India's ties with the region have moved on a new trajectory in the last 9 years, EAM Jaishankar says

Calling for a deeper two-way engagement between India, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said this would be based on resource partnerships and developmental partnerships in the future.

Inaugurating the 9th CII India-LAC Conclave in New Delhi on Thursday (August 3, 2023), he described supply chain diversification and addressing global challenges as the other two important pillars of this relationship going forward.

Noting that India's overall ties with the region had moved on a “new trajectory” in the last nine years, EAM Jaishankar pointed out that there was scope to further consolidate the relations in a range of areas. "During my travels and interactions I have noted a lot of goodwill for India among the people from the LAC region which reinforces the significance of trade and people-to-people connections," he remarked.

In this context, he referred to bilateral trade surging to close to USD 50 billion during the financial year 2022-23 as a testament to both the strength and the potential of the economic partnership. Describing the growth of trade between India & LAC in recent years as impressive, he said last year, India's exports to Brazil stood at USD 10 bn, exports to Mexico were worth over USD 5 bn, and exports to the Dominican Republic were USD 329 mn.

According to EAM Jaishankar, Indian companies have played an important role in this bilateral growth, with their strong presence in sectors like agriculture, energy, IT, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and automobiles in the region. Investment by Indian companies was close to USD 15 bn, a clear reflection of their interest in the region, he added.

EAM Jaishankar later took to Twitter to share some of the points that he highlighted during his address:

  1. The greater efforts and attention being paid to our engagements and interactions.

  2. The growing interest in LAC for deeper engagement with India and vice versa.

  3. Our trade being testament to the strength and potential of our partnership.

  4. Our expanding developmental partnership positively impacting the region.

  5. The complementary nature of our trade partnership in terms of import and export of raw and finished goods.

  6. The future of India-LAC partnership would be based on 4 important pillars - supply chain diversification, resource partnerships, sharing developmental partnerships and addressing global challenges.

He warmly welcomed Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Minister (E) of People's Power for Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade Delcy Eloina Rodríguez Gómez and all Ministers from the LAC region who are attending the conference. EAM Jaishankar expressed confidence that this conclave would fuel the increasing intensity of India-LAC cooperation.