India-SICA talks to take place soon to help promote bilateral trade and investments

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Updated: March 9, 2019 8:45:57 PM

SICA which is a small group of countries of Central America, is very critical to India as it offers free exchange of trade with other countries in the United States and also with European nations. They are keenly to have deeper economic cooperation with India to boost ties between the two regions.

SICA, Central America, India,free exchange of trade, United States, European nations,economic cooperation, economy, newsIndia-SICA talks to take place soon to help promote bilateral trade and investments

Next round of talks of India- trade body Central American Integration System (SICA) forum will be taking place in the next few months, which will encourage better trade and bilateral relationship between the countries, say government officials.

SICA which is a small group of countries of Central America, is very critical to India as it offers free exchange of trade with other countries in the United States and also with European nations. They are keenly to have deeper economic cooperation with India to boost ties between the two regions.

SICA consists of seven full members: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama; and Dominican Republic as the Associate Member.

Talking to Financial Express Online at the end of talks between Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Secretary East) MEA Ms Vijay Thakur Singh said that, “Both sides are keen that the India-SICA talks should move forward.”

The last round of talks took place in Guatemala City in 2015, and after that the talks have not taken place due to non-availability of dates of member countries. They noted with satisfaction the excellent status of political, economic relations and cooperation between the Parties.

The member States of SICA had in the previous meeting highlighted the importance of financial cooperation received from India through Lines of Credit (LOC) that have been granted to the region and welcomed India’s offer to increase it further to $ 240 million.

India has also been invited to become a member of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) as extra regional partner as it will help in bringing further development to the region and it will help in consolidating India’s presence in the region. According to the MEA, India has been invited to become a member of the Group of Partner Countries of the Security Strategy of Central America (ESCA), and agreed to share information about the projects of such strategy.

India has set up of Centres of Excellence in Information Technology in the SICA countries. India is keen to promote cooperation in the five pillars of regional integration, as well as, in key areas such as agriculture, food security, energy security, MSMEs, and capacity building.

A Regional Barefoot Vocational Training Centre (RBVTC) for SICA countries in Guatemala is being set up by which will train women from remote villages in the rural area as Solar Engineers.

India and SICA members are planning to move gradually towards a Customs Union, and have agreed that the implementation of this requires the carrying out of several measures according to the particular priorities of each country and turn them into solid grounds for the creation of a competitive region whose economy may give opportunities to its citizens and moves forward towards social integration and regional security.

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