Indian investment in Latin America surges to $7 bln

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New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) With Latin America occupying an important position in the new world economic order, India's investment in Latin America and Carribean (LAC) region has touched the seven billion dollar mark.

''There has been a shift from political diplomacy to business diplomacy over the years,'' Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary (ITP) Virendra Gupta told reporters here.

Indian companies like ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) have acquired oil fields in Brazil, Columbia, Cuba and Venezuela.

Reliance, which is a new entrant, imports crude oil from Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuado. It has also acquired the Borojo offshore oil block in the Tumac basin on the Pacific coast of Columbia and has expressed interest in other countries, including Peru and in upstream ventures in Mexico, an official statement said.

Mr Gupta added that India is initiating talks to develop cooperation for alternative sources of energy like biofuel with Brazil.

He said LAC countries and India are expected to develop direct route of transportation in the future which will further boost 'south2south' cooperation efforts.

UNI PDT SR KN1735

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