Brasilia/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday called upon South American countries to come together "to seek faster growth and newer avenues of generating prosperity, find solutions to the challenge of poverty and preserve our environment, and use our resources well".
He was addressing a group of South American leaders in Brazil's capital to foster cooperation between the two regions.
Assuring that India seeks to "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", the prime minister said that distance is not a barrier to opportunities.
"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."
He said that there is a growing presence of Indian investors in South America. But pointed out that it is still well below potential. "From hydrocarbons to pharma, textiles to leather, engineering goods to automobiles; the range of opportunities is enormous," Modi said.
"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 organised in October in India.
"Almost 250 students from South America have been taking courses in India every year under our International Technical and Economic Cooperation programme. I however believe, that this is not enough. We intend to substantially increase the same," he added.
The prime minister said that India will establish Centres of Excellence in Information Technology in South American countries to share its expertise in information technology.