Brazil optimistic on N-coop with India: Amorim | india | Hindustan Times
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Brazil optimistic on N-coop with India: Amorim

The Brazilian Foreign Minister says it would take a positive view of the Indo-US nuclear deal at the NSG, reports Madhur Singh.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2007 18:55 IST

Brazil will seek "positive and pragmatic" steps towards civil nuclear cooperation with India, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said on Friday. He added that Brazil would take a positive view of the Indo-US nuclear deal at the NSG.

India and Brazil have been seeking enhanced cooperation in the field of energy security, especially in view of Brazil’s success with biofuels.

“We have strong cooperation in the energy sector and are also looking at other sciences,” Amorim told reporters at a joint press conference with Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.

A high-level delegation of Brazil’s National Nuclear Energy Commission will visit India to explore possibilities of cooperation.

Brazil has among the largest uranium reserves in the world, and the success of the Indo-US nuclear deal would open up the large Indian market for Brazilian uranium.

Later, while speaking at a business leaders’ meet, Amorim said Brazil will continue to be “unfailingly supportive” of India’s concerns over special products in the Doha round negotiations.

However, he said, the WTO is indispensable as it is the only forum where developing countries can negotiate a fair deal with developed countries. “It is the only forum where there is a relative balance of forces," he said.

Amorim also lent his support to an India-Mercosur-Sacu FTA, which was proposed at the IBSA meet in 2006, as a forum for South-South cooperation.

Mercosur brings together almost all of South America with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Paraguay as members and Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as associate members. Sacu stands for the South African Customs Union and has South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland as members. The FTA being talked about will cover the largest area in terms of GDP ($1.5 tr) and population (1.3bn).

While Mercosur and Sacu have an RTA in place since 2004, India is in negotiations for an FTA with Sacu and with Mercosur.

Amorim admitted that the India-Mercosur FTA has been held up because the Brazilian Congress has not ratified it, and said the issue would be resolved soon.

India and Brazil have been forging a closer relationship bilaterally as well as in IBSA and at multilateral forums like the WTO. Brazil is India’s largest trading partner in Latin America, with bilateral trade standing at roughly $2.5bn in 2006.

During his three-day visit to India, Amorim co-chaired the Indo-Brazil Joint Commission which laid the groundwork for the visit of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in June 2007.