India and South American nation Uruguay are working towards a Social Security Agreement (SSA). Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online “Though trade and investments are the two pillars of bilateral relations between India and Uruguay, SSA is another area where there is a huge scope for cooperation. During the 4th Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries on Monday (November 29, 2021) this was on the agenda of talks besides identifying new areas of cooperation.”
According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India and Uruguay have zeroed in on steps to be taken for deeper cooperation in pharmaceuticals products, Information Technology, boosting trade and investments and most importantly people to people relations.
The discussions were also on the mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates as well as response to the global pandemic and access to vaccines and medicines.
Social Security Agreement
Such an agreement helps in providing benefits portability, totalization and detachment.
While totalization allows the service rendered abroad to be counted for benefits in the home country, portability allows benefits to be availed in either country and detachment exempts international workers from making contribution in the host country.
Since 2016, India has an agreement with 19 countries, including Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands and others. In December 2019, a decision was taken to have a similar agreement with Brazil. Talks are going on with other members of BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa).
Under such agreements, dual Social Security deductions will be reduced, allow pension portability, and cause a decrease in employee cost for companies working in each other’s country.
4th Foreign Office Consultations
An official delegation led by Ms Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East) is in Montevideo, capital city of Uruguay.
Ms Carolina Ache Batlle, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay led her delegation.
India-Uruguay & Mercosur
The South American nation is also one of the member countries of Mercosur. India is in talks with Mercosur for expansion of the existing Preferential Trade Agreement. Other member countries of the grouping include: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.
Last month a top diplomat of Uruguay had confirmed to Financial Express Online that the talks for the expansion of the trade agreement between India and Mercosur are on track and all countries have agreed to have the next round of negotiations soon.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that some of the member countries are keen on having a Free Trade Agreement rather than an expansion of the existing PTA. In the next round of talks this issue will be discussed, confirmed top diplomats of member countries on condition of anonymity.