Military ties, production of vaccines will be focus of Colombia’s VP visit later this month

By: |
September 07, 2021 3:59 PM

So far there is nothing major between the two countries as far as defence cooperation is concerned be it joint military exercises, exchange of best practices or training of officers.

Lekhi ColombiaBoth leaders also addressed trade and investment and efforts to diversify exports. (Twitter/Meenakashi Lekhi)

Drawing up a roadmap that will allow the production, research and regulatory development of vaccines in Colombia will be the primary focus of Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez visit to India later this month.

Both countries have identified various sectors like agriculture, defence and security, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, sustainable energy, culture, education and sports, and the empowerment of women.

According to diplomatic sources, the Vice President of Colombia accompanied by the Minister of Health Fernando Ruiz and the Minister of Science and Technology Tito José Crissien are coming to India at the end of September.

While no official dates have been announced, the agenda of the forthcoming visit was revealed during the meetings between the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of India, Meenakashi Lekhi, and Vice President Ramírez on Monday (September 6, 2021) in Bogota.

Both countries have identified various sectors like agriculture, defence and security, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, sustainable energy, culture, education and sports, and the empowerment of women.

India-Colombia Space Cooperation
On Monday, the two countries inked the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. It was signed at the end of talks between Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Meenakashi Lekhi and Vice President Ramírez of Colombia. Financial Express Online had reported last week on the possibility of a MoU in Space Sector being inked.

Also Read: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/india-and-colombia-set-to-ink-mou-on-outer-space-cooperation-for-peaceful-purposes/2322832/

According to top diplomatic sources, “Colombia is committed to space development according to the guidelines of CONPES 3983 of 2020 and Law 2107 of 2021 sanctioned by President Iván Duque.”

As has been reported earlier, the focus of the MoU is on use of outer space for peaceful purposes, exploration, a flexible and ambitious agenda in areas including surveillance, development, and satellite applications to the launch of space vehicles.

India and Colombia Defence Ties
So far there is nothing major between the two countries as far as defence cooperation is concerned be it joint military exercises, exchange of best practices or training of officers.

There is one Indian company MKU Private Ltd which has been present in that country and has delivered body armour for homeland security like bulletproof jackets.

What can India offer?
Specialized training for officers in Basic and Advanced Mountain Warfare Courses and also cross deputation of instructors at respective training establishments.

Colombia has one of the best shipbuilding industries in the region. COTECMAR-Colombia is the best shipyard. There is an opportunity for India to work with the shipyard and build vessels for the navies of the region.

Meeting of the MoS in Colombia
The talks focused on the promotion of bilateral trade and investments in information and communication technologies, energy security, food security, and education, empowerment of women, sports, culture and health.

The bilateral relations between the two countries is 62 years old and the two relations have been strengthened more in the last three years in areas such as trade and investment, agriculture, biotechnology, science and innovation pharmaceuticals,  and outer space.

At the Palace of San Carlos, the Vice President and Chancellor Ramírez highlighted the common interests of both countries. She said, “With India we share 62 years of strong friendship and mutual interests in promoting global security, stability and inclusive prosperity through trade, investment and connectivity.”

She talked about deeper cooperation with India in pharmaceuticals. “We are committed to strengthening the pharmaceutical industry, ensuring that it is recognized worldwide for its technological and social innovation. That is why it’s important to focus on public policy efforts. This is why cooperation becomes a crucial asset to understand and learn about the experience developed by India in this area”.

Trade and Investment
Both leaders also addressed trade and investment and efforts to diversify exports.

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