Print This Post
8 May 2014, Gateway House

India-Latin America engagements, May 2014

In 'India-Latin America Engagements', the Latin America Desk at Gateway House presents a selection of news of India’s engagement with the region during the previous month

Former Distinguished Fellow, India-Latin America

post image

Pharma acquisitions

In March, the Indian pharmaceutical company Lupin Limited acquired Mexico’s Grin Laboratories, which makes ophthalmic products. Grin has $28 million in revenues. Lupin follows Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., which in 2005 bought Roche’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for $59 million.

Mexico is the second largest market for Indian pharmaceuticals in Latin America, after Brazil. It is a part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which allows Indian companies to use Mexico for exports to the U.S. and Canada, as well as locally.

Trade in 2013

India’s trade with the top 10 Latin American countries in 2013 declined or stayed static at $40 billion. The biggest trade partner is Venezuela, followed by Brazil, Mexico and Colombia (see tables). The 2013 trade figures followed sluggish global and regional growth, as well as declining commodity prices. The exception was Colombia: bilateral trade increased by 67% mainly due to an increase in India’s mineral imports. Now Colombia is India’s second largest trading partner in Latin America after Chile, overtaking Argentina, the third largest economy in the region.

Table 1. India’s trade with top 10 trade partners in Latin America


2013 (in US$ billions)

2012 (in US$ billions)

Venezuela(April to December 2013) 10.8 14.3
Brazil 9.48 10.62
Mexico 6.67 6.29
Colombia 4.18 2.49
Chile 2.8 3.21
Argentina 1.7 1.84
Peru 1.3 1.13
Ecuador 0.546 0.536
Costa Rica 0.133 0.122
Paraguay 0.131 0.110
Total 37.74 40.65

 Table 2. Top ten destinations for India’s exports to Latin America 


2013 (in US$ billions)

2012 (in US$ billions)

Brazil 6.35 5
Mexico 2.86 2.95
Colombia 1.19 1.12
Peru 0.723 0.742
Argentina 0.695 0.573
Chile 0.692 0.658
Ecuador 0.516 0.443
Venezuela 0.251 0.301
Uruguay 0.111 0.145
Paraguay 0.109 0.095
Total  13.49  12.01

Table 3. Top 10 Latin American sources of India’s imports


2013 (in US$ billions)

2012 (in US$ billions)

Venezuela(April to December 2013) 10.6 14.1
Brazil 3.13 5.57
Mexico 3.52 3.81
Colombia 2.99 1.36
Chile 2.18 2.63
Argentina 1.1 1.26
Peru 0.586 0.386
Costa Rica 0.032 0.032
Ecuador 0.030 0.093
Paraguay 0.022 0.015
Total  24.19  29.03

Sources: Mercosur online ( for all 2013 figures except Venezuela; Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India ( for all Venezuela figures; and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India ( for all the 2012 data.

Ambassador Viswanathan is Distinguished Fellow, Latin America Studies, Gateway House. He is the former Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela, and Consul General in Sao Paulo.

This blog was exclusively written for Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. You can read more exclusive content here.

For interview requests with the author, or for permission to republish, please contact

© Copyright 2014 Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized copying or reproduction is strictly prohibited.