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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Costa Rica: Both countries to explore various sectors for deepening their relationship

Huma Siddiqui

India and Costa Rica have agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in various sectors including in science and technology, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, renewable energy, trade and investment, education and health.

Briefing the media at the end of delegation level talks between Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Secretary East) MEA Ms Vijay Thakur Singh said that Not only was this the first ever high-level visit, it was also the first time that an Indian aircraft touched the soil in Costa Rica. The leaders had in-depth discussions on how to take forward this relationship.

India and the South American nation have decided to explore trade opportunities in sectors including agriculture and agriculture machinery. The South American nation has also expressed interest in the Space sector.

Singh told Financial Express Online, that The Central American nation is going to send two scientists to participate in Unispace Nano-satellite Assembly and Training by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) (UNNATI).

Under this programme, the ISRO is training scientists to build nano-satellites as part of India s Space Diplomacy. Financial Express Online had reported earlier that five South American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, along with other forty countries are part of the first batch getting trained by ISRO. The Indian space agency will share its knowledge and expertise in the space sector with other countries that can benefit. Spread over eight weeks the participants will get trained at UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC)’s facilities in technologies related to making nano-satellites.

This programme is the agency’s initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) in 1968.

She also said that the Vice President in his talks with the President of Costa Rica offered Indian Space agency s expertise in training and data sharing.

India has asked the government of Costa Rica to help in an expeditious grant of approval in pharma products. The two countries have also inked a Letter of Intent in Biotechnology, which seeks to broaden and deepen cooperation in Science and Technology in the field of Biotechnology, encourage industrial research and development and investment flows related to the field of biotechnology and promote transparency through the exchange of knowledge and cooperation among the relevant institutions.

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Addressing jointly the media at the end of talks, the Costa Rican president indicated that India offered to expand the scholarship program for Costa Ricans and stressed that the Asian country is the largest democracy in the world, so this area strengthens the ties between both nations. “We are very pleased because it is the first time we have received a high-ranking delegation in our country.”

Besides urging the Costa Rican businessmen to invest in India, the leaders agreed to collaborate effectively and to mutual benefit through academic exchange, university to university collaboration including high-speed virtual connectivity.

With air connectivity using code sharing between the airlines and visitor friendly visas, it would be able to promote closer people to people linkages which are the prerequisite for widening and deepening of bilateral relations.