Foreign policy: ‘Latin American and Caribbean to get more attention in next five years’

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New Delhi | Updated: September 18, 2019 8:37:04 PM

The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region is going to get more focus in the coming years which are line with the government’s policy to expand its interactions and presence with the region.

External affairs minister has promised that the LAC region will get more attention in the next five years as compared to the previous five years

The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region is going to get more focus in the coming years which are line with the government’s policy to expand its interactions and presence with the region.

At a press conference in New Delhi on the occasion of 100 days of the government, external affairs minister has promised that the LAC region will get more attention in the next five years as compared to the previous five years. While the Minister of State V Muraleedharan has recently visited Argentina, Peru, Columbia, and the Dominican Republic, there have been meetings with other leaders from the region during various international forums including the G-20 and G-7 summits in Japan and France respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had meetings with the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro on the sidelines of G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan earlier this year, when both leaders had discussed cooperation in trade and investment, agriculture and the biofuels and climate change.

Modi has also had a meeting with the President of Chile Sebastian Pinera on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in France last month.

Several ministerial-level meetings have taken place with the countries in the region and on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) next week, in New York Modi will be participating in two summits on the sideline. These are India-Caribbean (CARICOM) Island Summit and the India-Pacific Island Summit, and the focus is going to be on the blue economy, climate change, and partnering for development projects.

In the first-ever India-Caribbean Island summit heads of will include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Out of these 20 member countries, 15 are full members and the rest are associate members. There is a large population of the Indian Diaspora too in these Caribbean countries.

India has increased its engagement with these countries and has also announced humanitarian aid of $ one million to the Bahamas which was hit by Hurricane Dorian which had destructed the island country.

Modi will participate in the third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) or India Pacific Island countries summit also which will take place in New York. The first meeting had taken place in 2014 in Fiji and in 2015 it had taken place in Jaipur in 2015. India has been providing $200,000 every year to 14 Pacific Island countries which form the grouping.

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