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India, Brazil to sign 20 pacts during Bolsonaro visit to elevate strategic partnership

Both sides are keen to add momentum to the strategic partnership signed in 2006 with focus on defence industry and robust partnership in the hydrocarbon sector. A big-ticket item at the visit could be the Bilateral Investment Treaty, which will be the first revised one that India will sign with any country, according to persons familiar with the matter.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2020, 08.32 PM IST
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (File Pic)
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NEW DELHI: India and Brazil are looking to conclude a whopping 20 pacts across defence, energy, agriculture, healthcare and minerals during President Jair Bolsonaro's India trip for the Republic Day amid Delhi's plan to gain a major foothold in the resource-rich Latin America.

Both sides are keen to add momentum to the strategic partnership signed in 2006 with focus on defence industry and robust partnership in the hydrocarbon sector. A big-ticket item at the visit could be the Bilateral Investment Treaty, which will be the first revised one that India will sign with any country, according to persons familiar with the matter.

The biggest ever Brazilian business delegation to India comprising 62 businessmen including 12 defence industry leaders will accompany Bolsonaro in this trip as Delhi and Brasilia are exploring the possibility of joint production and industrial collaboration in the defence sector, ET has reliably learnt.

In 2018, India was the 11th biggest exporter to Brazil and the tenth biggest importer from the country. While the Brazilian companies have invested in automobiles, IT, mining, energy, biofuels and footwear sectors in India, the Indian companies have invested in IT, pharmaceutical, energy, agri-business, mining, engineering and automobiles.

Brazil wants to move beyond the buyer-seller relationship in the hydrocarbon sector and emerge as a reliable oil supplier to India, including possible investments in the sector amid volatility in geopolitics and sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, diplomatic sources indicated. Simultaneously, Brasilia is keen to expand partnership in the clean energy sector that includes ethanol and biogas, sources indicated. The large-scale sugarcaneproduction in India provides a huge impetus to the ethanol industry.

Brazil is among the top ten oil producers in the world. Major reforms are being undertaken in Brazil's energy sector, which will help to increase not only production but also oil exports.

A plan of action is expected to be inked during the visit to add meat to the strategic partnership. “I truly believe this will be a turning point in our consistent efforts to establish a special bilateral relationship,” Brazilian ambassador to India André AranhaCorrêa do Lago told ET.

But it is not just bilateral portfolio that the two sides are seeking to expand. India and Brazil share a very close relationship in plurilateral fora such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA and International Solar Alliance. Both sides are trying to revitalise IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) trilateral to strengthen collaboration between democracies.

Bolsonaro will be the third head of state from Brazil who has been invited to be the chief guest at the Republic Day. Fernando Henrique Cardoso and President Luiz InacioLula da Silva had visited in 1996 and 2004, respectively, on the occasion of Republic Day.

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