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Brazilian president to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrives on a three-day state visit, his second in three years.

delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2007 20:41 IST

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrives in New Delhi on Sunday on a three-day state visit, his second in three years, that is aimed at strengthening the emerging strategic partnership between the two countries.

A 100-member business delegation, besides ministers and officials, will accompany Lula, who was last in New Delhi in 2004 as the chief guest at the Jan 26 Republic Day celebrations.

"Some agreements on bilateral cooperation will be signed during the visit," an external affairs ministry statement on Friday said.

During his stay in New Delhi, Lula will have meetings with President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition LK Advani and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will call on the visiting president.

Lula and Manmohan Singh will also interact with the newly formed India-Brazil CEO Forum. India's Ratan Tata and Jose Sergio Gabrielli, CEO of Brazilian energy major Petrobras will co-chair the forum.

Lula will also address captains of business and industry at a function jointly being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Associated Chamber of Commerce (Assocham) on Monday.

Following Manmohan Singh's visit to Brazil in September 2006, "the bilateral relations have been upgraded to a strategic partnership," the ministry statement said.

As part of this, a strategic dialogue was held in India on April 12 between Indian National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Brazilin Minister of External Relations Celso Amorim.

India and Brazil work closely in multilateral fora, including UN, WTO and G-20. India and Brazil are working together in the G-4 group seeking permanent membership of UN Security Council.

India and Brazil, along with South Africa, also cooperate in the trilateral IBSA partnership.

The third meeting in New Delhi of the India-Brazilian Joint Commission co-chaired by Mukherjee and Amorim "covered cooperation in a number of areas such as agriculture, science & technology, trade and investment, energy, education, defence, space, nuclear energy, health, culture and sports," the ministry statement said.

"It has been agreed that a Festival of Brazil will be organised in India in January-March, 2008 and a Festival of India will be held in Brazil in July-September, 2008," the statement added.

Trade between the two countries has been increasing significantly in recent years, with the balance in India's favour. In 2006, India's exports to Brazil amounted to $1,470 million and imports to $937 million.

A number of Indian companies have made investment and joint ventures in Brazil in areas such as pharmaceuticals, IT and energy. Brazilian companies have also started targeting India for investment and business in areas such as infrastructure, food processing and energy.