Brazil and India: Beyond Oil and Mining Agreements

The governments of Brazil and of India signed Tuesday, September 11, 9 agreements and memorandums of understanding during the Brazilian visit of Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh.

Among the agreements one calls for a pact of oil exploration between both countries. According to the president of Petrobras, José Sérgio Gabrielli, a working group will be created to analyze the projects.

Another agreement deals with the expansion of mining projects and the railway constructions in South American and India.

Brazil and India have also pledged cooperation in the areas of civil aviation, agriculture, science and technology, construction of popular housing, standardization of technical rules and promotion of cultural weeks.

What follows is the text of the joint communiqué issued by India and Brazil after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva:

"At the invitation of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, accompanied by a high level delegation, paid an official visit to Brazil from September 11-14.

During their bilateral meeting on September 12, the two leaders recalled the milestone visit of President Lula to India in January 2004 as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day ceremony.

Since then, bilateral relations have intensified and deepened. They acknowledged the significance and substantive importance of a bilateral visit to Brazil by an Indian prime minister after an interval of 38 years. Brazil and India recognize that their relationship has now reached the level of a strategic partnership.

President Lula and Prime Minister Singh reviewed the bilateral agenda and exchanged opinions on various issues of the international agenda, as well as on the political and economic situation in their regions. They reaffirmed their commitment to work towards a qualitative upgrading of the broad-based bilateral relationship between the two large democracies that share a multicultural and pluralistic ethos and common developmental aspirations.

An important outcome of the meeting was the decision to initiate a bilateral strategic dialogue covering regional and global issues of mutual concern such as energy security and the international security situation, including the menace of terrorism. This will be conducted by the national security advisor on the Indian side and the corresponding authorities in the Brazilian government.
 
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the growth of bilateral trade and investment between India and Brazil. They expressed satisfaction at the quantum leap registered by the two-way bilateral trade and resolved to create an enabling environment to deepen and diversify the growing commercial and economic interaction encompassing trade, investment and technology.

To this end, exchange of business delegations, increased participation in each other’s trade events and promotion of mutual investment and setting up of Joint Ventures would be undertaken in a concerted manner. The two sides would also encourage establishment of business linkages in banking and other service sectors. They committed themselves to encourage the public and private sectors of their respective countries to increase and diversify the bilateral flows of goods and services.

They emphasized the significance of bilateral technological cooperation in all aspects of energy research and development, with a view to improve and diversify the energy supply and to develop more efficient, affordable and cost effective energy technologies. In this context, they encourage the development and use of alternative sources of energy particularly of bio-fuels to enhance sustainability and they reaffirmed that new forms of energy that are clean, safe and economically efficient should be fully explored. To this end, they decided to create a Joint Committee on Biofuels.

President Lula and Prime Minister Singh celebrated the signature of the Exchange Programme on Cooperation in the field of education, during the Joint Committee Meeting, in January 2006 and reaffirmed that priority should be given to the cooperation in fields such as post-graduation, research, professional education and remote education courses.

They noted with satisfaction the strengthening of relations among universities of the two countries that will be further improved by the first meeting of the Joint Working Group, to be held before the end of the year.
 
India and Brazil announced that they would shortly be opening Cultural Centers in São Paulo and in New Delhi.

Further, as provided for under a memorandum of understanding signed on the occasion, it has been agreed to organize Weeks of Indian Culture and Weeks of Brazilian Culture on a reciprocal basis in 2007.

The two countries will also cooperate in promoting exchanges in the field of football and training of Indian players and coaches. People-to-people contacts as well as forging of institutional and academic linkages will also be fostered by the two sides in a systematic manner.

Both sides agreed to station Defense Attaches in each other’s capitals. President Lula announced his intention to promptly appoint the Brazilian defense attaché. They also agreed to establish a Joint Defense Committee in pursuance of the Defense Agreement signed in December 2003, once the domestic requirements for the entry into force of this agreement have been completed.

The National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) and the National Physical Laboratory of India (NPLI) agreed on the content of a memorandum of understanding, concerning scientific and technological cooperation in the areas of chemistry, physics and engineering measurement sciences.

Both sides manifested the intention of signing the document, during the meeting of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, to be held in Paris, during the current year.

President Lula and Prime Minister Singh reaffirmed that international terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and emphasized the need for concerted and coordinated action by the international community, with the ultimate objective of eradicating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

They reaffirmed their full support for the implementation of all the measures to combat terrorism outlined in relevant UN Security Council resolutions and stressed that international cooperation to combat terrorism should be conducted in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and relevant international conventions.
 
President Lula and Prime Minister Singh underscored the priority that both governments attach to reforming the United Nations to make it more effective and attuned to present day realities. India and Brazil will continue to work closely together in the framework of G4 in order to realize their aspirations to serve as permanent members on a reformed and expanded UN Security Council so as to make the world body more democratic, representative and reflective of the changed world order.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to fighting hunger and poverty, promoting democratic values and fostering economic development and emphasized the importance of implementing the Millennium Development Goals. They supported, in this regard, the promotion of innovative financing mechanisms aimed at complementing existing ODA flows on a stable and predictable basis.

In particular, they expressed their satisfaction with the launching of the International Drug Purchase Facility (UNITAID), a mechanism based on innovative funding and other sources of long-term financing as a means of enhancing the access of poor people in developing countries to drugs against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis at affordable prices.

President Lula and Prime Minister Singh stressed their intention to continue working with the G20 towards the resumption of the negotiations of the Doha Round. They agreed that the substantial, political and technical work that has been carried out so far provides a solid platform for the continuation of WTO talks and expressed their confidence that WTO members will be prepared to reengage in the negotiations in the near future.

President Lula and Prime Minister Singh expressed the view that the IMF must be reformed to reflect the current realities of the global economy and this must include a reform of quotas with a higher allocation to the developing countries so as to ensure more effective participation by them in the decision making processes of the IMF. Any changes that are proposed must be based on these principles.

The talks were held in an atmosphere of warmth and trust with the objective of further strengthening the friendly relations and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries. The next meeting of the Joint Commission to be hosted by India in New Delhi would provide an opportunity to review the progress accomplished in strengthening bilateral interaction and explore possibility of utilizing cooperation in areas such as disaster management, mutual legal assistance, water resources and rural development.

During the visit, the following bilateral acts were signed:

-Bilateral Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation;
-Air Services Agreement;
-MoU on Cooperation in the field of Human settlements
-MoU on Plant Health Protection;
-MoU on Conduct of Weeks of Indian Culture in Brazil and Weeks of Brazilian Culture in India;
-MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards and ABNT;
-MoU between Petrobras and ONGC-OVL;
-MoU between Bharat Earth Movers and CCC (Companhia de Comércio e Construções)

The agreements and MoUs reflect the mutual desire to impart a strong impetus to the growing bilateral ties with a view to realizing the full potential of the relationship between the two countries.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited the President of Brazil to visit India."

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