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Indian FM to discuss BRICS during Brazil visit
October 14, 2013, 9:40 am


Khurshid will co-chair the sixth India-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) during his visit [AP]

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid is on a four-day official visit to Brazil to discuss regional and international issues of common interest to the BRICS countries.

The two sides will take stock of developments on the BRICS Bank and the $100 billion contingency reserve arrangement.

Khurshid will co-chair the sixth India-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) with his counterpart Luiz Alberto Figueiredo in Brasilia.

The JCM is expected to discuss political and economic ties with special focus on agriculture, defence and hydrocarbons.

Brazil and India have been vocal in seeking reforms in global institutions of political and economic governance like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The two countries have also been fierce critics of ultra-loose monetary policies in developed economies.

“More clarity and more precision as the stimulus is reduced. This is what we’ve been recommending,” Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega said last week.

India’s Finance Minister P Chidambaram said recently that his Brazilian counterpart shared his “unhappiness over the developments” of the US Federal Reserve’s uncertainties.

Chidambaram said US Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke’s statements have added to the “confusion” for which emerging markets have paid heavily.

“With so many ifs and buts, Mr Bernanke need not have made that statement [on ending quantitative easing]. And since then, he has attempted to clarify it several times. But I am afraid, it has only added to the confusion. In any event, a number of emerging economies have paid a price, including India,” he said.

Brazil and India are also members of the political bloc IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), three major democracies from three different continents.

Khurshid will also chair the annual Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Heads of Indian Mission (HOM) Conference in Rio de Janeiro later this week.

The two nations have shared a similar struggle to reduce massive inequalities in their societies with a growing divide between the countries rich and poor.

Recent data made available by Brazil’s Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) said Brazil lifted 3.5 million people out of poverty and more than a million out of extreme poverty last year.

India has also introduced social welfare programmes like the direct cash transfer scheme and the landmark food security bill.

Diplomatic relations between India and Brazil were established in 1948.

Both countries enjoy convergence of views on issues of mutual interest including the Syrian crisis, the Palestine issue and the advocacy of non-infringement on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other nations.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban in March.

Brazil is an important trading partner of India in Latin America and Caribbean. Bilateral trade has grown significantly from $828 million in 2000 to $10.6 billion in 2012-13.

India’s exports to Brazil are valued at $6 billion and imports at $4.6 billion.

Indian companies have made significant investments in Brazil which are estimated at $2.5 billion in the fields of agriculture, IT, manufacturing and hydrocarbons, among others.

With inputs from Agencies