Modi to meet leaders of several S American nations during BRICS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first multilateral engagement, the coming sixth BRICS Summit in Brazil, has become politically very significant as besides having bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping among other leaders of the member countries, he will also have the opportunity to interact with leaders of 11 South American nations who have been invited by host country on the occasion.
This would be the first meeting of the Prime Minister with leaders of the region which has of late acquired increased significance for India.
The Prime Minister had shown great keenness to interact with these leader, Secretary West, Dinkar Khullar said here briefing media about the Summit along with Sherpa for the Summit and Secretary, Economic Relations Sujata Mehta.
The Summit will be held in Fortalesa and Brasilia on July 15 and 16 respectively. The meeting with South African countries will take place in Brasilia on the second and final day of the event on July 16.
Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Surinam, Venzuela and Uruguay , Chile are among the 11 eleven countries of the region invited, and seven of them had confirmed their participation so far, Mr Khullar said.
These countries are rich in natural resources and there was great untapped trade potential with India. The countries are in developing stage and India has great scope in areas like health, IT, remote sensing, biotechnology, etc. India companies have large presence in mining and among the key players are ONGC Videsh, TCD, Mahindra and Reliance etc.
At present India's imports are greater with these countries than exports, and the disadvantage is due to presence of South American Common Market (MERCOSUR) and free trade agreements between South American countries. India would like to have preferential trade agreements with these countries.
Mr Modi's meeting with leaders of these countries would provide an opportunity to both the sides to get a sense of the road further ahead in their trade and economic relations.
Asked whether the proposed BRICS Development Bank would come into being during the Summit, and whether its head quarter would be Shanghai, the Secretary Economic Relations said intense negotiations were underway on ''all aspects.''
BRICS comprises of countries which are all emerging economies except Russia. The other members are Brazil, India, China and South America.
(Posted on 06-07-2014)