colombia are primary steel, pig iron-based items, coal, coke & briquettes, wood & wood products etc.