South-South Cooperation: India offers USD 100 Million LOC to Bolivia, inks multiple agreements


Under the framework of South-South Cooperation, India has offered $100 million Line of Credit to Bolivia on Friday for financing development projects. Accompanied by a 100-member strong official delegation, President Ramnath Kovind had wide ranging discussions with his counterpart President Evo Morles of Bolivia. The discussions focussed on political, economic and cultural issues including space, mining, IT, pharmaceutical and traditional medicines. The two sides inked MoUs in the fields of culture, Visa waiver arrangement for diplomats, exchange between diplomatic academies, mining, space, traditional medicine, establishment of Centre of Excellence in IT and Bi-Oceanic Railway project. Financial Express Online was the first to report that there will be agreements in sectors including Mining, Space International Solar Alliance between the two countries. The MoU related to the Bi-Oceanic Railway project is for exchanging experiences on relevant areas for the consultancy and construction of Corridor, to provide technical advice to deepen necessary studies; contribute to establish continuous cooperation between the public and private sector companies, where consulting firms including RITES IRCON are expected to play a significant Role. President Morales at the end of talks with President Kovind, announced to the media that the Line of Credit given by India will be used in pharmaceutical industry, particularly on cancer medicines. Both countries have agreed to further expand business ties in pharmaceuticals and health care; automobiles and engineering; machinery and textile; and metals and minerals. Besides agreeing for further deepening their partnership in the lithium sector, leaders of the two countries said that there is big scope for joint collaboration in critical and innovative technologies of mutual interest in areas like software and biotechnology, space technology, digital science and telecommunications, agriculture and food processing and renewable energy and climate change. Recently, state owned (KABIL) consortium of three PSU companies including: National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd., (MECL) had visited the Bolivian state owned Yacimientos del Litio Bolivianos (Bolivian Lithium Deposits) (YLB) Corporation. The MoU inked in the presence of the two leaders on Friday, will help to expand relations in the field of geology and mineral resources based on principles of equality and mutual benefit on a long and enduring basis. Financial Express Online which has been keenly following the KABIL delegation visit to the region in search of rare earth minerals had reported earlier that the consortium visited mines, pilot plants and exploration assets of YLB Corporation as well as had meetings with the concerned authorities at the Ministry of Energy of Bolivia. For identifying, exploring, acquiring, developing and processing strategic minerals overseas, the Indian Ministry of Mines has formed a consortium which has the mandate to travel across the globe to identify the critical minerals needed for projects in the country. India is the third largest export destination and seventh largest trading partner for Bolivia. Financial Express Online was the first to report about Bolivia joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative by India and France, aimed at combating the threats of climate change and global warming. On Friday, in the presence of Kovind the two sides signed the framework agreement establishing the bond. Recently, another South American nation Paraguay had conveyed to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at the end of talks in Asuncion that the relevant internal consultations are being finalized with a view to join ISA. The ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French President Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve. Bolivia strongly condemned the recent Pulwama terror attack in the Indian state of Jammu Kashmir, perpetrated from across the border and has agreed to work together to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Kovind who is on a three-day visit to Bolivia, Indias first high-level visit to the Latin American country since the establishment of diplomatic ties, participated in an India-Bolivia business meet, addressed university students, and interacted with Indian community members during his stay in the country.

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