India's trade with IBSA grouping to go up before 2012

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Johannesburg, Oct 17 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today set a trade target of 30 billion US dollars by 2012 among India-Brazil-South Africa(IBSA) by working out a ''pro-active'' business strategy while offering India's help to achieve the goal.

''The present target of 15 billion US dollars by 2010 is a modest target,'' he said, while interacting with the IBSA Business Council which was attended by Brazilian President Inacio Lula Da Silva and his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki.

He said the IBSA should aim to achieve by 2009 the target already set for 2010 and then go on to double that by 2012.

In this context, Dr Singh assured that India would endeavour to create the necessary environment for closer intra-IBSA trade and investment.

''We also hope that the Business Forum will work actively to create awareness of the opportunities that our three largest markets provide.'' The Prime Minister made use of the opportunity to appeal to Brazil and South Africa to extend their cooperation to improve India's energy security which is ''a major challenge confronting us.'' ''We should use synergies in this area to our common benefit.

Brazil has comparative strengths in ethanol and bio-fuels; South Africa in Coal to Liquid and Gas to Liquid technologies. India has strength in wind and solar energy. We need to look at how trilateral ventures in these areas can be made viable business models,'' he said.

Dr Singh specifically identified Science and Technology for closer cooperation among the three IBSA countries by capitalising on the existing strengths.

''I would urge the business leaders present to look at innovative approaches to exploit threse strengths, including through joint Research and Development projects, particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and ICT.

Pointing out that business also had a social responsibility, he said ''Within IBSA, we are in the process of elaborating a common Social Development strategy. We would welcome inputs from the business community to shape an effective public-private partnership in this area.

Dr Singh repeatedly emphasised how important it was for the business and industry to come together to realise the objective of integrating the economies of the IBSA countries.

He told the captains of business and industry that India, Brazil and South Africa were among the most dynamic developing economies of the world and that the obvious complementarities and strengths ought to be shared and built upon.

UNI

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