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Celso Amorim is the intellectual founder of the IBSA concept. Now he wants the three countries to create a “large economic space” linking Mercosur and Sacu as well.
17 July 2007
Brazil for IBSA link to Mercosur, SACU
New Delhi: Brazil is floating the idea of the IBSA forum which links India, Brazil and South Africa together eventually forming a “big economic space” with the South American common market, Mercosur, and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and hopes that the forthcoming summit of the trilateral grouping will take it up for consideration.
Speaking to TheHindu here in an exclusive interview on Monday, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said the emergence of such a large economic space would place India, Brazil and South Africa in a better position to face the Nor th “in a creative, competitive way.”
On Tuesday, the IBSA Foreign Ministers will meet to take stock of what the trans-continental forum has achieved so far and chart an agenda for the October summit to be held in South Africa.
Describing IBSA as a creative attempt to energise South-South cooperation, Mr. Amorim acknowledged that the three countries had only so far “scratched the surface” in terms of mutual cooperation.
He blamed “closed bureaucratic and entrepreneurial practices” for the slow pace, especially when it came to the formation of joint ventures.
Asked about last month’s meeting in Potsdam, where the United States, the European Union, Brazil and India sought to find a way to revive the stalled Doha round of trade talks, Mr. Amorim said “the rich countries underestimated our sense of balance and dignity.” He said it was no longer possible for the rich countries to negotiate among themselves and present a “readymade solution” to the developing countries.
Even now, he added, a solution was not impossible but the U.S. and the E.U. had to realise Doha was meant to be a development round and not a round where they pressed for advantages.
To a question about the possibility of bilateral nuclear cooperation between Brazil and India including the fuel cycle once the Nuclear Suppliers Group alters its guidelines, Mr. Amorim said he did not foresee any problem so long as there was an effective safeguards agreement.