India has expressed interest in investing in the lithium industry of Bolivia, home to vast untapped mines of the mineral that is used in rechargeable batteries for portable electronics and electric vehicles.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales held wide-ranging talks on ties in sectors like space, mining, information technology, pharmaceutical and traditional medicines.
This is the first high-level visit by an Indian leader to the country since the establishment of diplomatic ties. Kovind, on a three-nation Latin American tour to strengthen India′s ties in trade, investment and renewable energy, told Morales that Indian companies with their cutting edge technologies can help Bolivia develop lithium products.
Kovind and Morales also attended the Bolivia-India business forum in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz.
Morales said Bolivia had nearly $4.5 billion guaranteed investments to industrialise lithium with at least 14 processing plants. He said 20 more plants are in the pipeline that will provide "consumables" to the processing industry and seven others to use the by-products, including those intended to produce medicines.
Kovind also participated in an India-Bolivia business meet where business representatives of the two countries signed $32 million agreements.