India, Mexico target tourism, telecom to boost ties

NEW PATH:The Mexican Senate building. Mexican FDI in India during April 2000-March 2016 was $100 million.— FILE PHOTO: AFP  

India and Mexico are charting out a new path in bilateral trade and investment ties with a focus on sectors including renewable energy, telecom and medical devices.

This was agreed upon during the recent meeting in Mexico of the bilateral High Level Group (HLG) on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation. The HLG, which was established in 2007, had met on July 13-14 after a gap of four years.

Wind power

With Mexico considering increasing its installed wind power capacity to 9.5 GW by 2018 from currently around 2.5GW, Indian firms such as Suzlon Energy are looking to make huge investments there in the renewable energy sector, official sources said. Suzlon had in 2012 proposed investments of up to $3 billion in the Mexican wind energy sector. Suzlon’s investment plans were discussed at the HLG meet. Mexico had said about 50 per cent of the country’s energy will be from clean power sources by 2025.

Internet access

Indian companies are interested in Mexico’s telecom sector as the Mexican government is looking to provide high-speed broadband Internet access even in remote areas. The sources said the HLG discussed proposals from Indian firms including Tejas Networks and VNL for investments in the telecom sector in Mexico.

The other area of focus is medical devices. According to a recent report by research and consulting firm GlobalData, India’s medical devices sector will grow to $17.6 billion by 2020 from around $10.4 billion in 2014, while in Mexico the medical devices market will grow to $6.5 billion by 2020 from $4.9 billion in 2015.

In India, the government has allowed FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route in the manufacturing of medical devices.

Food processing

Besides, the HLG discussed ways to boost cooperation in tourism, food processing and protection of ‘traditional knowledge’.

The sources said India and Mexico will convene a meeting of their tour operators and hoteliers on the sidelines of the ‘World Travel Market’ in London during November 7-9 this year. Both the sides have decided to hold meetings of the government-level ‘joint working group’ on tourism regularly, they said. Plans are also on to conduct training programmes on Indian and Mexican cuisine.

India is also looking at establishing a mechanism for direct trade in precious metals and minerals with Mexico. Mexico is a leading producer of silver and gold — commodities that India imports in huge quantities.

Overall India-Mexico trade in goods had shrunk by 17.7 per cent to $5.1 billion in FY’16 with India’s exports of $2.8 billion (0.13 per cent growth) and Mexico’s exports of $2.3 billion (a contraction of 32.7 per cent).

India-Mexico trade in goods declined by 17.7 per cent to $5.1 billion in the 2015-16 financial year