AIR spotlight summary on “India-Brazil Bilateral Relations”.
All the countries involved in BRICS are important partners for India. It is Important in the context of BRICS and important in themselves. Of the 5 countries Brazil is the most distant geographically. In terms of intensity of contact Brazil is more distant when we look at the relations with China, Russia or South Africa.
Highlights of Brazilian President Michel Temer visit to India
- It was the first visit ofPresident of Brazil Michel Temer to India for the BRICS summit. The relationship is improving, consolidated over the last decade or so. We dint have a major relationship before that. In the last 10 years it has been a steady growing relationship.
- Both courtiers have signed 4 agreements on agriculture and animal husbandry, pharmaceutical products regulations, cattle genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and Investment cooperation and facilitation Treaty.
- These agreements may not look very big. These are specific and targeted areas. This is in right direction; we should pick the niche areas where there are mutual needs and develop future mutual understanding.
Focus on Terrorism
- The larger focus of India in the BRICS and the bilateral summit between India and Brazil was on terrorism. India thanked Brazil for its support on India’s action against terrorism. Terrorism is not a major phenomenon in some parts of the world and Latin Americans are particular. Brazil is particularly lucky. It has been to a great extant fortunately untroubled by terrorism.
- Today terrorism is a global threat. Brazil organised the Olympics and the world cup where all the countries came. It knows that terrorism is an important threat to disrupt events and destroy people which will affect so many countries. Brazil has no problems or hesitation about condemning terrorism by saying that international community must come together to combat terrorism.
- Brazil has agreement with one of India’s initiatives which is the comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. When it comes to specific issues, Brazil does not have much relation with Pakistan. So Brazil cannot put any pressure on Pakistan as such. India’s effort is to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and we need this kind of understanding of most important countries in the world.
India-Brazil Trade Relations
- The trade between both the countries is around $12 billion which is moderate. Brazil wants to increase the trade with India three times the present trade volume. The major focus is on commodities and so it is difficult to raise the trade volume. India grows coffee which is Brazil’s major export; animal feed is the major export of Brazil for which there is no market in India.
- Brazil is rich in minerals and agricultural resources. If we look at the future trade there are possibilities like India might need to import pulses. India exports generic drugs and other pharmaceutical products. The services industry, IT and biotechnology is well established.
- Brazil has an organisation which is the counter part of Indian Council for Agricultural Research called Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). The cattle stock of Brazil is very important for them. Nellorebeef cattle originated from Ongole Cattle originally brought to Brazil from India. They are named after the district of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh state in India. So there are some Indian connections to its origin.
India-Brazil Defence Relations
- The defence relationship is possible; both are large countries with large defence needs whether it is helicopters or aircrafts. India has bought Embraer aircraft from Brazil where only few countries in the developing world make aircraft. There are possibility of cooperation in science and technology and developing designs.
- Both countries have normal exchanges for instance Brazilian officers coming to National Defence College, providing training exercises and visits of chiefs. Both countries are aware that the requirements are large. The real potential is in designing and developing the defence industry.
India-Brazil Strategic Relationship
- Both are mature democracies, developing countries, have different perspectives on many issues which is different from other countries, want a greater voice for ourselves, both are the partners for the expansion of security council and for becoming permanent members, both believe in institutional reforms in IMF, World Bank and UNSC. We are Natural Partners with the same kind of outlook on global issues.
- Despite the huge distance, lot of cultural differences and different kind of history, there are remarkable affinities and common values. India was colonized by British and Brazil was colonized by Portuguese. Just as India sees coalition governments, differences between centre and state, Independence of judiciary, a very vibrant press, critical kind of NGOs, Brazil also has a same kind of political climate like many parties, many regions, and differences between central and state governments.
- Both are developing countries with same size in economies. Brazil has lot of people trapped in poverty like India. Therefore in Democracy, Development, and Diversity, Brazil is also a country with many religion, languages, and cultures. Brazil is also familiar with the same kind of Diversity which India is familiar.
- Brazil has a space programme which was stared at a time when India started it. But India has gone far ahead. From time to time ISRO has offered technical knowhow to Brazil.