03/07/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/06/2019 14:08
The Vice President of the Republic of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu is on an official visit to Paraguay from 5 March to 7 March 2019. He is the highest-level representative of the Republic of India to visit Paraguay since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries on 13 September 1961. VP is accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of State for Tourism Mr. K.J. Alphons, Member of Parliament, Mr. R. K. Kashyab and senior officials from the Government of India.
During the visit, VP met with President of the Republic of Paraguay, H.E. Mario Abdo Benítez, Vice President, Mr. Hugo Velázquez, and President of the National Congress (Senate), H.E. Silvio Ovelar. The programme of activities of Vice President includes an interaction with the Indian community in Paraguay and a visit to the headquarters of the Paraguayan Industrial Union, where a meeting will be held on the investment and trade opportunities between the two countries. In this context, VP and the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay H.E. Liz Cramer are scheduled to participate in a Business Forum meeting.
Talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere when the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
The representatives highlighted the progressive increase of bilateral trade, whose average, in the last five years, amounts to approximately 376 million US dollars, and agreed to articulate mechanisms that allow a better use of its potential. Likewise, both agreed to identify sectors of mutual interest in order to promote bilateral investment considering the highly favorable business environment existing in their countries. They also expressed their intention to encourage the private sector to promote alliances that allow them to take advantage of the stability of their economies.
The two sides agreed to explore new areas of collaboration including in hydel and solar, health including traditional medicine, Information and Communication Technology, farming and agriculture machinery, space and biotechnology, railways and tourism related infrastructure. They tasked their teams to facilitate promotion of exchanges between academics and universities and also between travel professionals and stakeholders in tourism. Paraguay welcomed the offer of India of capacity building through enhanced scholarships for higher education and its ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) program.
The two sides welcomed signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic and Consular Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay and the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic India. They expressed their interest in finalizing the negotiations of the pending instruments.
Both sides agreed to jointly celebrate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and, in his context, India welcomed the issue today of a commemorative postal stamp by Paraguay in Asuncion.
Both side concurred in the importance of strengthening Parliamentary linkages.
The two sides exchanged views on the Preferential Trade Agreement between MERCOSUR and the Republic of India, in force as of 1 June 2009, and expressed their interest to further explore comparative advantages and the complementarity between the economic bloc and India so as to expand and diversify trade.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative jointly launched by India and France in 2015, was also discussed. They agreed that ISA would facilitate use of clean energy, tap into abundant source of solar energy and transition from conventional to renewable sources. Paraguayan side conveyed that the relevant internal consultations are being finalized with a view to join ISA.
Paraguay strongly condemned the brutal terrorist attack that took place in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, 2019. Both delegations agreed that terrorism and transnational organized crime constitute a serious threat to world peace and stability. They also stressed the importance of taking firm measures against terrorism and pledged to strengthen multilateral cooperation to combat this scourge including through cooperation against terrorist threats from groups listed in relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and working towards early adoption of a U.N. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
In order to discuss many of the collaborative proposals and strengthen ties between both countries, the vice presidents agreed that III Meeting of Consultations between the Foreign Ministries of both countries be held at an early date. The Consultations could explore among other things further institutional linkages to facilitate wide ranging cooperation between the two countries.
VP thanked the people and the Government of Paraguay for their hospitality and warmth during his visit.
The President of the Republic of Paraguay, President Abdo Benítez, accepted the invitation extended by the Vice President, to visit India at a convenient opportunity for both parties.
March 07, 2019