India, Brazil and South Africa
India announced that it is evolving an agreement in maritime shipping within IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) and working out modalities to implement the framework agreement in civil aviation in the region. It cautioned, however, that since Brazil and South Africa were members of MERCOSUR and SACU, there were constraints in working out a trilateral FTA within the IBSA framework.
The South African Customs Union is in talks with the Indian government for signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enhance the trade and business between both the countries.
The current state of play in the Doha Round negotiations underlines the importance of stronger bilateral and regional trading agreements for India. As of now, India has concluded trading agreements with Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore. In the regional context, Safta and Bimstec are yet to really takeoff.
Terming an India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Free Trade Agreement as a “distinct possibility”, the Indian government said it is looking at other ways of enhancing trade relationship with the two countries.
The Government of India has identified Brazil as strategic partner in Latin America and is strengthening relations and expanding cooperation.
The finalisation of modalities for implementation of the Indo-Thai free trade agreement (FTA) on Friday sends out clear signals that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is not averse to the idea.