- Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2020

NEW DELHI (AP) - India and Brazil agreed Saturday to boost trade and investment across a range of fields such as defense, mining, biofuel, cybersecurity, food, the environment and health.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Brazil as “a valuable partner” as he and visiting President Jair Bolsonaro witnessed the signing of 15 agreements by their officials in the Indian capital.

Bolsonaro said he was looking forward to being the chief guest at India’s National Day military and cultural parade on Sunday in New Delhi. India celebrates Jan. 26 as the anniversary of its adoption of Constitution in 1950.

Modi told reporters that the two sides have reached an agreement to promote investment in each other’s country.

India and Brazil will also work for reforms in the functioning of the United Nations, Modi said. Both India and Brazil are seeking membership on the U.N. Security Council.

India’s trade with Brazil in 2018-19 stood at more than $8 billion. Top export items from India include organic chemicals, chemical-based products, pharmaceuticals, machinery and textile products.

The main items Brazil exports to India are petroleum products, mainly crude oil, cane sugar, copper ore, soy oil and gold.

According to India’s External Affairs Ministry, Brazilian companies have invested in the automobile, information technology, mining, energy, biofuel and footwear industries in India.

Indian companies have invested in sectors such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, energy, agribusiness, mining and automobiles in Brazil.

The two leaders expressed confidence that a bilateral trade target of $15 billion could be set for 2022 by both countries, said a joint statement issued at the end of their talks.

They also emphasized the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of timely, actionable and complete information and intelligence. “They called for enhanced bilateral cooperation in this regard and agreed to cooperate against specific terrorist threats identified by each country,” the statement said.

Recognizing the industrial expertise in the defense sector of both countries, they called upon an early convening of the Joint Working Commission on Defence Industrial Cooperation and urged officials from both sides to work in the areas to be identified for cooperation by the commission, it said.

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