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External Affairs Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s remarks at Joint Press Interaction after the 4th IBSA Trilateral Commission meeting

July 17, 2007

Your Excellency, Mr. Celso Amorim, Minister of External Relations of Brazil,
Your Excellency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentleman,


We have just concluded our very fruitful and productive deliberations of the 4th IBSA Trilateral Commission meeting.

As you know, IBSA is a unique forum that brings together three large democracies from three different continents facing common challenges. It was just three years ago that the First IBSA Trilateral Commission meeting was held here in Delhi in 2004. In this period, we have identified several areas of cooperation and have been working towards enhancing cooperation in areas such as S&T, education, agriculture, energy, culture, health, social issues, public administration and revenue administration. Several IBSA Working Groups have recently held their meetings. Today we have agreed on a forward looking and substantive agenda of cooperation in the IBSA framework in sectors which are of particular interest to our three countries. We also had a valuable exchange of views on regional and international issues.

I am happy to mention that the trade target of US $ 10 billion amongst our three countries by 2007 is expected to be achieved. It will be our endeavour to further increase trade and investment flows amongst us.

India has a strategic partnership with both Brazil and South Africa. We value these partnerships and are determined to add significant content to them in the years to come. We are looking at new areas of cooperation and also strengthening existing areas of cooperation keeping in view each other’s needs and strengths.

As IBSA evolves, I am confident, it will acquire new dimensions. It will be our endeavour to see that IBSA moves to a yet higher level of cooperation, beneficial to our three countries. This will make IBSA an outstanding example of South-South Cooperation.

I am happy to announce that the Second IBSA Summit will be held in South Africa later this year. I would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Amorim and Her Excellency Dr. Zuma for attending the 4th IBSA Trilateral Commission meeting.

Thank you.

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