Brasilia: Asserting that distance is not a barrier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India will work more closely with the resource-rich Latin American nations than ever before as the setting up of the BRICS development bank opens up newer opportunities for cooperation.
"I assure you that India will work more closely with South America than ever before. At the bilateral level, as a BRICS member, in the G-77, as well as other international forums," he told leaders from South America.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was the host of this year's BRICS summit, invited leaders from South America including those from Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay on the lines of President Jacob Zuma inviting those from Africa during the last year's summit in Durban.
"Our discussions today should throw up new ideas for partnership between BRICS and South America. BRICS nations have already started a new chapter in this with the BRICS New Development Bank. This will open up newer opportunities of cooperation," Modi said.
Noting that there is a growing presence of Indian investors in South America, he said it is still well below potential.
Modi said South America has tremendous potential.
"It is blessed with vast resources and talent. It can become an important pillar of the global economy. In the face of economic uncertainty its growth can be crucial for global prosperity," he said.
In a globalised and inter-connected world, he said, "our destinies are inter-linked".
"We are all bound by shared aspirations and common challenges. We all have a stake in each other's success. Distance is not a barrier to opportunities. It also does not insulate us from challenges in other parts of the world," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said nations must unite to seek faster growth and newer avenues of generating prosperity, to find solutions to the challenge of poverty and to preserve our environment, and use our resources well.