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Brazil fascinated me, says Manmohan

A 52-member business delegation will explore Brazil and tie up with various industries from pharmaceuticals to agriculture.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 16:25 IST

As Manmohan Singh arrived in Brasilia on an official visit - the first by an Indian prime minister in 38 years, he said he was always personally fascinated by Brazil and there were many similarities between the two countries.

Talking to mediapersons accompanying him, the economist prime minister said: "Brazil has always fascinated me personally. Brazil has produced great economists like Sensor Quartado. Brazil is now in a state of development where there are many complementarities between Brazil and India."

The prime minister's three-day visit will include a bilateral dialogue with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, during which, about half a dozen government-to-government agreements and another half a dozen commercial agreements will be signed.

A 52-member strong Indian business delegation is also here to explore and tie up across a wide range of areas from pharmaceuticals to agriculture. Also here is Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.

The talks will round off with a gala dinner given by the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) where Goan singer Remo Fernandes will belt out some Portuguese numbers.

The prime minister described Brazil as an "agricultural superpower" and said "we can learn a great deal from the way their universities function, the way their agricultural research functions."

He also mentioned how Brazil had done very well in energy security, especially its development of ethanol as a fuel alternative. He said Brazil had offered India participation in exploration and development of its oil fields.

"There is considerable scope for participation in science and technology, in energy, agriculture technique.. in all these fields we can learn a lot and, similarly, Brazil can learn a lot from our development experiences".

On Wednesday, the prime minister would attend the three-nation summit of IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) that South Africa President Thabo Mbeki would also attend. This is the first summit of IBSA - that brings together the three rising powers of the three continents in a trilateral commission - since its formation in 2003.

Also assisting the prime minister in Brasilia, would be National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Indian ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, who has been instrumental in putting together the clutch of agreements.

He leaves for Havana on Thursday to attend the 14th summit of the 116-nation NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) on September 15-16 and will round off his visit with a much-anticipated meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of the summit.