New Delhi: India on Tuesday said that Latin America and the Caribbean region is “critical” to its ambition to become a member of the 48-nation elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Group as New Delhi looks to lobby support among key countries in the grouping.
The region was also gaining in importance as a key energy partner for India as it accounts for about 18%-20% of India’s oil imports at present, V.K.Singh, minister of state for external affairs said in a speech at the start of the 7th India-LAC (Latin American Countries) Conclave Guadalajara in Mexico.
“The LAC region is also critical to the ongoing drive for reforming the global governance architecture; including the reform and expansion of the UN Security Council, and India’s ambition to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group–of which Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are existing members,” Singh said.
Describing Latin America as “an emerging growth pole of the world,” Singh said India was “betting big on Latin America”—looking for opportunities to ramp up its engagement and “open new doors for mutually invigorating partnership.”
On trade and economic linkages, Singh noted that despite the distance between South Asia and South America, “trade has grown from $2 billion in 2001 to a high of $50 billion in 2015, and cross-country investments currently total roughly $23 billion.”