India, Brazil sign pacts to boost strategic partnership
January 26 2020 01:30 AM
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro pays homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat in New Delhi
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro pays homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat in New Delhi yesterday.

Agencies /New Delhi

In a major boost to their strategic partnership, Brazil and India yesterday laid down a comprehensive action plan to enhance co-operation in all areas, amid an economic slowdown.
While thanking President Jair Bolsonaro for accepting an invitation to attend India’s 71st Republic Day today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Brazil and India’s strategic partnership is based on common philosophy and values. Despite geographical distance, we have been members of various fora and significant partners in development too. That is why he and I today have agreed on bilateral co-operation in all areas.”
He announced that an action plan to implement a slew of agreements and memorandums of understanding had been formulated and added that by 2023- the platinum jubilee of diplomatic relations between India and Brazil - the strategic partnership, people-to-people ties and business co-operation would be strengthened even further.
The two governments signed agreements and MoUs for co-operation in bio-energy, oil, natural gas, investments, legal assistance in criminal matters, early childhood related issues, health and medicine, traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy, cultural exchange, social security, cyber security, science and technology, geology and mineral resources, animal husbandry and dairy, and cattle genomics.
“Animal husbandry, especially healthcare of cows is one of our unique areas of co-operation. At one point, India sent Gir and Kankreji cows to Brazil,” Modi said.
Indian requirement of crude oil imports from Brazil went up after the US imposed sanctions against its suppliers Venezuela and Iran.
Brazil imports chicken from India and wants reduction in import taxes on poultry.
The bilateral trade between the two countries was $8.2bn in 2018-19.
Accompanied by eight ministers and a delegation of business leaders, Brazilian President Bolsonaro arrived in New Delhi on Friday.
He is the chief guest for the Republic Day parade today.
This is his first visit to India.
Modi visited Brazil in November 2019 to attend the eleventh Brics summit and extended the invitation to Bolsonaro.
The Indian government has faced criticism since November, when it announced that Bolsonaro would be the chief guest at the Republic Day ceremonies.
Bolsanaro has invited criticism in the past for inaction during the burning of the Amazon rainforest and comments that have been termed racist and misogynist.
“His actions in Brazil and at the global stage are directly against the very ethos of the Indian constitution that we celebrate on Republic Day,” Communist Party of India lawmaker Binoy Viswam wrote in a letter to Modi.
Viswam said he would not join the celebrations.
“President Bolsonaro is an elected leader in a democratic country. It is the country with whom we have very strong and substantive relations, many areas of convergence,” Ministry of External Affairs official Vijay Thakur said while answering a query on the merits of inviting “such a controversial” leader during a pre-visit briefing.

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