MoS for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi visits Bolivia in the last leg of four-nation trip

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi and Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta reviewed on Saturday bilateral relations between the two countries and reaffirmed their commitment to expand friendly ties.

Speaking about her meeting with the Bolivian Foreign Minister in La Paz, Meenakshi Lekhi tweeted: “Had a constructive meeting with Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta and reviewed issues of cooperation in bilateral, regional and multilateral spheres. Reaffirmed the commitment to expand friendly ties.”

Earlier, the visiting Indian minister had a luncheon meeting with Bolivian Vice Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani and the two discussed “future collaboration” to strengthen ties between India and Bolivia.

The Minister of State for External Affairs reached La Paz on Saturday in the last leg of her visit to the four-nation which included Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador and Bolivia.

India and Bolivia enjoy friendly and cordial relations with bilateral exchanges, trade and investment becoming mutually beneficial.

According to the Indian Embassy in Lima which is concurrently accredited to Bolivia, New Delhi and La Paz are working to improve the level of engagement and forge a partnership in sectors like minerals, infrastructure development, health and pharmaceuticals, information technology, capacity building and development cooperation.

In March 2019, then Indian President Ram Nath Kobind had paid the first ever state visit to Bolivia. This historic visit opened a new chapter in the bilateral ties of India and Bolivia, the Indian Embassy said.

Eight bilateral Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding were signed covering a range of areas. A US$100 million line of credit (LoC) was announced for developmental projects of interest to Bolivia. Annual ITEC slots allocation was doubled to 10 and it was announced to give two busts of Mahatma Gandhi for installation in La Paz and Santa Cruz, the Indian embassy said.

Bilateral trade between India and Bolivia has been growing and there is scope for improvement. In the Financial Year 2021-22, the total trade was US $2,190.5 million registering a 74% growth, with India’s exports at US$117.95 million and imports at US $2,072.54 million. During April to September of FY 2022-23, the two-way trade grew by 89.75% to US $1,713.38 million.

Bolivia is a home to around 60 Indian community members who are engaged in retail trade, transportation, agriculture, service sector.