Asuncion, Paraguay, March 7: Talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere when the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu is on an official visit to Paraguay from 5 March to 7 March 2019. He is the highest-level representative of India to visit Paraguay since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries on 13 September 1961. Vice President is accompanied by a high-level delegation.
VP met with President of the Republic of Paraguay, H.E. Mario Abdo Benítez, Vice President, Mr Hugo Velázquez, and President of the National Congress (Senate), H.E. Silvio Ovelar.
Both sides agreed to jointly celebrate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and, in his context, India welcomed the issue today of a commemorative postal stamp by Paraguay in Asuncion.
Paraguay strongly condemned the brutal terrorist attack that took place in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, 2019. Both delegations agreed that terrorism and transnational organized crime constitute a serious threat to world peace and stability. They also stressed the importance of taking firm measures against terrorism and pledged to strengthen multilateral cooperation to combat this scourge including through cooperation against terrorist threats from groups listed in relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and working towards early adoption of a U.N. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Naidu interacted with members of the vibrant & diverse Indian Community in Paraguay. India has become the fastest growing economy said Vice President while interacting with the Indian community
The representatives highlighted the progressive increase of bilateral trade, whose average, in the last five years, amounts to approximately 376 million US dollars, and agreed to articulate mechanisms that allow better use of its potential.
The two sides agreed to explore new areas of collaboration including in hydel and solar, health including traditional medicine, Information and Communication Technology, farming and agriculture machinery, space and biotechnology, railways and tourism-related infrastructure. They tasked their teams to facilitate promotion of exchanges between academics and universities and also between travel professionals and stakeholders in tourism. Paraguay welcomed the offer of India of capacity building through enhanced scholarships for higher education and its ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) program.
The two sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic and Consular Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay and the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs of India.
The two sides exchanged views on the Preferential Trade Agreement between MERCOSUR and the Republic of India, in force as of 1 June 2009, and expressed their interest to further explore comparative advantages and the complementarity between the economic bloc and India so as to expand and diversify trade.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative jointly launched by India and France in 2015, was also discussed. They agreed that ISA would facilitate the use of clean energy, tap into an abundant source of solar energy and transition from conventional to renewable sources.
The President of the Republic of Paraguay, President Abdo Benítez, accepted the invitation extended by the Vice President, to visit India at a convenient opportunity for both parties.