Pretoria: Seeking to unlock the potential of the South, leaders from India, Brazil and South Africa will meet here tomorrow, 17 October, to give a thrust to their trilateral initiative which seeks to take the trade volume to $ten billion in the next few years.
Meeting under the banner “Second India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would be looking at ways to make the relationship between the three countries more “tangible”.
As Ambassador Jerry Matjila, head of of Asia and Middle East section at South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Department, put it, “IBSA is about business, IBSA is about unlocking the potential of the South”.
Besides deepening South-South cooperation through concrete projects and programmes in key focus areas of trilateral cooperation, the meeting is also expected to provide an opportunity to the leaders to coordinate joint positions on issues of global importance.
The meeting is expected to come out with a joint declaration as also signing of memoranda of understanding and agreements on public administration, higher education, health and medicines, social development, cultural cooperation and energy.
The Prime Minister during the two-day stay will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of South Africa and Brazil, both members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). MORE PTI MS SDG RT
Singh had met Mbeki and Lula in Berlin last June on the
sidelines of the G-8 Summit. Prior to that, President Lula had paid a state visit to India.
Since the formation of IBSA in 2003, trade between the three countries had increased to between six and seven billion US dollars and they hoped to achieve trilateral trade volume worth ten billion US dollars a year, Matjila said.
The business forum would form a major component of events leading upto the one-day summit and would provide 200 business leaders from the three countries a chance to establish trilateral companies, especially in areas such as transport, maritime and aviation sector.
IBSA currently has 14 working groups, with transport and energy being the key ones, and there are plans to add five more groups including one on climate change and environment.
The meetings of the various fora would serve to enlarge the spectrum of interaction amongst IBSA partner countries which have agreed to progressively widen participation to expand and enhance its visibility in the member countries.
For the first time, a Parliamentary Forum which included MPs from India Sandeep Dikshit, Jitin Prasada, Harin Pathak and Alok Kumar Mehta and a Women’s Forum have been constituted as part of efforts to promote people-to-people relations and promotion of women’s issues and social development.