The resource-rich Latin America is expected to draw India’s special attention, when External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid takes stock of the country’s stakes at a meeting of Indian envoys in the region next month in Peru.
Unlike previous regional envoy conferences, the heads of the 14 Indian embassies will not be meeting at a bustling capital city, but amidst the mountainous air of Cusco, located at over 11,000 feet above the sea level in Peru. A UNESCO world heritage site, Cusco is now the most visited tourist palce in the Western Latin American country, mainly used as a base for the trail leading to Machu Pichu.
This will be the first conference of regional heads of missions to be chaired by Khurshid, after taking over South Block in last November. He will be visiting Mexico and Peru from May 14 to 20. Hot on the conference agenda will be plans to attract Indian investment to the region, especially in the context of the ongoing expansion of the crucial Panama Canal.
The multi-billion dollar project is expected to increase global shipping and trade, by doubling the capacity by 2015. Incidentally, Air India has plans to make Panama the first destination for direct flights from India to Latin America.
Another critical talking point will be the ties with the 27-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) grouping.