Modi seeks stronger ties with Latin America

July 18, 2014 - 2:48:19 am

New Delhi: India will forge stronger trade and investment ties with South America and work more closely than ever before with countries of the region at both bilateral and multilateral level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

Saying that “distance is not a barrier to opportunities”, the prime minister told a group of South American leaders in Brasilia that two-way trade has shown strong growth in recent years and there is a growing presence of Indian investors in South America. “It is, however, still well below potential. From hydrocarbons to pharma, textiles to leather, engineering goods to automobiles; the range of opportunities is enormous,” an official statement issued here yesterday quoted Modi as saying. 

Modi is perhaps the first Indian Prime Minister to interact with so many South American leaders at one place together. 

The meeting was arranged by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil in which leaders of Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay participated. 

Modi said the Preferential Trade Agreement between India and the MERCOSUR trade block, and Chile, must be utilised more effectively and asked the Latin American leaders to encourage their business leaders to take part in an upcoming investment conclave in India. “I firmly believe, the possibilities of cooperation are limited not by distance but only by our imagination and efforts...We must share with each other, our experiences, best practices  and innovative solutions. India stands committed to the same.”

India has deputed experts to South American countries in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, disaster management, communications, law and renewable energy. To share its expertise in Information Technology, India, Modi said, will set up centres of excellence in IT in South American countries.

Also, India will expand cooperation in areas such as tele-medicine, tele-education, e-Governance, weather forecasting, resource mapping and disaster management. India and Brazil inked three bilateral agreements in the field of environment, consular and mobility issues as well as setting up a Brazilian earth station that will receive data from Indian satellites. IANS