Brasilia, July 17 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India will work closely with South America in international fora. “I assure you that India will work more closely with South America than ever before. At the bilateral level, as a BRICS member , in the G-77, as well as other international forums,” Modi said at BRICS meeting with South American leaders.

Asserting that there is a growing presence, of Indian investors in South America, Modi said: “It is, however, still well below potential. From hydrocarbons to pharma, textiles to leather, engineering goods to automobiles; the range of opportunities is enormous. We must utilize, the Preferential Trade Agreement between India and the MERCOSUR Trade Block, and Chile, more effectively.”

“We also attach importance, to the South American and Caribbean Business Conclave held every year in India. A similar investment conclave is being organized in October 2014, in India. I ask your Excellencies, to encourage your business leaders, to take full advantage of this opportunity,” he added.

He further said he firmly believed that the possibilities of cooperation are limited not by distance, but only by our imagination and efforts. “We have much to learn from each other, in our journey towards inclusive and sustainable development. We must share with each other, our experiences, best practices and innovative solutions,” he said.

“India stands committed to the same. I am pleased, that India has deputed experts, to countries in the South American region in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, disaster management, communications and law. We are also working together in renewable energy,” he added.

Stating that almost 250 students from South America have been taking courses in India every year under our International Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program,” Modi said: “I, however, believe that this is not enough. We intend to substantially increase the same.”

He further said that to share India’s expertise in information technology, New Delhi will establish centers of excellence in information technology, in South American countries. “India also offers to expand cooperation, in areas like tele-medicine, tele-education and e-Governance. We extend our space capabilities, for weather forecasting, resource mapping and disaster management,” he said.

“Our ongoing parliament session in Delhi – my government’s first – prevents me from spending more time here, on this visit. But I look forward to returning to this great continent of beauty, opportunities and warm people. I also look forward, to a much more intensive level of engagement, between India and South America, in the coming years, across all domains of cooperation,” he concluded.