labels: economy - general, trade
India-Brazil-South Africa summit forges links in energy, trade and transportation news
14 September 2006

Mumbai: The India-Brazil-South Africa grouping has outlined a comprehensive agenda of cooperation, including institutional and business linkages, in energy, trade, transportation and other sectors.

The first-ever summit of the three nations in the Brazilian capital Brasilia said they would establish replicable and scaleable projects in other developing countries as part of South-South cooperation to alleviate poverty and hunger.

Brazil and South Africa also came out in support of India''s efforts to get nuclear powers to remove obstacles to it securing civil nuclear energy.

In a joint declaration issued at the end of the first IBSA summit, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian president Liuz Inacio Lula da Silva and South African President Thabo Mbeki called for increased cooperation in sustainable development and science and technology.

Addressing a meeting of heads of government with CEOs from the three countries, Manmohan Singh said discussions are underway for a possible trade arrangement that would link India with the Latam trade block MERCOSUR and the Southern African Customs Union.

"We expect this would create a large and expanding economic space that would allow the utilisation of synergies in trade and technology," he said.

The three nations should consider ways of linkages among themselves that could lead to India becoming a "hub to Asia, Brazil an entry point to Latin America and South Africa a springboard for Africa," Manmohan said.

"We should expand the idea of IBSA from a project of three governments to one involving more intensively the peoples of our three countries. This would require a greater emphasis on people to people contact, on cultural and educational exchanges and on the promotion of trade and tourism amongst our three countries," he said.

The summit also discussed issues like the need for concerted fight against the scourge of terrorism, UN reforms, especially on the question of expansion of the Security Council and universal nuclear disarmament.

The summit marks the beginning of a more intense political and economic dialogue among three biggest democracies of three different continents and this is expected to impact on the business and trade opportunities beyond their grouping.

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India-Brazil-South Africa summit forges links in energy, trade and transportation