How is India’s foreign policy assuming new facets with Latin America?

IR : How-is-Indias-foreign-policy-assuming-new-facets-with-Latin-America

Answer by Akand Sitra:

Latin America is that area which consists of the whole of South America, Mexico and other smaller Caribbean countries.

         Credits – Wikipedia Commons

These South American nations were never on the priority list of the foreign policy of India over the past few decades.

But, that is rapidly changing now.

Current Relations

  • India's current relations with South America is very minimal.
  • There is a very low people to people exchange amongst these nations.
  • India imports petroleum oil from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico.
  • Except for Brazil, other countries receive very little attention.
  • Also, there is a very little direct flight and sea connectivity.

Cooperation Needed in These Areas

  • South America has 5 times the landmass of India. It has huge fertile lands.
  • India can look for agricultural cooperation and can even take some land on lease, like how China took Kazakhstan's land on lease.
  • India can conduct joint agricultural research and development with Brazil and Argentina.
  • Increase petroleum imports to relieve our over dependence on the volatile and ever tensed gulf areas.
  • Invest in oil exploration and extraction in these areas. I think our ONGC Videsh has already started doing this.
  • The Amazon area has a huge mineral resource which can be tapped.
  • India can provide assistance to their space programmes through ISRO and also provide launching and satellite facilities.
  • Brazil can be a source for ethanol. Which can help reduce our dependence on petroleum.
  • Expand cooperation with South American countries in areas like tele-medicine, tele-education and e-governance and India should share it's expertise in information technology with these countries.
  • Eco-tourism would be a great initiative for both of them. India needs to sell itself in a much better way.

Future Path to be Taken

  • India has to sign Free Trade Agreements with Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Peru, the most important trading Latin American countries.
  • Use BRICS platform to connect with Brazil more effectively.
  • Use BASIC platform also to support each other.
  • Use G4 Nations also to support each other for a UNSC permanent seat claim.
  • Increase diplomatic exchange with regular meetings.
  • Must ensure IBSA stays alive and strong.
  • Increase flight connectivity and communication.
  • India should extend its “space capabilities” for weather forecasting, resource mapping and disaster management in the Latin American region.
  • More effective utilization of the Preferential Trade Agreements between India and the MERCOSUR and between India & Chile.
  • In International fora like WTO, IMF, World Bank, G-20 etc. the South American Countries and India have to lobby on similar issues like lower tariffs, more inclusive trade policy, easier financing conditions, voting rights etc.

[Right] – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
[Left] – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Yes, India needs to extend its hand to all Latin American countries, especially the largest one – Brazil. This picture sums it up. 🙂

[1] Modi for closer ties with Latin America
[2] Department of Commerce, Government of India
[3] India and Latin America Trade
[4] ‘India should focus on Latin America, Africa, BRICS to counter trans-Pacific challenge’

Thank you for the discreet A2A Priyanka!

How is India's foreign policy assuming new facets with Latin America?

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