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Brazil keen to strengthen trade relations with India 

millenniumpost , Nov 17, 2015

Brazil on Monday called for expanding a trade pact with India by adding more products such as frozen chicken (whole) and processed soyabean in the tariff agreement and also stressed on technology transfer and investment in agriculture research.

Brazil is also keen to export ethanol and milk products to India and boost shipments of edible oils. India and MERCOSUR, comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, already has a preferential trade pact. "We would like to expand tariff agreement," said Katia Abreu, the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply.

She said that existing agreement is "timid" in field of agriculture and there is a need to expand the base from the current about 450 products to 2,500 products. India-MERCOSUR preferential trade agreement (PTA) came into effect from June 1, 2009. The major sectors covered in the offer list under the PTA include meat, chemicals, leather goods, iron and steel products, machinery items and electrical machinery.

India and Brazil have a bilateral trade of $11.36 billion. "We can bring frozen chicken (whole) to India. We face difficulty in chicken," Abreu said at a FICCI conference. Speaking on the sidelines, the minister stressed on easing the rules for trade apart from improving the trade agreement.

"We would like to expand our relations well beyond the area of just tariff. Most important is to improve and better rules," Abreu said. Brazil has been emphasising with all the countries to harmonise and make rules easier, she said.

On trade agreement, Abreu said: "We currently have about 450 products included in the tariff agreement. We would like to see this figure grow to 2,500".

She said that Brazil is interested in exporting ethanol and milk products, which have great demand in India and boost exports of edible oils as well. In dairy sector, Brazil wants to help India boost milk productivity. It is keen to bring to India the gene bank for milk-producing cattle as well as embryo and semen.

Abreu spoke about enormous opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Brazilian agriculture sector through technology transfer and investment in research.

She emphasised on the need to remove intermediaries and develop an independent commercial relationship between the two nations. "Either the two countries could allow the other international players to lead the trade for them or India and Brazil could remove the intermediaries and develop an independent commercial relationship," Abreu said.