Brazil has emerged as India's largest trading partner in Latin America with bilateral trade crossing the record $ 2 billion mark in 2006.
In an address to the inaugural session of the Business Seminar on India and Brazil in New Delhi on Monday, Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath said that indicated that both the governments have set a bilateral trade target of US $ 10 billion by 2010.
"Two-way trade between India and Brazil has registered a quantum increase - from a meagre US $ 488 million in 2000 to US $ 2.4 billion in 2006," he said.
Miguel Joao Jorge Filho, Brazilian Minister for Development Industry and Foreign Trade also addressed the session, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Referring to the partnership between India and MERCOSUR, of which Brazil is a part, Kamal Nath said that following the conclusion of a Preferential Trade Agreement in March 2005, "India and MERCOSUR have agreed to give tariff concessions, ranging from 10 to 100 per cent to the other side on 450 and 452 tariff lines respectively.
The PTA will come into force as soon as ratified by the legislatures of Brazil and Argentina. Meanwhile the process of expansion of the coverage of the PTA has also been initiated in persuasion of the IBSA Declaration made by the Heads of India, Brazil and South Africa on September 13 2006.
"I hope, the operationalisation of PTA will help achieving the target of 10 billion two-way trade in years to come," the minister pointed out.
He said trilateral arrangement between India, MERCOSUR and SACU (South Africa Customs Union) is also on the way to widen the scope of South -South Cooperation.
"Indian investments in Brazil have also increased in recent years, particularly in the field of information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," Kamal Nath added.
Indian companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Ranbaxy and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Strides among others have made a mark in the Brazilian market. Many others including other TATA group companies are exploring the opportunities for investment in Brazil.
Kamal Nath had a separate bilateral meeting with Miguel Joao Jorge Filho, later in the evening when both the Ministers underlined the immense scope for increasing bilateral trade and investment given the huge opportunities that the two countries offer to each other.
He also met with the Brazilian business delegation led by Armando Monteiro Neto, President of the National Confederation of Industry and Member of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Brazilian Parliament.