Santa Cruz: In the wake of growing threats and acts of terrorism across the world, India and Bolivia have called for early finalization of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
Briefing media on President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Bolivia, Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said: “Bolivian President Evo Morales strongly condemned Pulwama attack and denounced cross border terrorism. There was an assertion that terrorism in all its forms constitutes a threat to humanity. Bolivia-India called for early finalization of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.”
Thakur informed that the two leaders discussed bilateral as well as multilateral issues of interest.
She said that President Kovind and his Bolivian counterpart Morales focused on three issues in the bilateral arena- terrorism, United Nations Security Council reforms and Climate change.
Thakur further said that there was an acknowledgment that current membership of UNSC is not reflective of realities of the 21st century.
“Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed full understanding of India’s aspiration to be a member of UNSC. He extended support for India’s membership as a non-permanent member,” she stated.
Thakur further said that Morales has signed the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement and Bolivia is now a member of ISA.
“On climate change- Both sides are emphatic that there needs to greater focus on the issue as well as looking at renewable sources of energy. In this context, President Morales signed the International Solar Alliance framework agreement,” Thakur said. She added that the two sides discussed bilateral issues including trade and economy.
Talking about trade, Thakur stated that the two nations are looking at diversification of export components of the trade and are exploring ways in which they can work together.
“Growing trade between the two nations stands at 875 million USD in the last calendar year. From point of view of Bolivia, India is the third largest market for India in terms of export and seventh largest trading partner,” she said.
Lithium is a resource that the South American nation has in abundance and is looking forward to exploring with the help of India as it is trying to move towards industrialization of its mineral resource.
Thakur said, “As far as Lithium is concerned, there was a discussion on all the three aspects of Lithium including, help in the exploration of the mineral, assured supplies of Lithium Carbide to India and also the possibility of joint ventures of Lithium batteries production plant in India.”
She added that the cooperation is expected to be held on the NITI Aayog level. She also said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two nations on cooperation on geology and mineral resources which will help facilitate working with Bolivia.
“They have reserves of gas. Bolivia has invited India to help in exploration and strategy in this regard. We have informed Bolivia that we have companies in the Private and public sector that might be interested to look into this
the sector,’ Thakur said.
During his trip to Bolivia, President Kovind addressed a joint business forum along with his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales organized by groups of Bolivian Chambers of Industries, Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Around 30 Indian companies from gold, mining, infra, IT, automobile energy participated.
Indian and Bolivia on Friday signed eight Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) in diverse sectors including culture space and medicine.
In the second leg on his three-nation state visit, the President reached Bolivia where he was welcomed by Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma and Foreign Minister Diego Pary Rodríguez at Viru Viru International Airport.
Following this, President Kovind will be visiting Chile on March 30, marking 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
President Kovind earlier held talks with his Croatian counterpart, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, following which four Memoranda of Understanding were signed between India and Croatia, in the fields of tourism, education, sports, to name a few. Kovind also interacted with the Indian diaspora in Croatia on Tuesday.
On the sidelines of his state visit to Croatia, President Kovind also met President of Latvia, Raimonds Vcjonis, in Zagreb and discussed issues of mutual interest.