India-Brazil-South Africa FTA distinct possibility: Govt
Friday October 7 2005
NEW DELHI: Terming an India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Free Trade Agreement as a “distinct possibility”, the government said it is looking at other ways of enhancing trade relationship with the two countries.
The ongoing trade and economic cooperation between the three nations will see a growth in overall trade from the current 6 billion dollars to 10 billion dollars by 2007, External Affairs Additional Secretary Rakesh Kumar said at a meeting on “South-South Economic Co Operation: Exploring IBSA Initiative National Consultation”, organised by FICCI here on Friday.
Responding to the request to hold IBSA business summit, he said the government will consider this as it would be a good forum to focus on promotion of trade and investment and identifying measures to strengthen collaboration between Asian, African and Latin American businesses.
South African high commissioner Francis Moloi called for developing a common vision for enhanced South-South co-operation and the realisation of the development agenda of the South.
He said trilateral co-operation under IBSA would help devise ways to adopt a pro-active approach to channelise the advantages of globalisation in this direction.
Numerous opportunities existed in the promotion of trade, investment, science and technology exchanges, and in the fields of energy, ICT, agriculture, biotechnology, health, tourism and education, he said and pledged to explore opportunities for trilateral cooperation.
In his address, Brazilian economic counsellor Luiz Anonio Balduino provided his country’s perspective on the IBSA initiative.
He said Brazil has increasingly emphasized an export-driven, market-based approach in its trade policy.
However, with one per cent share of the global FDI flows and a similar share in world imports and exports, Brazil needed to do a lot more.