M A I N   N E W S

Ansari in Peru to cement ties
Nirmal Sandhu in Lima

October 27
Vice-President Hamid Ansari arrived on a three-day visit here on Sunday evening after a 13-hour journey from Frankfurt. Accompanied by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada and four Members of Parliament apart from officials and mediapersons, he was received at Joge Cavez International Airport by Peru’s Vice-President and Indian Ambassador Manpreet Vohra.

India’s first Vice President-level engagement with Peru, coinciding with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, is aimed to strengthen its ties with this largely neglected country, which is the world’s largest producer of silver and fifth largest in gold extraction apart from having significant copper and zinc reserves.

Bilateral trade between India and Peru in 2012 stood at $1.68 billion, the balance of trade being slightly in favour of India. New Delhi is working towards having a Free Trade Agreement with Peru, which is also a member of NAM and G77. Peru’s growth rate is almost identical to India, close to 5 per cent with services contributing 57 per cent, industry 36 per cent and agriculture just 6.4 per cent.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Peru has issued stamps depicting the Machu Picchu mountains and the Taj Mahal, the respective landmarks of the two countries. Bilateral relations are expected to focus on energy, biotechnology and sports.

Lima is Peru’s largest city and home to more than a quarter of the country’s roughly 30 million people. The local time is 10 hours and 30 minutes behind the IST.

Architecturally, it looks like any Indian city, only less noisy and crowded with signboards in Spanish. The Indian delegation is not visiting the tourist hotspot Machu Picchu, which led Renuka Chaudhary to remark: “Ďt is like visiting Agra and not seeing Taj Mahal”.

Peru has some 400 Indians, mainly engaged in business and trade. Five Indian companies, including IFFCO and Zuari Agro, have invested in Peru’s mining sector. Pharmaceutical companies have opened their local offices or subsidiaries. Besides, Reliance, TCS, Wipro, Mahindra Satyam and Aegis have a presence in Peru.

Vice President Hamid Ansari inaugurated the 'Festival of India' at Lima on Sunday. The festival is meant to spread Indian culture in Latin America and is being held simultaneously in Cuba, which is the next destination of the Vice-President.

Peru's Vice President Marisol Espinoza was was also present at the inaugural ceremony, where "Nrityarupa", a mosaic of Indian dances Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kathakali and Chhau was presented to loud applause.

A festival of films is also being arranged in which films ranging from Dadasaheb Phalke's'Raja Harischandra' to Raj Kapoor's 'Bobby' and Aamir Khan's 'Taare Zameen Par' will be shown.

Satyajit Ray's 'Ghare-Baire', Shahrukh Khan's 'Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Naa', Govind Nihlani's 'Ardh Satya' and Neeraj Pande's 'A Wednesday' are among those scheduled for telecast. — TNS





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