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India, Latin American nations have huge potential to boost trade ties: Commerce Min

India and countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region have huge potential to boost economic ties in areas like agriculture, health, energy and information technology, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

Quoting Commere and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu who addressed diplomats of the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Strategic Economic Cooperation on Wednesday, it said that there is a need for a multi-pronged strategy to enhance bilateral trade in merchandise and services.

“India, as a fast growing developing economy is experiencing burgeoning food and energy needs, and therefore, deeper ties with partners in the LAC region could prove to be mutually beneficial,” it said.

The ministry said that the Indian companies could form joint venture projects for cultivation of lentils, oil-seeds and food grains, which are crucial import items, besides conducting joint research in dairy farming, seeds and pulses.

Indian companies can also work towards leveraging the opportunities arising from the growth in demand for IT products and services within the region, it added.

The LAC region comprises 43 countries and the major economic and trading partners of India are Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Panama and Cuba. India-LAC bilateral trade during 2017-18 stood at USD 29.33 billion as against USD 24.52 billion in 2016-17.

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