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IBSA trade close to $10bln mark, says UNCTAD

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Sep 11 (UNI) There has been a quantitative leap in intra-IBSA trade, which is particularly dramatic between India and Brazil and India and South Africa, a paper by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicates.

From a mere 200 million dollar in 1998 and 800 million dollar in 2002, Indo-Brazil bilateral trade reached 2.5 billion dollar in 2005 and is expected to be 3 billion dollar in 2006.

India-South Africa trade similarly has grown to 4 billion dollar in 2005. South Africa-Brazil trade stood at 1.5 billion in 2004.

These trends indicate that IBSA is already close to the 10 billion dollar target set for 2007, the paper says.

These numbers do not fully reflect trade in service or the quantum of trade between them through third countries, nor do they factor in the major FDI proposals and joint ventures on the anvil or even in some cases the services trade that is taking place, the paper adds.

India Brazil South Africa Trilateral Cooperation Forum (IBSA) is an initiative undertaken in the area of South-South economic cooperation.

Brazil has become the largest economy in Latin America, with significant global trade presence. India, fourth largest economy in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms and second most populous country, has witnessed impressive economic and trade growth rates in the last few years.

South Africa is the largest economy and trading power in Africa, accounting for biggest share of total African trade with the world, according to UNCTAD.

In 2005, IBSA countries are among the top 15 developing countries, in terms of total trade. Their growing significance in international trade is shown by the way India has doubled its global trade share (both exports and imports) from 0.8 per cent in 2000 to 1.6 per cent in 2005, amounting to total trade of 306 billion dollar.

Similarly, South Africa's trade grew to 102 billion dollar and Brazil's trade reached 193 billion dollar.

The value of Brazil's exports to other IBSA countries increased by 99 per cent over the 1994-2004 decade. The corresponding figures for India and South Africa are 559 per cent and 123 per cent respectively.

IBSA countries can reinforce the economic strength of each other by creating a market of 1.2 billion people, 1.8 trillion dollars of GDP and foreign trade of nearly 600 billion dollars.

IBSA partnership is also of immense strategic value for multilateral negotiations and shaping their respective roles in global economic governance, the paper adds.


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