Brasilia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the establishment of the BRICS development bank opens up newer opportunities of cooperation with nations of South America.
"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," he told leaders from South America.
South American presidents were specially invited by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for a meeting yesterday on the sidelines of the summit of the five-nation grouping.
Modi said 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," he said.
In a globalised and inter-connected world, he said, "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," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said nations must unite to seek faster growth and newer avenues of generating prosperity, to find solutions to the challenge of poverty and to preserve our environment, and use our resources well.
Referring to the links between India and South America, the popularity of authors like Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the links between Gujarat and the region, Modi assured the leaders from South America that India will work more closely with them more than ever before "at the bilateral level, as a BRICS member, in the G77, as well as other international forums.
India's trade with South America, has shown strong growth in recent years but it is still well below potential, Modi said.
To tap enormous opportunities of cooperation, he said, "We must utilise, the Preferential Trade Agreement between India and the MERCOSUR Trade Block (South America's trade block) and Chile, more effectively."
"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," Modi said.
To share its expertise in Information Technology, India will establish Centres of Excellence in Information Technology, in South American countries, the Prime Minister said.
India also offered 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. 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," he said.
First Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 09:13