VP Naidu discusses ways of boosting ties with Guatemalan counterpart

Guatemala City: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday met his Guatemalan counterpart, Dr. Jafeth Ernesto Cabrera Franco and discussed ways of strengthening bilateral relations in various fields.

The leaders of the two countries participated in bilateral discussions where agreements in areas like culture, agriculture and wildlife protection were under consideration between both the countries.

“We would like to conclude these as soon as possible so that mutually beneficial cooperation activities can be undertaken,” Vice President Naidu said.

He added that Guatemala was one of India’s important trading partners in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.

Vice President Naidu further underscored that there was a tremendous scope for intensifying bilateral trade and investment partnership in pharmaceutical, automobile, textile and apparel, education, Information Technology (IT), infrastructural-building and port development sectors.

“We (India) encourage Guatemalan businessmen to take advantage of sponsorship that India extend to interested buyers and importers, and to have a first-hand experience of the range of products and services available in India,” Vice President Naidu said.

He further said that India had contributed to the world health system through its affordable, high-quality generic medicines and desires to promote its export of such medicines to Guatemala.

“India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally and can assist Guatemala in the healthcare system,” Vice President Naidu added.

The Vice President expressed satisfaction on the increase of exchanges at the ministerial level, which has helped in bringing India and Guatemala closer.

“India has made renewed efforts to strengthen the relationship with Latin America, a region with huge potential for mutually beneficial cooperation,” Vice President Naidu said.

Earlier, the Vice President met Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, while stressing on his agenda of maintaining strong bilateral ties with the country.

The Vice President told the Guatemalan President, “India is keen on strengthening the relationship with Central America and Guatemala in particular, as we consider Guatemala as an able and valuable partner. I am happy over the momentum gained in the overall bilateral relationship since the opening of our resident Embassies and the steady increase in the exchange of visits at ministerial and vice-ministerial level.”

Guatemala is the first country that Vice President Naidu is visiting in his present capacity and it is the highest level visit between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972.

Vice President Naidu is on a five-day visit to Latin America’s Guatemala, Peru and Panama commencing from May 6. This is the Vice President’s first overseas visit after assuming office last year.