Trade and investment, astronomy, women’s issues and technology will be the focus of seven parliamentarians from Chile during their visit to India next month. The Chilean parliamentarians are visiting India from February 5 to 9 at the invitation of Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and will be meeting several senior ministers and officials including commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu and minister for women empowerment Maneka Gandhi, as well as senior officials in other ministries including the agriculture, science and technology. Speaking to FE, a senior diplomat in the embassy of Chile in New Delhi said, “The visit is to further strengthen our relationship and to take it forward. And to explore the investment opportunities post expanded India-Chile preferential trade between the two countries, and identifying new areas for future investments.” “There are three women parliamentarians and they are expected to meet the minister of women empowerment here in New Delhi,” the Chilean diplomat added. Both countries are in discussions to finalise phytosanitary requirements for the export of avocados, walnuts and blueberries from Chile and the import of mango, coco peat and pomegranate from India, according to Anita Nayar, ambassador of India to Chile.
The visit of the parliamentarians assumes significance as it comes ahead of the India-LAC conclave that is to take place in Santiago, Chile later this year. As reported by FE earlier, the conclave was scheduled to take place in March this year. However, sources have now confirmed to FE that the conclave has been moved to June-July this year. According to officials, “The ministry of external affairs is planning the conclave which is expected to benefit local businesspersons, entrepreneurs, academicians and government representatives.” India is targeting the pharmaceuticals market in Chile; pharmaceuticals are among the top 10 Indian exports to the country.
Earlier this month, three top astronomers from Chile came for the ‘First Indo- Chilean Astronomical Dialogue’ at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics IUCAA, Pune and in the department of physics and astrophysics of the University of Delhi. “This project is the result of the ‘Seminar on the development of Astronomy in Chile’, held in late 2016 in the cities of Bangalore, Pune and New Delhi. This activity was conceived by our embassy to explore the opportunities offered by astronomy in bilateral relations, resulting in a wide range of possibilities for the development of scientific relations between Chile and India,” said Nayar. “This initiative consists in the realisation of a dialogue between Chilean and Indian astronomers with the purpose of exploring the capacities and meeting points between Chilean and Indian professionals in the area of astronomy,” she added. As reported earlier by FE, the University of Chile launched its first homemade palm-sized satellite on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C38 rocket in 2017. There are 24 Indian companies/representative offices based in Chile. From 1974 to 2012, India has invested a total of $27.1 million in Chile, basically in mining and IT. Many Indian companies recently entered the Chilean market through acquisition of Chilean companies or through joint ventures/collaborations.