In recent years, India’s engagement in Central America, especially in El Salvador and Guatemala, has seen significant progress in infrastructure development and bilateral cooperation. Spearheaded by the Indian Embassy and supported by collaborations with local governments and businesses, India’s involvement in the region underscores its commitment to fostering economic growth and improving infrastructure.

The efforts began with a business meeting organized by the Indian Embassy in Guatemala, where around 70 representatives from different municipalities met to explore investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector. This event laid the foundation for subsequent collaborations, setting the stage for transformative projects in both Guatemala and El Salvador.

According to the Ambassador of India, Dr. Manoj Mahapatra, one of the notable achievements is the partnership between the Embassy of India and Lakshmi Capital, in advancing infrastructure development in El Salvador. Through strategic initiatives and investments totaling US$2 billion for a metro line project and US$475 million for the procurement of 5,000 buses, significant milestones have been achieved, signaling India’s commitment to the region’s progress.

Similarly, in Guatemala, Lakshmi Capital has made significant progress by signing Letters of Intent (LoIs) for impactful projects totaling US$1.2 billion with the Municipality of Xela. These projects span a variety of initiatives, including a hydroelectric system, a cable car system, a waste management plant, and a solar power plant, among others. In addition, an LoI has been signed for the ambitious Guatemala Interoceanic Corridor (GIC) project, with the objective of establishing a Multimodal Transportation System that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

India’s involvement goes beyond investment to include technology transfer and capacity building. Visits by relevant authorities from Indian companies, such as the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC), and high-level government delegations have facilitated knowledge sharing and technical assessments. Delegations from Guatemala have visited India to gain first-hand experience in similar projects, further strengthening bilateral ties.

India advances in Central America and the Caribbean

The impact of these initiatives has been valued by municipalities throughout Guatemala, who see India as a valuable partner in addressing development challenges. A business meetup recently organized by the Embassy provided a platform for stakeholders to interact, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration, reaffirming India’s commitment to bilateral cooperation.

Ambassador Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra highlighted India’s history of infrastructural growth, emphasizing the inclusive nature of its development agenda. Mayor Juan Fernando López of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango (Xela) praised India’s economic achievements and its infrastructure prowess, expressing confidence in the capabilities of Indian companies to execute planned projects.

Additionally, India’s commitment to health initiatives was demonstrated through a donation of 500,000 doses of metformin tablets to the Municipality of Xela, highlighting its dedication to addressing health challenges prevalent in the region.

India’s involvement in El Salvador and Guatemala represents a crucial moment in bilateral cooperation and economic development. Through strategic investments, technology transfer and collaborative initiatives, India is making significant progress in shaping the future of infrastructure in Central America. The partnerships forged between Indian companies and local governments underscore a shared commitment to addressing development challenges and promoting sustainable growth. As India continues to expand its influence in the region, the prospects for collaboration and mutual benefit are promising, paving the way for a more interconnected and prosperous future for all stakeholders involved.

Note: this is an article republished from the media “Financial Express” through a cooperation agreement between both parties for the dissemination of journalistic content. Original link.

She is a senior journalist working at The Financial Express Publications. In a career spanning nearly three decades, she has covered diplomatic and strategic affairs, as well as the defense and aerospace sectors. She is an expert in Latin America and the Caribbean.


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