Trade to dominate India’s agenda at IBSA Summit

November 14th, 2007 - 1:56 am ICT by admin  
New Delhi, Oct 9 (ANI): India will call for greater trade relations with South Africa and Brazil at the second IBSA Summit beginning October 17 in Johannesburg.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will represent India at the Summit, will be leading a contingent of 75 industrialists, comprising representatives from different business bodies like FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.

IBSA, which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and dialogue, was formed in 2003 as an answer to the formation of elite G-8 group that influences the rest of the world by imposing its policies, particularly fiscal and monetary ones.

India expects to enhance trade relations between the member countries and wants to achieve the set target of 15 billion dollars by 2010. Several MoUs and agreements in this regard are expected to be signed during the two-day long Summit.

India will put forward its plan to set up trilateral companies or joint ventures in the field of aviation, shipping and alternative energy sources like biofuels, which is very popular in Brazil.

Issues like Climate Change, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the present global developments are likely to come up for discussion at the Summit.

Singh, who will arrive in Johannesburg on October 16, will attend a cultural event along with the Presidents of South Africa and Brazil, Thabo Mbeki and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva respectively.

Prior to the Summit, a series of important activities like trilateral Women’s Forum and a Parliamentary Forum will be held. A separate delegation comprising Parliamentarians will be attending the trilateral Parliamentary Forum.

Singh will also hold bilateral meetings with Mbeki and Lula, and there is a likelihood that India’s quest for civilian nuclear energy cooperation would come up for discussion since both South Africa and Brazil belong to the 45-member Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG).

The NSG must amend its charter to allow international trade of nuclear fuel with India to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal, which has run into stalemate owing to domestic political pressure in New Delhi.

The first IBSA Summit was held in Brasilia on September 13, 2006. (ANI)

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