In a bid to reach out to the Latin American countries,India will host the first India-CELAC Troika Foreign Ministerial meeting on Tuesday. This is one of the steps towards having a dialogue mechanism similar to the India-Africa forum summit.
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is a newly formed regional group comprising 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC) region.
On August 7,External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will host Foreign Minister of Chile Alfredo Moreno Charme,Foreign Minister of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro and Vice-Foreign Minister of Cuba Rogelio Sierra. Since Chile holds the presidency of CELAC till January 2013,the Chile Foreign Minister will lead the Troika.
With India enjoying friendly and warm relations with all CELAC countries and a shared understanding on the values of democracy,freedom,equality and justice,New Delhis trade with the region is over $25 billion in 2011 and cumulative investments are estimated to be $16 billion mostly in hydrocarbons,minerals,agriculture,pharma and IT. The MEA officials say that there exists a vast untapped potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in various sectors.
MEAs secretary (West) Madhusudan Ganapathi,who initiated the idea of engaging with the Latin American community,said,…our approach to this region has been admittedly slow. There is the ready excuse giving reasons of distance,poor connectivity and language constraints. However,these are unacceptable and we need to do more. We are determined to overcome any mindset which may have inhibited an enhanced engagement with the region.