By Ravinder Singh Robin
Santiago (Chile), Apr. 22 : Visiting Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil had a one-to-one meeting with her Chilean counterpart Ver³nica Michelle Bachelet Jeria here on Monday night, at which both declared their governments' resolve to protect the interests of developed countries.
Briefing the media about the meeting, the Secretary to President, Dr Christie Fernandez, said both sides renewed their commitment not to allow the interests of the developing countries to be bartered away.
Earlier, India and Chile signed four agreements, including one on civil aviation to improve trade and connectivity between the two sides.
The agreements were signed after the summit talks between the two Presidents.
The other two agreements were in the fields of science and technology, sports and on Antarctica cooperation.
While the Memorandum of Understanding on sports provides for exchange of experts, officials, coaches and athletes, the agreement on Antarctic Cooperation commit both parties to promote research concerning the protection of environment and associated ecosystems. The agreement also covers the areas like training of personnel, exchange of information, joint scientific publications, conferences and workshops and technical support in Antarctic research.
Later, making a statement to the media, Patil said, based on the strong credentials of both economies, the time was now opportune for a substantial intensification of bilateral economic engagement.
She said both sides also exchanged views on special programmes meant for the poor and the marginalized sections of society as well as the empowerment of women and the girl child.
Describing India and Chile as natural partners, Patil said, both countries share many complementarities and have similar views on most of the international issues.
Echoing similar sentiments, Chilean President Bachelet said both sides agreed to work together to create a rule-based global order and also decided to jointly fight the problems of terrorism and poverty.
She also said the Chileans were proud to have a dynamic relationship with the world's largest democracy.
Patil also addressed a joint business meeting of the Chile - India Chamber of Commerce and said that two governments are committed to provide the necessary institutional and legal framework for improvement of trade ties.
She said the opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Chile are manifold and the challenges for the business communities both public and private are to exploit those for mutual benefits.
The President also had a meeting with the Chief Justice of Chile and the Mayor of Santiago.