M A I N   N E W S

India, Brazil sign nine key pacts
Naveen Kapoor for ANI

Brasilia (Brazil), September 13
India and Brazil took their bilateral relationship to a new high on Tuesday afternoon with the signing of nine key pacts, including two agreements and seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).

The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.

The two agreements signed included one on promoting air services and another on cooperation in the field of science and technology.

Both sides also inked a pact on facilitating cooperation in energy research,development and diversification, with the aim of providing more efficient, affordable and cost effective energy technologies.

Several Indian companies have already evinced interest in exploring production opportunities in Brazil to meet the anticipated growth in Ethanol, a substitute of oil taken out from sugarcane, which is used in India both for industrial and automobile use.

"Our bilateral trade has grown in the last five years. From a mere 500 million dollars in 2002, trade between our two countries has increased five-fold to reach 2.5 billion. We are hopeful of further rapid expansion in our bilateral trade in the coming years. Implementation of the India-MERCOSUR PTA and the proposed deepening and expansion of our trade relations in the framework of IBSA will be important steps in that direction," Dr. Manmohan Singh stated in his joint interaction with the media with President Lula Da Silva.

It was also agreed that both countries would station defence attaches in each other's capitals (New Delhi and Brasilia) and establish a joint defence committee as per the defence agreement of 2003.

India and Brazil also resolved to stand together to fight against international terrorism. UN reforms and the framework of the G-4 also figured high on the agenda.

"India and Brazil have a long tradition of cooperation in the international for a, including on global trade and economic issues," Dr. Singh said, adding: "We have worked together in the WTO and are both united in our desire for a successful conclusion of the Doha Round of negotiations."

"We have been partners in the G-4 efforts to work towards expansion of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council," Dr. Singh further said. Under the MoU signed on conducting "Weeks of Indian Culture in Brazil and Weeks of Brazilian culture in India", the two sides announced that they would shortly be opening cultural centres in Sao Paulo and New Delhi.



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