In the light of existing commonalities with regard to bilateral and multilateral issues and mutual economic interests, India’s engagement with LAC countries intensified during the period under reference. Cross-sectoral linkages were facilitated through regular dialogue at the political and official level and also through exchange of business delegations, experts and professionals from both sides. Contacts at the institutionalised level were maintained through Joint Commission Ministerial meetings and Foreign Office Consultations. As many as 21 agreements and MoUs were signed during this time. Indian companies stepped up their presence in sectors such as oil and hydrocarbons, ICT, mining, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, auto industries, new & renewable energy and in the services sector. As part of our Development Partnership and South-South cooperation initiatives, Line of Credit assistance to the tune of US $ 160 million was announced for LAC countries and disaster relief to the tune of US $ 2.125 million was disbursed. IT Centres were also set up in three LAC countries and a total of 382 ITEC scholarships were announced and utilized by LAC candidates. The signing of a JV agreement between the national oil company (PDVSA) of Venezuela and ONGC Videsh for oil production and development activities in the San Cristobal oil field in eastern Venezuela, acquisition of the rights of Encana Corporation of Canada in 10 offshore blocks in Brazil by the BPRL-Videocon JV, Waiver of commercial debt and interest to the tune of Rs. 128 crore owned by Cuba to India and sale of 7 advanced Light (Dhruv) helicopters by HAL to Ecuador was among the important milestones in our economic/commercial relations with LAC countries.