Your Excellencies, the Presidents of BRICS countries
Your Excellencies, the Presidents of South American Countries
I thank Brazil, for providing this opportunity, to interact with leaders, from South American countries. I am grateful, to Your Excellencies, for sparing your valuable time, to meet us today. South America, has tremendous potential. It is blessed, with vast resources and talent. It can become an important pillar of the global economy. In the face of economic uncertainty its growth can be crucial for global prosperity. In a globalised and inter-connected world, our destinies are inter-linked. We are all bound, by shared aspirations and common challenges. We all have a stake in each other's success. Distance is not a barrier to opportunities. It also does not, insulate us from challenges in other parts of the world.
Thus, we must all unite:
To seek faster growth and newer avenues of generating prosperity.
To find solutions to the challenge of poverty.
To preserve our environment, and use our resources well.
Our discussions today should throw up new ideas for partnership between BRICS and South America. BRICS nations have already started a new chapter in this with the BRICS New Development Bank. This will open up newer opportunities of cooperation.
Excellencies, India and South America share a deep bond.
Authors and poets, like Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda are popular in India. Similarly, our national poet, Rabindranath Tagore, is widely loved here. South America is also home to a large number of Indians, many of whom came centuries ago. Generations later, they remain a strong bridge of friendship, between our nations.
Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi meeting the President of the Republic of Peru, Mr. Ollanta Humala
My own home state of Gujarat has many links with South America:
Ages ago, the Gir cow made its way from Gujarat, all the way to Brazil. Today Gujarat accounts for more than half of India's trade, with this wonderful continent.
Excellencies, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, I also had the privilege, to interact with your Ambassadors in Delhi.
I was struck by their warmth, and their keen desire to forge closer relations, between India and South America.
I assure you that India will work more closely with South America than ever before. At the bilateral level, as a BRICS member, in the G-77, as well as other international forums.
Excellencies, India's trade with South America, has shown strong growth in recent years.
There is a growing presence, of Indian investors in South America. It is, however, still well below potential. From hydrocarbons to pharma, textiles to leather, engineering goods to automobiles; the range of opportunities is enormous.We must utilize, the Preferential Trade Agreement between India and the MERCOSUR Trade Block, and Chile, more effectively. We also attach importance, to the South American and Caribbean Business Conclave held every year in India. A similar Investment Conclave, is being organized in October 2014, in India. I ask your Excellencies, to encourage your business leaders, to take full advantage of this opportunity.
I firmly believe, the possibilities of cooperation are limited not by distance but only by our imagination and efforts.We have much to learn from each other, in our journey towards inclusive and sustainable development. We must share with each other, our experiences, best practices and innovative solutions. India stands committed to the same. I am pleased, that India has deputed experts, to countries in the South American region in the fields of Agriculture, Horticulture, Disaster Management, Communications and Law. We are also working together in Renewable Energy.
Almost 250 students from South America, have been taking courses in India every year under our International Technical and Economic Cooperation program. I however believe, that this is not enough. We intend to substantially increase the same.
To share India's expertise in Information Technology, we will establish Centres of Excellence in Information Technology, in South American countries.
India also offers to expand cooperation, in areas like Tele-medicine, Tele-education and e-Governance. We extend our Space capabilities, for weather forecasting, resource mapping and disaster management. Our ongoing Parliament session in Delhi – my Government's first – prevents me from spending more time here, on this visit. But, I look forward to returning to this great continent; of beauty, opportunities and warm people. I also look forward, to a much more intensive level of engagement, between India and South America, in the coming years, across all domains of cooperation