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India, Brazil ink nine agreements

By Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Brazil
September 13, 2006 01:16 IST
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In an effort to boost bilateral relations, India and Brazil on Tuesday signed nine agreements ranging from scientific and technological cooperation to enhancing air services between the two nations.

A memorandum of understanding between Brazilian company Petrobras and ONGC-OVL was also inked in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Both leaders said they were committed to better and prosperous relations despite the great distance between the two countries.

The two nations also stressed their desire to be members of a new expanded UN security council, which would be more representative of the changed world order.

"I am leaving behind a part of my heart today in Brazil and we will succeed in building a new world order," Dr Singh said in his speech at Alvorada Palace, the official residence of President of Brazil.

Dr Singh said his visit to Brazil after a hiatus of 38 years since the last prime ministerial tour was significant. This would be further enhanced by the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) summit in Brazil on Wednesday.

India and Brazil have had long and durable democracies and their relations are broad-based and multifaceted, he said, adding that his visit provided an opportunity for bilateral and economic growth.

Dr Singh said he was confident the transformation of bilateral relations would elevate the ties to a strategic partnership.

"India´s friendship with Brazil is showing moment and oceans are no longer working against our partnership," he said.

Though Brazil and India are on the extreme sides of the world, in the last five years, both have pledged for better economic cooperation. The trade between the two countries has increased five folds from the year 2002 from $500 million annually to $2.5 billion.

"Major Indian companies like ONGC, TCS, Ranbaxy and Dr Reddy are taking advantage of our relationship and are doing business with Brazil and we would like to get help in fields of agriculture and food processing business from Brazil," the prime minister said.

"We have established political will and political determination in international arena. We have overcome the barrier and do not depend on rich countries. Today, we can stand on our own legs and walk," President Lula said.

"The friendship will never diminish because of the distance. We both have political will to have a long term and lasting relations between us," he added.

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Brazil