“Chennai will soon be cleaner than other cities in India”
CHENNAI: Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra, Ambassador of Colombia to India, visited the city and observed the garbage operations of the Colombia-based Neel Metal Fanalca recently.
“I am surprised that they are collecting about 1,400 tonnes of garbage daily within five months of beginning operations. Chennai will soon be cleaner than other capital cities in India,” said the diplomat of the Latin American country.
The Ambassador wants to dispel notions of diplomacy as defined by cocktail parties and high-level discussions. “Delhi is too bureaucratic. Talking to governments and people at the regional level has helped me see the real India,” he said.
He described his role as ‘contributing to create a good environment for business, cultural and educational collaboration.’
He said he hoped that the agreements would be forged between businesses and educational institutions in the two countries.
Some 22 universities in Colombia have expressed interest in signing Memoranda of Understanding with Indian institutions.
India is a particularly important country for Colombia, as the latter exports services, he said.
“There is capital here. I wish to attract big businesses in investing in Colombia,” he said.
The country is placed strategically for businesses to access the rest of Latin America, he notes.
Alliances are possible across sectors — the jewellery industry, for instance, could consider the Colombian-processed emeralds. The country also has a large coastline and would like to learn from the seafood processing industry in India. Language learning and Information Technology are other possible areas of cooperation, he said.
With Tamil Nadu being a large producer and consumer of coffee, Colombian entrepreneurs, also hailing from a coffee-producing nation, could set up chains of cafeteria through joint ventures.