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India and Brazil have potential to expand bilateral ties further, said Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro after his talks with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
India and Brazil have potential to expand bilateral ties further, said Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro after his talks with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

India and Brazil sign 15 agreements providing for cooperation in range of areas

  • Brazilian President Bolsonaro's visit to India has opened new chapter in bilateral ties between India and Brazil: PM Modi
  • Despite geographical distance, both India and Brazil are together on various global issues as there is convergence in our views, said Modi

New Delhi: India and Brazil on Saturday signed 15 agreements to cement cooperation in areas ranging from energy and trade and investment to cyber security and information technology after talks between visiting Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two countries also unveiled an action plan to further expand strategic ties between the two countries.

Bolsonaro, who is the chief guest at India’s 71st Republic Day celebrations on Sunday, arrived in New Delhi on Friday afternoon. This is his first visit to India.

After talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bolsonaro, the two countries signed an investment cooperation and facilitation treaty that provides a framework to increase trade and investment in high growth areas. The two leaders acknowledged the great synergies between India and Brazil which were two large economies with a combined GDP of around $4.5 trillion and having a total population of 1.5 billion.

“The two sides agreed to set a target of $15 billion in bilateral trade by 2022 given the complementarities between the two economies," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said. Bilateral trade in 2018-19 was $8.2 billion, which included $3.8 billion worth of Indian exports to Brazil and $4.4 million as imports by India.

A separate pact was signed for boosting cooperation in the energy sector -- oil and natural gas -- with another signed in the area of bio-energy.

“Both Modi and Bolsonaro agreed that the two countries could collaborate in the field of ethanol production. Given that Brazil is a leader in this field, they would share state of art technology with India in this sector. Prime Minister Modi stated that this would serve India’s developmental goals," Kumar said.

Animal husbandry was another area that the two leaders indentified for cooperation, he said adding that both leaders recognized the common genetic heritage in cattle in India and Brazil and agreed to collaborate in assisted reproductive technology that is expected to help increase dairy production in India.

“In this context, both sides welcomed the decision to set up a Centre of Excellence in Cattle Genomics in India with Brazilian assistance," he said.

During the talks between Modi and Bolsonaro, the prime minister raised the issue of Brazil approaching the WTO against India for extending support to Indian sugarcane growers. It was agreed that this matter would be addressed bilaterally, a person familiar with the developments said.

Speaking to reporters after their talks, Prime minister Modi said Bolsonaro’s visit to India had “opened a new chapter in bilateral ties between India and Brazil."

Describing Brazil a valuable partner in India's economic growth, Modi said that the “two countries share similar views on a number of global issues despite geographical distance." He identified terrorism and climate change as two such subjects where the two countries shared similar opinions.

“We are looking at various ways to strengthen our defence industrial partnership," he said adding “we want a broadbased partnership in this area." To boost investments from Brazil, “we have strengthened the necessary legal framework," the prime minister said

On his part, Bolsonaro said the two countries have further consolidated already strong ties by signing 15 agreements providing for cooperation in a range of areas.

India's ties with Brazil, the largest country in South America, have been on an upswing in the last few years. The country has a population of 210 million with $1.8 trillion economy.

Major Indian exports to Brazil include agro-chemicals, synthetic yarns, auto components and parts, pharmaceutical and petroleum products. Brazilian exports to India include crude oil, gold, vegetable oil, sugar and bulk mineral and ores.

Indian investments in Brazil were around $6 billion and Brazilian investments in India are estimated at $1 billion in 2018.

Brazilian investments in India are mainly in automobiles, IT, mining, energy and biofuel. India has invested in Brazil's IT, pharmaceutical, energy, agri-business, mining and engineering.

According to an Indian foreign ministry statement, the action plan unveiled by the two countries included the setting up of consultation forums and frameworks like foreign office consultations, strategic, economic and financial dialogues, a trade monitoring mechanism and joint working groups in the area of oil and gas, bio-energy, geology and mineral resources, science and technology, environment and global cyber issues.

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