This was the focus at a seminar in Madurai on foreign trade with Latin America and the Caribbean.

The need to explore new areas of trade to fight the challenges of a sluggish global economy was highlighted by several speakers at a seminar organised by INLACE, an organisation supporting trade and business, in association with Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) in Madurai on Saturday.

Inaugurating the seminar on foreign trade with Latin America and the Caribbean, V. Neethi Mohan, Chairman, Young Entrepreneurs School, said that the focus was relevant in the present context of slowing down of economy and shooting oil prices which has put tremendous pressure on developing nations. He found many socio-cultural similarities between India and Latin American countries and felt that the current challenges in the economy could be overcome by increasing productivity in agriculture and industry and improving exports.

“An exporter is less vulnerable to market pressure,” he said.

Cristiano Mancheno, First Secretary, Embassy of Ecuador, outlined the similarities in geographical and cultural features between his country and India. Vladomiro Novoa, Head of Trade Division, Embassy of Republic of El Salvador, who appreciated the warmth he experienced in the people of Madurai, called for more collaborative efforts between export organisations of both the nations.

Unnikrishnan, Director, FIEO, drew the attention of exporters to the huge market in Latin America and the Caribbean and suggested that bilateral trade could be improved through people-to-people contacts. He called for increased tourist and cultural exchanges between India and Latin American and explained the various opportunities provided by the FIEO to expand trade. Mr. Unnikrishnan saw good potential for export in textiles, software and pharmaceuticals from the southern districts to Latin America.

Kundan Kanan of INLACE said that the objective of the seminar was to provide the right information about trade with Latin America and the Caribbean to exporters. P. Anbalagan, CEO of Speed and Safe Freight Systems India, Tuticorin, also addressed the gathering.

Sadasivam welcomed the gathering.

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