Brazil's economic strengths and opportunities for investment in the country came out in bold relief at the first country seminar on 'Investment Opportunities in Brazil' organised by APEX Brazil, as the three-day BRICS Trade Fair got under way here today.
Highlighting the vast and myriad opportunities and similarities that India and Brazil enjoy, Mr. Tovara Da Silva Nunes, Brazilian Ambassador to India, set the ball rolling, stating that India and Brazil shared a lot of similarities and common interests.
Although the two countries have been part of several multilateral fora, it is important to work closer bilaterally to make the partnership truly strategic.
The two countries enjoy several common aspirations. They have strong services sector-IT, strength in medicines, their foreign policy is focused on sustainable development, they discuss global issues and peaceful solution to conflict and they face similar challenges and believe that social inclusion is not possible without a good economy, he said.
Talking about Brazil, he said, agriculture is the strength of the Brazillian economy. Over the last decade and a half there has been an increase in the intensity of trade flows. Various studies show the massive increase in trade flows to Brazil. The major sectors of focus are medical equipment and medicines, aerospace, aeronautics, oil and natural gas, chemicals, fertilizers and processed food. It is an attractive destination for private companies. Brazil is one of the major trade partners of India in Latin America. There is more than USD 5 billion Indian investments in Brazil.
In order to encourage more Indian investment and to create a legal framework, India and Brazil will sign 'Agreement cooperation and facilitation investment', in Goa at the sidelines of the BRICS Summit. This is a very positive step towards India-Brazil relations and would speed up the process of development.
Brazil had benefitted from the high commodities prices initially but was hit at the price fall specially the fall in the price of oil. However, the Brazilian government is working towards resuming the path of growth. In 2016-17 the country expects an improvement in its GDP. Today, here is positive sentiment evidenced by increase in investment rates, rise imports of capital goods and an increase in investment- GDP ratio. The Ambassador said that the people were regaining their faith in the economy. Besides the fiscal reforms, Brazil is working towards strategic reduction of the role of the state. This is an attempt to recover from recession.
He said that private companies will have the opportunity to invest in the following sectors, ports, civil aviation, energy, sanitation, oil and gas. Agriculture, robust banking system, defence and aeronautics are the pillars of the Brazilian economy, he emphasised.
Ms Maria Luisa Cravo, APEX Brazil, spoke about the role of the organization. She said that they play a primary role in helping Brazilian companies to enter different markets. They encourage greenfield investments and joint ventures. For the investors, from providing information to helping in selection of the site, they do it all.
Mr. Padmendra Singh Rawat, representing UPL, one of the largest crop protection and seed company presented the company portfolio. They are present in 120 countries and Brazil, being one of the leading countries in agri-buisiness, is their major location. More than 200 Brazillians work for UPL which provides crop protection, technological assistance and post harvest facilities.
Mr. Rajiv Wahi, Head - International Business, Escorts Agri Machinery, said, "Food security is a major challenge in today's world and all the BRICS countries have the responsibility of developing their agricultural sector to feed the world." The Escorts Group has been a witness to the transforming agricultural ecosystem since seven decades and understands the ever-evolving needs of the farmers worldwide. Brazil with its rich agricultural strength and central location is an important country for Escorts.
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