Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will conclude his first ever official visit to South America today. Dr. Jaishankar’s
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will conclude his first ever official visit to South America today.
Dr. Jaishankar’s itinerary included visits to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina for bilateral talks with his counterparts and the top leadership of all three countries. The visit was focused mostly on South-South cooperation, primarily in a bid to expand the existing India-MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), among other significant issues. During a visit to the Federation of Industries in the State of Sao Paolo (FIESP), Jaishankar also stressed that with concerted efforts, Latin America could be a new trading hub for India. Jaishankar also sought to secure increased edible oil trade with Argentina to meet its current shortage due to the war in Ukraine, on the back of a move by the Indian government to make amendments to the PTA to allow this trade.
Expect, on the back of Jaishankar’s trip, that more business delegations from India will travel to South America to establish private sector cooperation as well. Also expect that in the next decade India will seek to convert the existing India-MERCOSUR PTA into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to ensure more markets for Indian goods and diversify India’s resource dependencies.