PM reaches Brazil to attend IBSA, BRIC Summits
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting with the Defence Minister of Brazil, Nelson Jobin, on his arrival at the Brasilia Airbase for the BRIC and IBSA Summits, in Brazil on April 14, 2010. Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Ministeris also seen.

PM reaches Brazil to attend IBSA, BRIC Summits

New Delhi, April 15, 2010

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reached Brasilia on a two-day visit during which he will attend the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit today and the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) Summit tomorrow.

During his stay in Brasilia, Dr Singh will also hold bilateral meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by his wife, Ms Gursharan Kaur, was received on arrival at the Brazilian Air Force base by Brazilian Defence Minister Nelson Jobin and other senior officials. He was given a red-carpet welcome, with a ceremonial guard of honour and a gun salute.

Dr Singh flew in to Brasilia from Washington, where he had attended the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by United States President Barack Obama.

Before leaving New Delhi last Saturday on the eight-day trip, Dr Singh had said that the IBSA and BRIC groupings reflected the growing role of emerging economies in shaping the global economic order.

He said the IBSA process had come of age, encompassing as it does a wide range of activities which supplement the excellent bilateral relations India enjoys with each of these countries. He said coordination among the three countries on important international issues had expanded and their trilateral cooperation was beginning to bear fruit in many sectors.

He said the BRIC countries were among the largest and fastest growing economies with rich human and material resources.

"They represent the future of the global economic landscape. We have a high stake in the revival of the global economy, an open trading system, energy security, combating climate change and addressing non-traditional threats to international security," he said.

About his proposed meeting with President Lula, he said relations with Brazil were an important pillar of India's policy towards Latin America and had witnessed substantial expansion in recent years.

The first standalone BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in June last year. The second, to be held tomorrow, will begin with a meeting of the leaders in a restricted session which will be followed by a 45-minute long plenary session.

The agenda of the summit includes discussions on the international financial and economic crisis, G-20 related matters, climate change, United Nations reform, regional issues including Iran, the Middle East and Haiti, and a general follow-up of the dialogue of BRIC countries.

The leaders are expected to issue a joint statement at the conclusion of the summit. A BRIC statistical publication is also expected to be issued at the end of the Summit meeting. The plenary session will be followed by a press conference.

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who is part of the delegation, will attend the second meeting of the BRIC High Representatives of Security today. He is also likely to hold bilateral strategic dialogues with his Brazilian, Russian and Chinese counterparts.

Several events have been organised in Brazil alongside the two summits. These include the joint IBSA-BRIC Business Forum in Rio de Janeiro and meetings of commercial and development banks of the BRIC countries.

Brazil is also hosting a Track-III seminar of BRIC think tanks. Participants from India include scholars from the Observer Research Foundation, ICRIER and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, among others.

The IBSA Summit today will also have a restricted meeting first, followed by the plenary session. This will be the fourth summit.

The IBSA Dialogue Forum has been conceived as a mechanism to promote intensive and comprehensive dialogue between the three countries, both at the governmental level and at the level of civil society.

At the governmental level, apart from the summit, there is a trilateral commission that meets at the level of the Foreign Ministers and meetings of the Trade Ministers. In addition, there are 16 Working Groups covering the entire spectrum of the relationship, including transport, energy, trade and investment, health, science and technology, information technology, public administration and social development.

At the level of civil society there are dialogue forums for interaction between parliamentarians, academics, the media, business and women, among others.

The three IBSA leaders are expected to sign a few trilateral memoranda of understanding (MoU) on solar energy and on science and technology. Some other MoU on sports and cooperation among the diplomatic academies of the three countries are under discussion.

IBSA has also been undertaking projects in other developing countries as part of the IBSA Trust Fund, which are managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The three countries are looking at cooperation in space sciences and a concept paper has been developed for a weather satellite. They are also working for better air and surface connectivity among them.

NNN

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