Brasilia (Brazil), Apr.16 (ANI): India and Brazil on Wednesday said that while they were satisfied with the continued expansion of bilateral trade, they accepted need for undertaking increased efforts to achieve the bilateral trade target of 10 billion US dollars by 2010.
A joint statement issued after a bilateral meeting between visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said both leaders "held detailed discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues and renewed their commitment to strengthen the India-Brazil Strategic Partnership."
It revealed that both leaders had expressed satisfaction at the intensified and growing cooperation and collaboration between the two countries.
Expressing satisfaction with bilateral trade reaching 5.6 billion dollars in 2009 despite the impact of the international financial crisis, both President Lula da Silva and Prime Minister Singh said that the trade target of USD 10 billion by 2010 could only be achieved if both countries continued to focus on diversification, particularly in value-added sectors.
"In this context, they noted the positive outcome of the Trade Monitoring Mechanism, the second meeting of which was held on 15 March 2010 in São Paulo, and the scheduling of the next meeting in October 2010 in New Delhi. The Leaders reiterated their intent to hold the Second Meeting of the CEO Forum shortly," the joint statement said.
Both leaders called on business and industry in both countries to utilize the opportunities available in the areas of energy, agriculture, mining, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and construction, among others to further expand bilateral investments.
They welcomed the operation from June 2009 of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between MERCOSUR and India, but expressed a need to "significantly increase the number of tariff lines in the PTA, so that the coverage of the agreement could be expanded to a sizeable level."
Both President Lula da Silva and Prime Minister Singh also welcomed moves to enhance cooperation in the fields of science and technology, nuclear energy, space and defence for mutual benefit.
However, they noted that cooperation could also be enhanced in areas such as energy,biotechnology, IT, marine science, and nano-technology, as there was significant potential for undertaking such an exercise.
In the context of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, including in hydrocarbons and new and renewable energies, both leaders directed the Joint Working Group on energy to convene an early meeting.
Brazil welcomed the interest of Indian oil companies to participate in future ANP bidding processes for exploration of oil in conformity with its national policies in this sector. They reaffirmed their intention to encourage better coordination of their positions on the issue of bio-fuels at multilateral fora.
Satisfaction was also expressed over the level of bilateral cooperation in the defence sector. Both Leaders welcomed the decision to host the First Meeting of the India-Brazil Joint Defence Committee, in India, this year, at mutually convenient dates.
They also reiterated the importance that Brazil and India attach to bilateral electoral cooperation and noted with satisfaction the ongoing dialogue between the Election Commission of India and Electoral Authorities in Brazil.
Satisfaction over the growing cultural exchanges between India and Brazil was also expressed.
Both welcomed the convergence of positions between Brazil and India in multilateral fora and in groups such as IBSA and BRIC, which is reflective of the growing importance of developing countries and of their role in shaping a more balanced international order in a multi-polar world.
They supported the urgent need to strengthen the participation of developing countries in the decision-making processes within the multilateral financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and political bodies, such as the United Nations. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)