India, Brazil, South Africa Aim To Boost Trade

July 17, 2007
Emerging economies agreed to increase trade 50% to reach $15 billion by 2010.

Brazil, India and South Africa aim to boost business between the fast-growing emerging economies that are also key players in now deadlocked global trade talks, Celso Amorim Brazil's foreign minister said July 17.

After talks with Amorim's counterparts in New Delhi that the nations agreed to raise trade flows 50% by the end of the decade from around $10 billion now. "We have set the challenge to bring our mutual trade to around $15 billion by 2010," Amorim said following the fifth meeting of the countries dubbed IBSA since 2003.

Amorim also called for more contact between India and the South American trade bloc known as Mercosur and the five-member South African Customs Union. Such a combination would form "the largest economic space in the developing world," Amorim added.

IBSA has identified energy as a key component of cooperation adding it was seeking expertise to develop alternative fuel from Brazil, which taps into its huge sugar cane production to produce ethanol for cars.

The countries also urged the 150-member World Trade Organization (WTO) to try and resolve a deadlock linked mainly to farm subsidies paid by rich countries and import barriers in "the agricultural sector, which is of utmost relevance for the well-being of our most vulnerable populations. "In particular, agreement has to be reached to eliminate trade distortions specially those limiting access to the developed markets," the foreign ministers said. The remarks follow the failure of talks in Germany among the EU, the U.S., Brazil and India on June 21 to re-launch the near six year-old talks on reducing barriers to commerce.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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