Seeking to give a greater thrust to India's growing economic ties with Peru and Latin America, Vice President Hamid Ansari today launched the Indian Chambers of Commerce (INCHAM) here.
The launch was done at a special function jointly organised by the Embassy of India here and INCHAM. INCHAM aims to facilitate Indian trade and industry to do business in Peru and other countries of Latin America.
The INCHAM is becoming operational at a time when Peru is rapidly becoming one of the more important trade partners for India in this region.
Looking at the potential, the governments of India and Peru are hoping to start negotiations soon for a Free Trade Agreement. Mineral-rich Peru is the fastest growing country in Latin America.
The two countries also plan to sign four agreements including one in the field of education and another on culture later today.
Ambassador of India to Peru, Manpreet Vohra and President of INCHAM, Ravi Krishna, senior officials and business leaders from both India and Peru were present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering on the launch, the Vice President said that the new organisation promises to fill what has so far been a vacuum in India-Peru commercial and economic relations. The official website of INCHAM was also launched during the occasion.
INCHAM will seek to increase awareness of either country's business opportunities in the other, it will offer information and advisory services, and it will provide the important bridge between businesses and governments that is vital when economic relations reach a take-off stage, as they have between India and Peru.
India-Peru bilateral trade is increasing very quickly and has gone up by 7 times in the last 5 years. The growth rate last year was 35 per cent. In the first six months of this year, it rose by over 44 per cent.
Indian investments in Peru are also rising. The number of Indian companies with offices here is increasing steadily, as also the number of Indian professionals working here.
Another document that India hopes to finalise with Peru soon is the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.