Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the current trade of USD 42 billion between India and LAC does not reflect the total potential which exists in both regions.

"Doubling the trade figures in the next five years should be our collective goal and bilateral investments could help us in achieving this milestone," the Minister said at the India-LAC Investment Conclave.

She said the target could be reached by broad-basing trade and economic ties and diversifying the basket of trade in goods and services.

The minister said that the government has taken several steps to improve business climate for investors and ease of doing business.

"The current level of investments relation is modest and well below the potential," she said, adding, "India has put in place an investor friendly FDI regime."

She said LAC companies and investors can explore opportunities in sectors, including defence, infrastructure, national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZs) and industrial corridors.

"NIMZ offers opportunities for infrastructure development, equipment supply and manufacturing units. Another investment opportunity is in the DMIC," she added.

About 100 Indian companies have invested over USD 15 billion in the LAC region in sectors such as energy, IT, pharmaceuticals, sugar, agro-chemicals, auto parts, plastics and cosmetics.

On the other hand, LAC companies have invested in India in areas such as steel, bus assembling and auto parts.

Speaking at the occasion, Ficci president Sidharth Birla said that Indian companies can explore opportunities in ethanol sector in Brazil and oil sector in Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia.

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