Bolivia, known to have the largest reserves of lithium, has offered the metal –used in making batteries of electric vehicles, laptops and smart phones– to India. Ambassador to India, Sergio Dario Arispe Barrientos, said Bolivia has the largest deposit of Lithium and India could explore this opportunity.
In a recent report, Merco Press informed that Barrientos said his country is willing to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) — a pact between countries that provide preferential access to certain products by lowering tariff and other conditions — with India for select goods.
Terming Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as somebody respected in the international community for a host of measures being taken by him, the Bolivian ambassador said he expects him to explore Latin America more to create a win-win situation for both the countries.
”We have the largest Lithium reserves. We would like India (both the government and the private sector) to explore this opportunity,“ he told Merco Press.
Bolivia can become a strategic partner to India in providing the resource, Barrientos said. Referring to reports that India was looking at an all-electric car fleet by 2030, the ambassador said in the years to come Lithium will become a very important commodity.
”I think the sooner we consolidate the links with particular countries, which have markets, I think it would be better in way of ensuring your needs (of meeting supply demands of Lithium),” he said.
Barrientos, who is also known as ‘the Lithium Ambassador’ among many, said India must push forward in Latin America with stronger objectives. Asked whether it will not be expensive to ferry Lithium from Bolivia, he said most commodities travel throughout the world.
He further informed China is already acquiring Lithium from Bolivia. The ambassador said Bolivia is trying to have the PTA with India to cater to markets in each other’s country.
However the ambassador pointed out to the fact India does not have its embassy in Bolivia. ”We still don’t have an embassy of India in Bolivia. We have a concurrent embassy. If India wants to be the world’s largest economy, it needs to have a presence everywhere,“ Barrientos said.