Hamid Ansari launches Indian Chambers of Commerce in Peru

Lima, Oct 29 (IANS) Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari has launched the Indian Chambers of Commerce (INCHAM) in Lima to facilitate Indian trade and industry in doing business in Peru and other Latin American countries.

The launch was at a function Monday organised by the Indian embassy here and INCHAM. Among those present on the occasion were Indian ambassador Manpreet Vohra, INCHAM president Ravi Krishna and senior officials and business leaders from India and Peru.

The INCHAM website - www.incham.pe - was also launched on the occasion.

The India-Peru bilateral trade has increased sevenfold in the last five years, the growth being 35 percent last year. The trade rose 44 percent in the first six months of this year as Indian companies have shown great interest in Peru's gold mines.

Both sides are looking forward to starting negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement.

On Sunday, Ansari, who was in Peru from Oct 26-28, inaugurated the Festival of India in Lima.

During the visit, India and Peru, South America's third largest country, inked four agreements on defence cooperation and establishing a Joint Commission, as also exchange programmes in the fields of education and culture.

During a meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso, Ansari conveyed the greetings of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. He also extended an invitation to Humala to visit India, which was accepted, an official said.

During talks with Peruvian First Vice President Marisol Espinoza and other leaders, both sides discussed a wide range of issues relating to bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

"The governments of Peru and India reaffirmed their commitment to deepen the high degree of mutual understanding and cooperation that exists between the two countries, and to further consolidate and strengthen the existing ties between them in various fields, especially trade, investment, defence, education, culture, science and technology," an official statement said.

Ansari will also visit Cuba and Britain before returning home Nov 2.

--Indo-Asian News service

rn/sud/vm

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