The India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum, set up after the Brasilia Declaration signed by foreign ministers of the three countries on June 6, 2003, will help increase cooperation in defence and develop concrete steps to jointly address issues like opening up of markets and farm subsidy in World Trade Organisation negotiations.
South African Minister for Economic Development Essop G Pahad said this after the trilateral ministerial meeting held here to discuss issues of economic development and poverty alleviation.
"The India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum would not only help the countries to take a common stand on trade related issues at the WTO, but would also improve relations between regional groupings these countries were part of," Pahad said.
Addressing a press conference after the India-South Africa ministerial meeting on economic development and poverty alleviation, Pahad said the dialogue forum was formed in recognition of the fact that if developing countries did not combine forces, their ability to affect global economic issues would be limited. Discussions centered around common positions on vital issues at the WTO, rural development and poverty alleviation, he said.
The three countries will work towards increasing trilateral cooperation in areas like air and sea transport, defence, science and technology, IT, space technology and social programmes.
They would also develop concrete steps to jointly address issues like the opening up of markets and agricultural subsidies in WTO negotiations, Brazil's Ambassador to India Vera Barrouin Machado said, adding that other countries interested in joining the bloc would be welcome.
Referring to poverty alleviation, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman KC Pant said the issue, being multi-dimensional in nature, needed greater cooperation bilaterally as well as multi-laterally.
South Africa is the only country having the technology for conversion of coal into petroleum, while Brazil had huge amount of bio-diesel and gasohol. "Each has enough to contribute towards economic growth. It has to be streamlined and put to proper use," he said. The establishment of the dialogue forum was the result of the Brasilia Declaration, signed by the foreign ministers of the three countries on 6 June 2003.The declaration aimed at examining themes of mutual interest on the international development agenda as well as the political agenda of the multilateral processes.