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India to sign FTA with LatAm trade blocks

July 25, 2003 16:22 IST

With a view to boost trade with Latin American countries and enhance South-South cooperation, India has proposed to sign Framework Trade Agreement with three trade blocks in the region including SICA, Caricom and ACS.

Caricom (Caribbean Community) is headquartered in Guyana, Sica (Association of Central American States) in El Salvador and ACS (Association of Caribbean States) in Tobago.

As a part of the initiative, India has also proposed to pick up equity in development banks of the region like Caricom Bank and Central American Bank, Harsh Dogra, joint secretary, ministry of external affairs told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisation in New Delhi on Friday.

"Government is looking at picking up stake in the development banks of the region as it would make it easier for our business community to participate in their tenders and arrange finances," he said.

While New Delhi has already signed Framework Trade Agreement with Mercosur (Mercado Comun del Cono Sur or Southern Cone Common Market) and is working out Prefrential Trade Agreement, it has entered into a mechanism for political dialogue and cooperation agreement with the Cairns group.

The proposal, which was floated as a part of government's focus on LAC initiative and to increase South-South cooperation, in June, is yet to get a response from the blocks, he said.

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