Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla Monday proposed closer cooperation between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a bloc of 33 sovereign countries in the Americas, and BRICS, the grouping of five major economies that includes India.
Addressing a talk organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) here, Parrilla - who is here on a four-day visit - said that Latin America and the Caribbean region share a "lot in common" with India and the region was keen to boost trade relations with New Delhi.
"CELAC wants to improve relations with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)," said Parrilla, and added that he was going to put forward the proposal.
The Latin American and Caribbean nations comprise 600 million people, which is free from wars and has abundant natural resources, energy and water resources. "We see an opportunity for mutually beneficial economic relations with India," said the foreign minister, who is due to meet Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Monday evening.
He said the CELAC, which does not include the US or Canada, shares "common values and objectives" with other blocs like BRICS and Asean.
He said he has come to invite India to work with CELAC. Praising India's expertise in IT and communications, Parrilla said this was much sought after by his country.
He said he was looking to promote cooperation between his country's medical services and the tourism sector during his India visit.
Parrilla said Cuba, which is facing US economic sanctions for the past 50 years, has opened up its economy and was looking to boost economic ties with other countries.
--Indo-Asia News service