In a recent address to the diplomatic corps and students in the Dominican Republic, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar underscored the burgeoning relationship between India and Latin America. He stated that the once-distant region is now firmly on India’s radar, thanks to an expansion in the country’s foreign interests and the pervading influence of globalization. He particularly highlighted that India’s trade with Latin America is nearing a substantial figure of $50 billion, a testament to the solidifying bonds between India and the region.
India’s “Neighborhood First Policy“, a key initiative under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, underscores the importance of fostering peaceful relations with India’s South Asian neighbors and broadening India’s global ties. A testament to Modi’s vision and strategic leadership, this policy has significantly contributed to India’s growing global influence. In concert with the country’s intensifying interactions with Latin America, it offers a clear portrayal of a nation committed to expanding its international reach and stature.
Minister Jaishankar emphasized on India’s escalating investments in Latin America, particularly in the energy sector. He noted that India now imports crude oil from several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Guyana. Beyond energy, Indian presence has also proliferated in other sectors such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, and two-wheelers, further exemplifying the deepening ties.
The Minister also touched on the increasing political coordination between India and Latin American regional blocs. Since 2016, India has established structured engagement with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Regular interactions are also in place with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA). India’s political presence is underscored by its status as an associate member of the Pacific Alliance.