BUSINESS MEETING WITH MUNICIPALITIES IN GUATEMALA ON INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTS — The Indian Panorama

Ambassador Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra highlighted India’s robust economic growth and the importance of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in the united development of all countries.

GUATEMALA CITY (TIP): The Embassy of India organized a business meeting with municipalities and other stakeholders in Guatemala on April 19, 2024 to explore opportunities to invest in the region’s infrastructure sector. About 70 guests from various municipalities in Guatemala attended the event. During the year 2023, the Embassy was actively involved in promoting India’s investments and influence in the Central American region through various infrastructure initiatives and strategic efforts. As a result of these joint efforts, important milestones have been achieved, expanding our reach beyond local communities in Guatemala. In partnership with Lakshmi Capital, a leading Indian company, the embassy has initiated transformative projects aimed at advancing infrastructure development in El Salvador. This includes the signing of two MoUs with the Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Housing and Urban Development of the Government of El Salvador, with investments totaling US$2 billion for a metro line project and US$475 million for the purchase of 5,000 buses . Similarly, Lakshmi Capital has made significant progress by signing Letters of Intent (LoIs) for five impactful projects with the Municipality of Xela in Guatemala, for a total investment of US$1.2 billion. These projects include a hydroelectric power system, a cable car system, the provision of 700 buses, a waste management plant and a 75 MW solar power plant in the region. In addition, an LoI has been signed for the ambitious Guatemalan Interoceanic Corridor (GIC) project, a Dry Corridor project requiring an investment of $10 billion between Lakshmi Capital and Grupo Odepal, SA. This project aims to establish an advanced multimodal transport system covering an area A 372 kilometer long and 140 meter wide strip of land, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In addition, Lakshmi Capital has also signed LoIs with the Municipality of El Progresso, Guatemala, for two more projects.

In response to the demand to involve Indian companies in the procurement of technology, materials, services and products, Lakshmi Capital has facilitated several visits by relevant authorities. A team from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) visited El Salvador to assess the technical aspects of the metro project. In addition, a high-level government delegation from El Salvador led by Mr. Ibrajim Bukele, Advisor to the President of El Salvador, visited India from April 14 to 22, 2024 to monitor the implementation of these projects. In March 2024, a delegation led by the mayors of Xela and El Progresso visited India to gain first-hand experience of similar projects. In addition, a delegation from the Association of City Bus Companies in Guatemala also visited India to monitor bus production.

Mr. Wendal Rodas from Lakshmi Capital gives a presentation about investment opportunities in Guatemala.

These infrastructure projects, coupled with successful delegation visits to India, illustrate India’s commitment to promoting economic development and improving infrastructure in Central America. The visible impact and successful implementation of these initiatives have attracted significant attention and admiration from municipalities throughout Guatemala. Given the transformative effects of these projects, many municipalities in Guatemala have shown great interest in working with India to develop their own regions. They view India as a valuable partner with expertise in infrastructure development, technology transfer and capacity building that can help them address their development challenges and achieve long-term goals. In response to this growing interest from municipalities and other stakeholders, the embassy organized a business meeting where mayors and representatives from these regions could interact with Indian counterparts, exchange ideas and explore potential areas of cooperation. This event provided a valuable opportunity to advance Indian interests in the region and served as a platform for meaningful discussions, fostering cooperation and partnership between Indian companies and local governments in Guatemala. Furthermore, it strengthened India’s presence in the region and reaffirmed its commitment to bilateral cooperation and economic development.

The event received an overwhelming response from local communities.

Ambassador Dr. Highlighting the significant progress India has made in infrastructure development, Manoj Kumar Mohapatra attributed this success to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). He highlighted how India’s robust economic growth has positioned the country as the fastest growing economy in the world, expanding India’s influence in regions where its presence was previously limited. This expansion underlines India’s commitment to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the ancient Indian philosophy that translates to ‘the world is one family’, emphasizing the interconnectedness and united development of all nations. Dr. Mohapatra invited all stakeholders to participate in this remarkable story of infrastructural growth, highlighting the inclusive nature of India’s development agenda. He reiterated India’s commitment to assist in the infrastructural development of Guatemalan municipalities, emphasizing the importance of strengthening ties and promoting shared values. Dr.’s comments Mohapatra underlined India’s proactive approach to regional development, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance, inclusivity and shared prosperity in driving sustainable growth and promoting stronger international partnerships.

Mayor Juan Fernando shared his insights and experiences from his recent visit to India and praised India’s impressive economic growth and infrastructure development.

Mayor Juan Fernando Lopez of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango (Xela) spoke at the event about his recent visit to India and reflected on the memorable experiences and insights he gained. He praised India’s remarkable economic growth and impressive infrastructure development and acknowledged the progress made under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. Mayor Lopez expressed confidence in the capabilities of Indian companies to implement the five infrastructure projects planned for Xela. He highlighted the expertise and professionalism of Indian companies, which he said would contribute significantly to the development and modernization of his municipality. Furthermore, Mayor Lopez expressed his gratitude to the Government of India for the assistance and support extended to him during his visit to India. Mayor Lopez’s remarks underlined the positive impact of international partnerships and India’s role as a reliable partner in supporting the development ambitions of regions like Xela. His appreciation for India’s economic performance and infrastructure strength reflects the growing admiration and confidence in India’s capabilities among international stakeholders.

Caplin Point donated 0.5 million doses of Metformin to the Municipality of Xela, received by Mayor Juan Fernando Lopez.

During the event, through a partnership between the Indian Embassy and M/s Caplin Point, a significant donation of 500,000 doses of Metformin tablets, aimed at treating diabetes, was made to Xela Municipality. This donation highlights India’s commitment to healthcare initiatives and its commitment to addressing the prevailing health challenges in the region. Through joint efforts in technology, infrastructure and healthcare, India is making significant progress in both regional development and improving the accessibility and quality of healthcare.