Global Insider: Brazil-India Relations

Brazil and India recently signed an agreement to improve air travel between the two countries, the latest small step in a broad bilateral relationship. In an email interview, Oliver Stuenkel, a fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, discussed Brazil-India relations.

WPR: What is the state of trade between Brazil and India, including areas of complementarity and competition?

Oliver Stuenkel: Trade between Brazil and India has grown significantly since the end of the Cold War, from $400 million in 1999, to $2 billion in 2005, passing $7 billion in 2010. A trade agreement between Mercosur -- a regional trade bloc that includes Brazil -- and India was signed in 2004 and took effect in 2009, though it covers barely 3 percent of the products traded between the two. Indian companies have focused on investment and joint ventures in Brazil's IT, energy, sugar, agrochemicals and pharmaceutical sectors, and Brazilian products such as soy and processed food are in growing demand in India. Once Brazil is able to tap into its recently discovered vast oil resources, energy-poor India is likely to be an important customer. The same is true for iron ore, of which Brazil has the world's largest reserves. Indian pharmaceutical laboratories, including several big exporters of generic medicines, have formed joint ventures and installed factories in Brazil.

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