Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chilean President Visits India

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who recently paid a State visit to India, expressed hope that the "intellectual and actual perpetrators" would be identified soon and brought to justice. During her talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she condemned the "heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks" which posed a threat to human safety on a global scale. The two leaders called for enhanced international cooperation and exchange of information to enhance the ability of the Governments to fight terrorism.

Joint Statement
A joint statement issued after the talks stated that the two leaders reiterated that early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism was imperative to consolidation of counter-terrorism efforts within the UN.

The two countries signed four pacts, including one on cooperation in exploration and utilisation of outer space for peaceful purposes.

India and Chile also signed four pacts, including one on cooperation in exploration and utilisation of outer space for peaceful purposes. The two countries also decided to support each other’s candidature for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2011-12 (India) and 2014-15 (Chile).

Chile has backed India's efforts for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and expressed solidarity in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks by demanding that its perpetrators be brought to book. Bachelet, Chile's first woman President, declared her support for India's permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.

India and Chile signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of New and Renewable energy and an agreement on cooperation in the exploration and utilisation of outer space for peaceful purposes.

The two sides also signed a pact for cooperation in the field of education and an MoU on Cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources.
Bachelet and Singh agreed on the commitment to continue negotiations within the framework of the Bali action plan to reach an agreed outcome for the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The two countries also agreed to promotion on joint initiatives in R&D on advanced clean technologies with the objective of finding concrete and innovative solutions to the issue of climate change.

In the field of science and technology, Chile has invited India to join its 2009-10 Scientific Antarctic Expedition by sending an expert to participate in an ice coring research project.

Free Trade Agreement
India and Chile evinced interest in exploring the feasibility of entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and expressed satisfaction on the initiation of a process to broadening and deepening of the existing Preferential Trade Agreement in force since August 2007. Chile expects to double its trade with India over the next five years by strengthening cooperation in areas such as IT and bio-technology.

Preferential Trade Agreement between Chile and India since August 2007, has increased bilateral trade to $2.3 billion in 2008 from $300 million in 2004. The two countries would like to make the conditions ripe for doubling of the trade between them in the next five years.
To foster trade relations, Chile will also set up a commercial office at its embassy in New Delhi in 2009. Chile offers to India a bridge for trade with other Latin American nations.

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