NEW DELHI (Agencies): Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar is on an official visit to Guyana, Panama, Colombia and the Dominican Republic to boost economic ties with the Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar has said that there is “surely interest” from New Delhi in the prospect of establishing a logistical “hub” in Panama in order to serve growing Indian business operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The foreign minister noted that New Delhi already has existing “hubs” in Singapore, Dubai, London and New York.
He said that the world was moving towards decentralization, with regional hubs and centers of manufacturing becoming more important in the post-Covid era.
He highlighted that Indian companies have massive investments in sectors such as mining and energy.
“Our world outlook is also very similar. We take independent positions. We are part of large south-south cooperation. So, there is a very good base of understanding and friendship on which our discussions were held today,” he stated.
Jaishankar said that, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, New Delhi’s economic footprint in the region was only expected to grow further in coming years.
Automobiles and pharmaceutical products constitute the biggest Indian exports to the region. In the IT sector, Indian companies employ around 100,000 Latin Americans.
– ‘Hub of Hubs’
During the discussions with Jaishankar, the Panamanian officials pitched their country as the “hub of hubs”.
Federico Alfaro Boyd, Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, underscored that his country was “very close to the United States and to other countries in South America.”
“For India, deepening relations would be advantageous, as it would provide it with a gateway to the region,” he stated.
An advisor to the Panama government told Sputnik that the region has always “punched above its weight” as far as relations with India are concerned.
He said that Panama’s “strategic location” and its position as a “hub for the Americans” was very much evident as it played host to the India-SICA Ministerial meeting on Monday.
The Central American Integration System (SICA) is the institutional framework of Regional Integration in Central America. It comprises Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and the Dominican Republic.

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