Chilean FM lays stress on improving Indo-Latin America trade
New Delhi, Aug.7 (ANI): Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno on Tuesday stressed on increasing the trade between India and the Latin American countries.
Addressing a joint news conference with External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna here, Moreno said: "The trade among both regions is only four percent of our imports and exports. These figures are one-tenth of what the Latin American and Caribbean countries have, for example, with China. (However) what has been done with Chile (by India), yesterday and today in our meetings, is to increase our limited trade."
Moreno is in India as part of the troika of foreign ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean region, where China has made significant forays.
Apart from him, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and Cuban vice foreign minister Rogelio Sierra also came over representing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Moreno also added here that the vast natural wealth of Latin America and the vast expertise and knowledge of India can lead to a very fruitful partnership between the region.
"Latin American and Caribbean countries have large reserves of oil, many minerals and large agricultural extensions. Just to tell that, the continent is five times the size of India but it only has half of the population. So there is a lot of cooperation that we can share. On the other hand, India has the technology, the expertise that we need to go on and achieve what all these countries want to achieve which are to be developed countries in the future," he said.
Complimenting Moreno's views, Krishna said the meeting of CELAC was a good platform for India to strengthen her ties with Latin American countries.
"The community of Latin American and Caribbean States provides India a platform to interact directly with 33 countries in the region. Since our relations with all Latin American and Caribbean countries are friendly, and our trade and commerce, and the commercial relations are increasing steadily, we thought it is a good time to strengthen our relations amid this newfound grouping of the Latin American and Caribbean region," he said.
Chile holds the pro-tempore Presidency of CELAC till January 2013.
Thirty-three countries of Latin America and the Caribbean region, which has a combined GDP of USD 4.9 trillion, joined hands in December last year to form the CELAC.
From a mere USD 2 billion in 2000, bilateral trade with the region has crossed a USD 25 billion and cumulative Indian investments in the region are estimated to be of the order of around USD 16 billion mostly in the fields of hydrocarbons, minerals, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and information technology (IT).
Latin America, which has 15 per cent of global oils reserves, contributes significantly to India's crude oil imports. (ANI)
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