Brasilia, July 17 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders of South America in Brasilia, and said that India and South America share a deep bond. “I thank Brazil, for providing this opportunity to interact with leaders from SouthAmerican countries. I am grateful to your Excellencies for sparing your valuable time, to meet us today (Wednesday). South America has tremendous potential. It is blessed, with vast resources and talent,” the Prime Minister told leaders from South America.

“It can become an important pillar of the global economy. In the face of economic uncertainty its growth can be crucial for global prosperity. In a globalised and inter-connected world, our destinies are inter-linked,” he said. “We are all bound, by shared aspirations and common challenges. We all have a stake in each other’s success. Distance is not a barrier to opportunities. It also does not, insulate us from challenges in other parts of the world,” he added.

He further said we must all unite to seek faster growth and newer avenues of generating prosperity, to find solutions to the challenge of poverty and to preserve our environment, and use our resources well. Modi further said that authors and poets like Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda are popular in India. Similarly, our national poet, Rabindranath Tagore, is widely loved here. “South America is also home to a large number of Indians, many of whom came centuries ago. Generations later, they remain a strong bridge of friendship, between our nations,” he added.

Asserting that his home state of Gujarat has many links with South America, Modi said: ” Ages ago, the Gir cow made its way from Gujarat, all the way to Brazil. Today, Gujarat accounts for more than half of India’s trade, with this wonderful continent.”

“As chief minister of Gujarat, I also had the privilege, to interact with your Ambassadors in Delhi. I was struck by their warmth, and their keen desire to forge closer relations, betweenIndia and South America,” he added.