Artigo da Presidenta da República, Dilma Rousseff, para o jornal The Times of Índia – versão em inglês
Publicado em 29 de março de 2012
It is with great satisfaction – and high expectations – that I visit India for the first time as President of Brazil.
Geographically distant from each other, our countries share unique experiences. Both of them are multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious and democratic nations. But that is not all. The gigantic internal process of social ascension that led tens of millions of families into the consumer market, by creating opportunities for all, has made India and Brazil examples for the world. In a time when economic crisis, unemployment and recession are on the agenda, Brazil and India stand out as growth models.
This is the framework in which I had the satisfaction to accept Prime-Minister Manmohan Singh’s honourable invitation to pay a State Visit to India, after the BRICS Summit Meeting. It will be a privilege to represent Brazil as a guest of the Government of India and to pay my tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the symbol of a revolutionary vision in asserting national identity.
This visit will allow our countries to consolidate a substantive bilateral agenda and to strengthen similar foreign policy principles, including the staunch defence of the interests of our poorest populations, the promotion of sustainable economic growth and an independent international role that is coherent with the new world order. These are reasons why Brazil and India strongly converge for the reform of international organizations, whether it is expansion of the United Nations Security Council and the creation of a new responsibility model within the IMF, or the establishment of new high level forums such as G20, IBSA, BASIC and BRICS, whose fourth Summit Meeting is taking place this week in New Delhi.
This current meeting of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is an undeniable demonstration of how geographically distant countries, with different social and economic challenges, can become partners and generate a convergence that changes the axis of international politics. The BRICS contain roughly a third of the world population and a fifth of its GDP. Our economies and markets can strongly benefit from one another. Trade among the BRICS rose from US$ 27 billion in 2002 to US$ 212 in 2010. This year it may reach US$ 250 billion. The BRICS will be responsible for 56% of world growth in 2012. In this forum, Brazil and India have been sharing their points of view and expanding their partnerships.
Brazil and India have had diplomatic relations since 1948, but only in the 21st Century our integration truly began. In this period, our countries have signed more than 30 bilateral agreements, in fields ranging from science to trade. Indian-Brazilian trade rose from under US$ 500 million dollars in 1999 to US$ 9.3 billion in 2011 – an increase of almost 2,000%. This makes India our 12th trade partner – a relevant position that, however, is obviously not reflective of our economies’ dynamism. There still is much to be done.
Recently, Embrapa (The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) and the Indian Council for Agriculture have sealed a partnership for the exchange of experience in the strategic sectors of food production and biotechnology research. Knowing Embrapa’s successful work in seedling selection and expansion of production in regions with climate and soil similar to India’s, I am positive this partnership will bear fruits for both countries.
In the defence area, a pioneer project integrating our technologies is currently underway: the installation of Indian airborne radars onto Brazilian Embraer-145 airplanes. The maiden flight of the first aircraft will take place in less than one
month. In the health sector, we have been carrying out joint projects, through the Indo-
Brazilian Science Council, in areas such as Parasitology (leishmaniasis and malaria),
Microbiology (tuberculosis) and Virology (HIV/AIDS).
Among the great examples India has given the world recently, the quality leap in education and scientific research, especially in information technology, has drawn much attention. For this reason, this official visit will be a great opportunity for Brazil to sign an agreement with India under my Government’s programme “Scicence without Borders”, which will make it possible for Brazilian teachers and students to study in Indian universities. Likewise, the doors of our teaching institutions will remain open for Indian academics. It is also our goal to increase the flow of tourists, so that more Indians and Brazilians can have the opportunity to enjoy our natural beauty, our unique cuisines and the joy of our peoples.
During this visit, we intend to foster our converging interests in other areas, such as environmental issues. The Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in India, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio +20, to be held in Brazil, are rare opportunities for our countries to show their commitment to sustainable economic development, which protects the environment and expedites the social inclusion of the poorest.
Brazil and India are two emerging, dynamic economies committed to the challenge of combining sustainable economic growth with income distribution and social inclusion. Our countries have come a long way in the recent past. The fact that our association has become so much more intense in the same period is by no means just a happy coincidence. Physically distant, Brazil and India are strategic partners for a new world vision. One that is inclusive, sovereign and democratic.