Ambassador Jorge Heine's latest book, La Nueva India, gives a comprehensive overview of India after the economic liberalisation of 1991, and explores how Latin America can learn from India's experiences.
Former Distinguished Fellow, India-Latin America
R. Viswanathan is the former Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay (2007-2012). He was earlier the Ambassador to Venezuela and served as the first Consul General of India in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has headed the Ministry of External Affairs’ division on Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as its Investment and Trade Promotion Division. He has specialised in Latin America since 1996 and has been a regular contributor to newspapers and business journals, besides giving lectures on the subject at think tanks and universities across India, Latin America and the United States. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese. A self-confessed Latinophile, Ambassador Viswanathan is an avid reader of Latin American literature and admirer of Latino culture. He is fluent in Tamil, Spanish, English, Portuguese and Portuñol.
Engagement of India with Latin American countries
Last modified: October 3, 2016
Ambassador R. Vishwanathan blogs about the current trajectory of the Mexican economy, and explains why it's likely that Mexican-made products will overtake Chinese-made products in the U.S. market, by 2018.
Ambassador Viswanathan, an expert on Latin America, blogs about the Venezuelan elections, which saw a high turnout, free and fair elections, and Hugo Chavez re-elected as President. It is evident though, that Chavez’s model has reached its peak and is steadily and irreversibly losing appeal in the region.
While the ouster of Paraguay’s president is a setback to the young democracy of the country, it shouldn’t be viewed as a repeat of Latin America’s history of coup d’états. The painful process of democratic maturity will continue, albeit slowly.
The newly-formed Pacific Alliance bloc seems more like a political club to counterbalance the Atlantic-facing, Brazil-led Mercosur group. However, the bloc accounts for 30% of India’s trade with Latin America. Can India engage the group so it is not left out from their Asia focus?
How does Indian culture influence the rest of the world? Ambassador R. Viswanathan recounts his recent experience in an Argentinian nightclub where he found himself embroiled in a Yoga Rave party, which promotes the Indian ways of living such as spiritualism and mantra.
India may have found reliable long-term trading sources for its edible oil, wheat and sugar needs. Brazil, with the largest surplus arable land in the world, and Argentina, the global leader in agricultural process outsourcing, are deemed to be a natural fit.