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India, Brazil set trade target of USD 15 bn by 2015

Rio de Janeiro: India on Thursday sought investments from Brazil, mainly in the infrastructure sector for which it needs USD 1 trillion over the next five years, as the two countries set bilateral trade target of USD 15 billion by 2015.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on a 4-day visit to Brazil, said businessmen of both the countries can cooperate in sectors like agriculture, textiles, IT, infrastructure and pharmaceuticals.

"Huge opportunities are available in both the countries. Currently the bilateral trade is at USD 10 billion. Both the sides have fixed the target of USD 15 billion by 2015. Trade is increasing but huge potential is there to further boost it," Sharma said here at a function.

He sought investments from Brazil in setting up of the National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZs).

The government is taking several steps to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP to at least 25 per cent by 2020 from 16 per cent at present. For this, a new National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) was announced recently, which envisages setting up of NMIZs.

They will be mega industrial zones with world-class supporting infrastructure. The government is offering a host of incentives and a liberalised labour and environment norms to promote these zones.

Sharma, who is leading a Ficci business delegation here, said that entrepreneurs of India and Barzil can also come together in other areas of infrastructure like ports, airports and railways.

"India is expected to absorb about USD 1 trillion investments in the infrastructure sector in the next five years. Brazilian companies should participate in it," he said.

Besides, industry chambers, the minister met his Brazilian counterpart Fernando Pimentel in Brasilia and discussed ways to increase economic cooperation.

Ficci President R V Kanoria said education is one of the important sectors for both the countries for increasing engagement.

"Several Indian companies can help in this sector. We have expertise in distant education field. Our present trade is concentrated in oil and its by-products. The potential between the two countries allows us to expand and diversify our trade," Kanoria added.

At present, few Indian companies like Renuka Sugars are operating in Brazil, while some Brazilian firms are operating in India in sectors such as biofuels.

Brazilian industry also sought investments from India in infrastructure sector in the wake of Olympics game being hosted by Brazil in 2016.

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