Chile:2/4/19:The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, reached Santiago, Chile in the evening of March 30, 2019 – the final leg of his visit to three nations – Croatia, Bolivia and Chile.
On March 31, 2019, the President visited the Pablo Neruda Museum in Santiago. He gifted a special pen to the Museum made by the family whom Gandhiji encouraged to develop the first indigenous fountain pen in India.
On the same evening, the President addressed a gathering of Indian community and friends of India at a reception hosted by Ms Anita Nayar, Ambassador of India to Chile. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that in our quest for development and progress, the overseas Indian community is an invaluable partner.
Yesterday (April 1, 2019), the President commenced his engagements with paying his respects at the Monumento Al Libertador General Bernardo O’ Higgins. Thereafter, he visited the ‘La Moneda’ Presidential Palace where he was received by Mr Sebastian Pinera, the President of Chile and accorded a ceremonial welcome.
Subsequently, the President led the delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, hesaid that India and Chile trade relations are doing well. But the two countries can do much more. Chile is the fifth largest trading partner of India in the Latin American region. Copper constitutes more than 85% of the imports from Chile. We must diversify our trade basket to further strengthen trade.
In a major boost to furthering bilateral ties, Chile announced that it will allow visa-free entry to Indian nationals holding a valid US Visa. The President welcomed Chile’s decision as a step that would promote both cultural and business ties.
In his next engagement, the President attended a luncheon banquet hosted by President Pinera. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our bilateral agenda is expansive. From energy to security, and from Yoga to Outer space, we have much work to do together. He wished that our warm and mutually beneficial friendship grow and prosper in tandem with the progress of both our peoples.
In the final engagement in Chile, the President addressed the students and faculty of the University of Chile on the topic ‘Gandhi for the Young’.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Mahatma Gandhi belonged to all cultures and he drew from all religions. While deeply rooted in Hinduism, Gandhiji was also influenced by Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam as also by thinkers such ad. He promoted concepts which are now enshrined in the sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations.
In the evening (April 1, 2019), the President left for Cape Town on his way back to India. He will take the opportunity provided by the transit halt to address the Indian Community in Cape Town.