India, Brazil aim high, ink 3 pacts

modi-brazilBRASILIA: India and Brazil, the powerhouse of Latin America, have  galvanised their relations by signing three pacts and resolved to fructify the growing potential of their partnership in diverse areas, including trade and investment, agriculture, renewable energy and environment.

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, also the host of the sixth BRICS summit, rolled out the red carpet to welcome India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia July 16. As a special gesture, the Brazilian president received Prime Minister Modi, with full military honours, at the Presidential Palace before their meeting.

The two leaders held wide-ranging talks and agreed on a roadmap to propel the relations forward.

The agreements touch upon issues of increased contemporary relevance, including a pact on cooperation in the field of environment and implementing an arrangement for augmentation of a Brazilian Earth Station for receiving and processing data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellites. The two countries also signed a pact to set up a consultation mechanism on mobility and consular issues.

At the meeting, the two leaders “agreed to take steps to further expand and diversify trade and investment flows and deepen cooperation in agriculture and dairy science, conventional and renewable energy, space research and application, defence, cyber security and environment conservation,” said  a statement by India’s Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

With their sizeable diplomatic and economic clout, the two countries “agreed to intensify their cooperation in international forums and multilateral institutions, including the G 20, and called for urgent progress on reforms of the United Nations, including the Security Council, by the time of the 70th anniversary of the UN in 2015.

Hardeep Puri, a former Indian ambassador to Brazil, believes that there is tremendous potential to take the relations between India and Brazil to a new level. “While we are soumates in the multilateral system, in the bilateral system we need to be able to go much further,” he said in an exclusive interview to the India Writes Network. “I think the prime minister’s visit will help the Indian system, including the bureaucracy and the economic operators focus on potential that exists for enhanced bilateral interaction with Brazil.”

The three pacts, signed on July 16, is part of India’s effort to scale up its presence in Latin America. The pacts allow for the sharing of information, and a number of collaborative projects.

Putting people-centric engagement at the heart of the relationship, the MoU on mobility and consular issues calls for the exchange and dissemination of information as well as coordination of actions aimed at promoting legal migration and informing about the risks of human trafficking, irregular movement of people; and exchange of information on the use of new technologies in the areas of consular service and assistance and issuance of travel documents.

People-to-people relations between India and Brazil are strong. There is a fantastic interest of Indian culture and philosophy in Brazil, said Puri. He underlined that since there is already an interest, all the governments need to do is “provide an enabling environment.”

Mr Modi, on his part, reaffirmed to her “vast potential” for cooperation between the two countries.

“Modi noted that as two democracies and major emerging economies, India and Brazil not only had vast potential for bilateral cooperation, but also to strengthen each other in international forums and advance the interest of the developing world at large,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

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