Home World Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi’s Official Visit to Panama, Honduras & Chile

Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi’s Official Visit to Panama, Honduras & Chile

Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, Meenakashi Lekhi, MOS visited Panama, Honduras and Chile from Apr 28 to May 5 which provided fresh momentum to India’s relations with the nations, said the Ministry. During her official visit to Panama from 28 April – 01 May 2022, Smt. Lekhi met H.E. Ms Erika Mouynes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama and held a mutual bilateral discussion. Both sides agreed to further the cooperation in trade and investment, health and pharmacy, Ayush, IT, space and culture. An agreement was signed on Gainful Employment for dependents of officials of diplomatic mission/post between India and Panama. Both sides also agreed to explore greater cooperation through the India-SICA framework and in the multilateral fora. 

During a meeting with the Minister of Culture, H.E. Ms Giselle Gonzalez Villarue, Smt. Lekhi signed an Agreement on Cultural Exchange Programme for 2021-24. She visited the Panama Canal along with Minister for Canal Administration, Mr Aristides Royo. She also paid a visit to the Colon Free Trade Zone and was given a brief on the FTZ and possible areas for cooperation with India. Colon Free Trade Zone is the largest FTZ in the Americas. She also met with Panama based Indian entrepreneurs and visited their showrooms in the FTZ further enhancing trade and investment bilateral relations between the two countries. 

For the International Yoga Day, 2022, Smt. Lekhi led the curtain-raiser at the iconic Cinta Costera. The Minister of Culture of Panama and two Vice Ministers also participated in the event. She also attended a cultural program organised in the framework of AKAM celebrations showcasing both traditional Panamanian and Indian dances. She interacted with members of the Indian community, the largest in Latin America numbering 15,000. Smt. Lekhi also visited a temple, performed Garba, an Indian folk dance, and planted an Ashoka tree. 

On her visit to Honduras from 01-03 May 2022, Smt. Lekhi called on the President of Honduras, H.E. Ms Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento and met the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Honduras, H.E. Mr Antonio Garcia and discussed various bilateral, regional and international issues. She along with the Minister of Agriculture H.E. Ms Laura Suazo, laid the foundation stone for the US $ 26.5 million Jamastran Valley Irrigation project, funded by the Government of India through a Line of Credit. The project is estimated to irrigate 3,060 hectares of land and benefit about 1200 farmers.

As a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Smt. Lekhi addressed more than 300 students, faculties and academicians at the largest private University of Honduras (UNITEC) on “75 years of India’s growth story”.

 In Chile, Smt. Lekhi met Chilean Foreign Minister H.E. Ms Antonia Urrejola Noguera with whom she had detailed discussions on bilateral relations between the two sides. Both sides agreed to speed up their respective internal processes to facilitate the early conclusion of bilateral agreements for cooperation in pharmacy, space, renewable energy and the empowerment of persons with disabilities.