New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (East) Saurabh Kumar on Friday met his Colombian counterpart, Francisco Jose Coy Granados, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country in Colombia's capital Bogota and reviewed relations and agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation.

It is pertinent to mention that this was the first foreign office-level talks between India and Colombia following the assumption of office by the new government in the South American country. Saurabh Kumar and Granados reviewed bilateral relations and discussed cooperation at international fora, according to the statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.

After their meeting, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted, "Secretary East @AmbSaurabhKumar had productive discussions with Colombia's Vice FM @franccoy. Reviewed relations & agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation. Secretary invited Vice FM Coy @CancilleriaCol to India for foreign office consultations at mutually convenient dates."

During their meeting, the Colombian side highlighted the priorities of the new government and gave an assessment of the regional situation.

Secretary (East) invited Vice Minister Francisco Coy to visit India next year at a mutually convenient date for Foreign Office Consultations, the statement reads.

India and Colombia enjoy friendly and cordial bilateral relations. Over the years, relations have strengthened and diversified in all areas of mutual interest encompassing political, commercial and cultural fields.

Last, 9th round, Foreign Office Consultations took place on 7 May 2021 through video conference.

High-level bilateral engagements between India and Colombia witnessed an upswing in 2021. Minister of State for External Affairs MOS (EA), Meenakashi Lekhi paid an official visit to Colombia from 4-6 September 2021. During the visit, she met the Vice President and Foreign Minister of Colombia, Marta Lucia Ramirez, and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia, Tito Jose Crissien Borrero and held detailed discussions on issues of mutual interest. External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar met with Vice President and Foreign Minister of Colombia Marta Lucia Ramirez on 25 September 2021 on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly.

A health, science and technology delegation led by Vice President and Minister Lucia Ramirez and including Minister of Health and Social Protection of Colombia, Luiz Fernando Ruiz visited India on 27 September 2021. Ramirez arrived in India on 30 September 2021 and met then Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu on 1 October 2021 and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation.

On 2 October 2021, Jaishankar held detailed discussions with Ramirez. Meanwhile, MoS Meenakashi Lekhi met Ramirez n 3 October 2021.

Colombian investment in India is estimated to be approximately USD 5 million and Indian investment in Colombia is estimated to be USD 300 million (excluding OVL's investment including in its joint venture with Mansarovar). Indian investment in Colombia is mainly in the oil, automobile, agrochemicals, IT and pharmaceuticals sectors.