New Delhi–Observing that the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region countries can be an important region for global prosperity and stability, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Preeti Saran on Monday said the region holds importance for India’s food security.

Addressing an international conference here on Focus Latin America: The Need for an Effective Programme, Saran also called upon the Latin American countries to invest in the Narendra Modi government’s flagship programmes like the ‘Make In India’, ‘Skill India’, etc. to strengthen mutual cooperation.

“Blessed with vast resources and talent, the LAC region countries are already a very important segment of world economy. And when the global economy is facing recession and turbulence otherwise, LAC can be an important region for global prosperity and stability,” she said.

“Our strategy in the Latin American region is to enhance our political and economic cooperation with all the 33 countries in the region. Our focus in food security can be an important element of our cooperation,” Saran said.

The LAC region, she added, “can become an important partner for food security and in the development of Indian agriculture and agroprocessioning industries.”

Space technology was another sector where India and the Latin American countries have immense scope for cooperation, Saran said.

Stressing the importance of bilateral trade with the region, Saran said India’s cumulative investment in the region of around $20 billion was expected to increase substantially.

The MEA Secretary also called for enhanced people-to-people contact to further strengthen the ties with the region.

“India and Latin American countries enjoy excellent relations, but there is lack of information about each other. People to people relation are imperative for good bilateral relation. Such contacts strengthen the bonds of friendship and remove information gaps that exist.”

Saran said hoped that India’s cooperation with the region in the fields of culture and education will expand.

“We will do everything possible to help your companies and businesses to set up investment and enhance trade with India,” Saran added.