This paper seeks, from a Latin American perspective, to examine India's relations with the Latin America-Caribbean region. It makes a distinction between the hesitant and somewhat apathetic approach of the Indian government towards enhanced ties with the region and the rather more proactive and enthusiastic approach by the Indian business sector which has seen Indian trade with the region growing many fold and increasing at the same rate as China's. India's diplomatic and political engagement with the region has been simultaneously too focused on trade while concentrating attention on Brazil alone without a similar level of engagement with other major countries in the region. It has also failed to show high-level diplomatic reciprocity and has allocated inadequate resources to its missions in the region to further its aims. The paper suggests that the reasons for this are in part based on a lack of awareness of the region, an inadequate appreciation of the potential areas of cooperation, and a tendency to view the relationship too much from the trade perspective. It argues that India needs to re-calibrate its engagement with the region and attach priority to broad-based engagement without diluting emphasis on trade.
Sanjay Badri-Maharaj is a graduate of the Department of War Studies, Kings College London with PhD and MA degrees in War Studies. He is an attorney-at-law and has worked as a freelance journalist for several publications as well a researcher and lecturer. He has served as a consultant to the Ministry of National Security of Trinidad and Tobago, and to its Ministry of the Attorney General. He was a Visiting International Fellow at IDSA from June to September 2016.