New Delhi, Apr 12: President Pratibha Patil embarked on her maiden foreign visit to three Latin American countries this morning. During her 12-day-long tour to Brazil, Mexico and Chile, President Patil is expected to sign two agreements. She is scheduled to address the parliaments of Brazil and Mexico during her visit.
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for New and Renewable Energy V Muttemwar, three Members of Parliament, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, are accompanying the President. Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Nalin Suri told reporters that India was working with two of the countries before the documents were inked by the Government. According to him, an air agreement is also to be signed with Chile.
Suri said a high-level business delegation comprising members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), representatives of leading industries like Essar Steel, Bajaj Auto, NIIT, UP Hotels, United Phosphorus are joining the President in her leg in Chile and Brazil, and added that this was for the first time that business representatives were joining the President on overseas visit.
Her journey would start from Sao Paulo in Brazil where she is expected to reach on April 13 and will stay there till April16.
Patil, the first woman President of India, is expected to meet Brazilian President Lula da Silva, Mexican President Felipe De Jesus Calderon Hinojosa and President Michelle Bachelet of Chile during her visit to strengthen India's growing trade ties with these countries.
Brazilian President Lula has expressed happiness that India's first woman President has chosen his country for her first visit abroad.
She will meet a business delegation of the Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo (FIESP) and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI). She will also address the Indian community there.
Her schedule also includes visit to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. After Brazil, she will visit Mexico City and Guadalajara province for four days.
She will arrive in Santiago on April 20 and would address students and academicians at the University of Chile. Before returning to New Delhi on April 25, Patil will visit Cape Town, South Africa.