Modi for closer ties with Latin America

Updated - April 22, 2016 02:14 am IST

Published - July 18, 2014 03:12 am IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered to expand cooperation with South American countries in areas like tele-medicine, tele-education and e-governance and promised to share India’s expertise in information technology with countries in the region.

In a statement made during the meeting of BRICS leaders with leaders of South American countries on Wednesday, Mr. Modi said India will “work closely with South America than ever before…at the bilateral level, as a BRICS member, in the G-77, as well as other international forums.”

“Our discussions today should throw up new ideas for partnership between BRICS and South America. The BRICS New Development Bank will open up newer opportunities of cooperation,” he said.

The Prime Minister said India would extend its “space capabilities” for weather forecasting, resource mapping and disaster management in the Latin American region.

Mr. Modi emphasised the need for more effective utilisation of the Preferential Trade Agreements between India and the MERCOSUR and between India and Chile.

MERCOSUR— comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay—was formed in 1991 to facilitate free movement of goods, services, capital and people among the four member countries and is the third largest integrated market after the European Union (EU) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

India and MERCOSUR had signed a PTA in 2004 offering reciprocal tariff preferences to each other with the ultimate objective of creating a free trade area.

India was not alone in working towards fostering closer ties with the resource-rich Latin American region. The other BRICS leaders also held talks with leaders from the continent.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had invited South American heads of nations from Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay, among others, to Brazil for interaction with BRICS leaders.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also stayed back in Brazil for an additional day to meet the leaders to launch a new China-CELAC (Community of Latin America and Caribbean States) forum.

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