NEW DELHI – The India-Latin America and Caribbean conference concluded its most successful edition to date on Friday, before an audience of 350 representatives from the world of politics and business who came to New Delhi to participate in the event.
The conference’s sixth edition was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and is believed to be the largest forum for collaboration between the two regions.
FICCI vice-president Jyotsna Suri said she was moved by the huge response and stressed that insufficient connection was one of the major challenges for better economic relations between the regions, as these are essential in the development of tourism and investment.
Even though trade between India and the countries from Latin America and the Caribbean registered a 25 percent annual increase over the last decade, the levels of investment between them remain very low, according to FICCI data.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ Special Secretary for the Americas R. Swaminathan called for joint efforts to further improve business ties, by highlighting the event’s slogan “Let’s grow together.”
He also recalled Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to work more closely than ever with South America, after he took office in May.
India has developed a strategic interest in Latin America as the large number of countries in the region offer opportunities for investment, trade and employment.
This was the sixth edition of the conclave and was covered by journalists from 15 countries from the American continent. A large number of officials from the participating countries were also present.
Nicaragua’s Minister for Promotion of Investment Alvaro Baltodano, Haitian Finance Minister Marie Carmelle Jean Marie and Guatemalan Minister of Economy Sergio de la Torre were among the representatives of Latin American governments.
Honduran Economic Development Minister Alden Rivera, who was unable to attend the first part of the conclave, took advantage of the closing ceremony to offer an analysis of his country.
Nicaragua might host the next edition of the conclave, in 2015, if the parties accept the proposal put forward by Baltodano.