India’s ties with the Latin America will get a boost when President Ram Nath Kovind visits Cuba and Suriname next week. Biotechnology, health system as well as information technology will be the focus areas of the visit.
This will be the first time that any Indian President visits the Caribbean island country, Cuba, which will give further boost to India’s South-South cooperation.
According to Partha Satpathy, joint secretary (Latin America and the Caribbean), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), “President’s visit to Cuba and Suriname is a reflection of New Delhi giving more importance to its ties with Latin America.”
Accompanied by minister of state for steel Vishnu Deo Sai, two members of the Lok Sabha – Dinesh Kashyap and Nityanand Rai – and senior officials, Kovind is embarking on an eight-day, three-nation tour from June 16 that will see him going to Greece, Suriname and Cuba, according to the MEA.
Last month, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu visited Guatemala, Panama and Peru.
The visit to Suriname is at the invitation of President Desi Bouterse, where India is expected to sign agreements in various sectors including health and information technology. With 37% of Suriname’s population being people of Indian origin, Kovind will also lay the foundation of a Vivekananda Cultural Centre.
According to the MEA, the president will interact with Cuba’s new leadership under President Miguel Diaz-Canel, and four agreements, including in the areas of biotechnology and traditional and alternative systems of medicine, are expected to be inked. Both India and Cuba are important partners in the South-South cooperation and interestingly Diaz-Canel had made an official visit to India in March 2015 in his previous position as the vice-president of that country.