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India, Latin America to scale up bilateral ties

Published: 09th August 2012 11:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2012 11:41 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Chila, Cuba and Venezuela, the troika of Latin America's premier grouping, Wednesday sought closer strategic and economic partnership with India and described New Delhi as "an emerging power" that can play an important role in transforming the region.
Seeeking to scale up ties with India in diverse areas, Chile's Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno Charme listed the many advantages of India and the Latin American region working together to transform their societies and economies.
"India is an emerging power and the largest democracy in the world. Closer coopweration will open new areas of cooperation in economic, social and cultural fields," Charme said here.
He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) on "recent developments in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region".
Charme listed advantages of closer partnership with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) region.
"The CELAC region has stable financial system and is the largest food exporter in the world. It is the third largest energy exporter and has the largest fresh water reserves in the world. It is one of the most peaceful regions in the world," he said.
He rued that India's trade with the region was 10 times less than of China.
M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, also made a strong pitch for an all-round acceleration of ties.
"It is a win-win situation. The opportunities are manifold and tremendous. We are looking for a pan-continental engagement with CLEAC," he said.
"The LAC region was once considered a distant horizon for Indian diplomacy. Now there is a multi-dimensional transformation of relations," said Rajiv Bhatia, director-general of ICWA.
India held the first foreign minister-level talks with the CELAC's troika of Chile, Venezuela and Cuba Tuesday, signalling a diplomatic acceleration in the region where China has surged ahead with over $250 billion trade.
The India-troika meeting culminated in both sides agreeing to set up joint committees in diverse sectors including trade, agriculture and energy security.
Chile is the current chair of CELAC.
The CELAC, a grouping of 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC) region, has emerged a powerful platform for asserting Latin American identity and its collective regional aspirations.
The region is home to 600 million people, nearly half the population of India. It has a landmass five times more than India.

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