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Jaishankar inaugurates Indian embassy in Dominican Republic

India eyes to expand ties with Latin America and Carribean

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SANTO DOMINGO, April 29 (PTI): External affairs minister S Jaishankar has formally inaugurated the Embassy of India in the Dominican Republic and said it will mark a new phase of bilateral cooperation as New Delhi expands its footprint in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Jaishankar arrived here on Thursday on his first official visit to the country.

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“Privileged to join Vice President of Dominican Republic @RaquelPenaVice in inaugurating the Embassy of India in the Dominican Republic,” tweeted Jaishankar.

Speaking at the event, he said, “Today is a very proud day for India and for the relationship between India and the Dominican Republic. I have the privilege to formally inaugurate the embassy that we have established here. Your presence (Raquel Pena, Vice President of the Dominican Republic) exemplifies the importance that the Government of the Dominican Republic attaches to this.”

India officially established its embassy in Santo Domingo in 2022.

“The establishment of this embassy will mark a new phase of our cooperation. We will take this relationship to still greater levels. We certainly look forward to continuing high-level exchanges between our two countries,” he said.

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Addressing a business event here, Jaishankar said that “The Dominican Republic set up its embassy in India in 2006. It has taken a little while for us to do so.”

“But we will make up for the loss and I can assure you we have a very good very active embassy here. And once we established the embassy, I had made a commitment that I would come personally to formally inaugurate and that is one of the reasons that I’m here,” he said.

The visit to the Dominican Republic is the first high-level visit from India since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1999.

“I would also like to stress that at a time when India is increasing its presence in the Latin American region, we certainly see the Dominican Republic as one of our key partners and our relationship will not only have bilateral significance but would have a larger regional contribution as well,” said Jaishankar.

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While addressing a business event here, Jaishankar highlighted India’s increased interest in Latin America.

“Highlighted India’s increased interest in Latin America, reflected in our enhanced political contacts and growing trade and increased investments in energy, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, mining, and IT here,” he tweeted.

“Greater mobility, market access and faster regulatory approval will take it to a higher level. More trade will translate into greater investment.  In the Dominican Republic, the presence of Indian companies needs to be scaled up. Today’s agreement between our premier Chambers will help. Appreciate the expression of such shared sentiments by my friend Foreign Minister @RobalsdqAlvarez,” he tweeted.

Jaishankar also said that the trade deal between the two countries has almost reached USD 1 billion from USD 12 million before diplomatic relations were established.

A lot of trade between the countries is in pharmaceuticals, marine products, two and three-wheelers, iron and steel, gold and in paper and paper products, he said.

He also said that “the government is engaged in stepping up our economic cooperation efforts also.”

He said that the two countries concluded talks on a joint economic and trade cooperation (JETCO) mechanism and hoped that it would become a platform for regular meetings, addressing economic and business cooperation opportunities between the two sides.

“We have seen over the years a number of officials and business delegations visiting India and engaging with our business… I think the challenge for us today is how to expand, how to accelerate, how to expand the area of cooperation…that is the main objective of our meeting,” he said.

On India’s G20 presidency in 2023, Jaishankar said that “Overall, India is a nation that is deeply committed to promoting collective solutions for global good. Our presidency of the G-20. This year is devoted to focusing on the real challenges to global development and global growth.”

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