From political and strategic coordination to trade and commerce, agriculture and energy to consular and legal issues — India and Brazil on Saturday signed a multi-pillar action plan to strengthen their strategic partnership.
After the bilateral talks with visiting Brazil President Jair Messias Bolsonaro on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was confident that the action would be implemented and that the relationship between the two countries would be deepened by 2023, which marks the platinum jubilee of the diplomatic ties established in 1948.
Besides the comprehensive action plan, the two sides also signed pacts and announced 15 agreements – oil and gas, mineral resources, traditional medicine, animal husbandry, bio-energy and trade and investment.
Bolsonaro landed in Delhi on Friday, accompanied by his daughter Laura Bolsonaro, daughter-in-law Leticia Firmo, eight ministers, four members of the Brazilian parliament and a large business delegation.
Modi said, “Our strategic partnership is based on common views and values. That is the reason we are together in many multilateral fora, despite being separated by a long distance.”
Bolsonaro said he is “deeply moved” that “our two great countries, by entering into major strategic partnerships, will consolidate our relationship and the world will look at us differently.”
The Action Plan said “the solid bonds of friendship that unite India and Brazil, as they prepare to celebrate 75 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2023” and “the common values shared by India and Brazil as two large democracies and pluralistic societies” would strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
To implement the Action Plan, the India-Brazil Joint Commission on Political, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation – set up in 2002 and chaired by foreign ministers – will be the main forum for monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan. The Joint Commission will meet every two years.
Modi said that besides the traditional areas, the two sides are also working on “defence industrial cooperation” and that will be the new “focus”. He said that they want “broad-based partnership” in “defence cooperation”. Brazil, he said, will participate with a large delegation at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow next month.
Bolsonaro said it is a “great pride” to come to India for the “most important and high-profile celebrations” in the country and that he felt “tremendous human warmth” – “very much like we welcome guests in Brazil”.
The 15 agreements that were signed and announced are, he said, the “highest number in record in our history”. “We have further consolidated our relationship..We will see more matters of mutual interest given the potential and the relevant profile of our country’s economies,” the Brazilian President said, adding, “I have two days left, and I already miss India”.
Modi, on his part, said Brazil is a “valuable partner” in India’s “economic transformation”. He said that while looking at the complementaries, the two countries can strengthen the economic relations. He also said that two countries have made a necessary legal framework, which has been established to enhance investments in each other’s country.
The two leaders also vowed to work closely at the global anti-terror watchdog FATF to effectively confront challenges of terror financing and state-sponsored terrorism.
The two leaders also decided to significantly expand bilateral cooperation in key sectors such as energy and mining and set a target of USD 15 billion in bilateral trade by 2022. The volume of bilateral trade in 2018-10 was USD 8.2 billion.
Bolsonaro met President Ram Nath Kovind and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday. On Sunday, Bolsonaro will attend the Republic Day celebrations, which will be followed by an At Home reception. He will also visit Agra on Monday, besides meeting Indian and Brazil’s business forums.
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