Naidu to visit Paraguay, Costa Rica

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New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will be visiting Paraguay and Costa Rica between March 5-9, in the first high-level visit from India to the two countries.

He will be accompanied by a delegation including Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons, MPs and senior officials.

The visit is aimed at advancing India’s outreach in the South American region and giving an impetus to bilateral trade and investment in information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy including hydel, education, healthcare, space and people-to-people engagement, said an official statement.

Bilateral trade between India and Paraguay has increased almost ten-fold over the past 10 years touching $334 million in 2017-18 from $40 million in 2008-09, it said.

While in Paraguay, Naidu will meet President Mario Abdo Benítez, Vice President Hugo Velazquez and President of the National Congress (Senate) Silvio Ovelar.

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He will also address the India-Paraguay Business Forum and interact with the Indian diaspora.

Naidu’s engagements in Costa Rica will include meetings with President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, first Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr as well as President of Congress Carolina Hidalgo Herrera.

He will also address the UN’s University of Peace and the India-Costa Rica Business Forum and meet the Indian community.

Bilateral trade between India and Costa Rica is $200 million. Indian exports, mainly comprising automobiles and pharma, to Costa Rica total $133 million.

Costa Rica has joined the International Solar Alliance, in order to become carbon-neutral country by 2021.

–IANS

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