New Delhi: Colombian Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez held talks with senior officials of the Science and Technology Ministry and the ICMR and explored the possibility of co-production and technology transfers in the development of vaccines and pharmaceutical products.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said this on Sunday as Ramirez, who is also Colombia's Vice President, wrapped up a three-day visit to India.
She held extensive talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday during which they deliberated on further expansion of bilateral ties. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu met Ramirez on Friday and exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in many areas, the MEA said.
"Ramirez also held discussions with senior officials in the Ministry of Science and Technology as well as Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on exploring cooperation in biotechnology, co-production and technology transfers in the development of vaccines and pharmaceutical products," it said in a statement.
Later, two letters of intent for cooperation in the fields of biotechnology and medical research were signed by the Department of Biotechnology and the ICMR with their Colombian counterparts.
Prior to the arrival of Ramirez, a 48-member delegation headed by Luiz Fernando Ruiz, Colombia's Minister of Health and Social Protection, travelled to Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru from September 27-30 and visited Indian pharmaceutical companies and centres of excellence.
They also visited ISRO facilities and met representatives from the New Space India Limited (NSIL) and the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), the MEA said.
"Colombia is an important partner of India in Latin America and our bilateral relations have been expanding, particularly in the economic and commercial sphere despite pandemic disruptions," it said.
"The visit of Ramirez to India was preceded by the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi to Colombia from September 4-6. The visit will further contribute towards strengthening and diversification of India-Colombia bilateral ties," the MEA added.