On 2nd July, 2021, the first webinar in the series of “India, Brazil & the Future,” was co-organized by the Takshashila Institution and the Embassy of Brazil. The conversation brought together Andrea Aranha Correa do Lago, Ambassador of Brazil to India and Suresh K. Reddy, Ambassador of India to Brazil to talk about how the India-Brazil strategic partnership which was established in 2006 can be strengthened. They discussed a plethora of topics ranging from similarities of demographic, environmental and cultural diversity between the two countries, potential for collaboration in the sectors of energy, space, agriculture, healthcare and emerging technologies, enhancing tourism, and the significance of India and Brazil in ensuring global achievement of SDGs 2030.
Nitin Pai, Director of Takshashila Institution, posed a question on the journey shared by India and Brazil as strategic partners, to both the Ambassadors. “One of the problems of the relationship (between India and Brazil) is that there are no problems”, pointed out Amb. Andrea Aranha Correa do Lago. Amb. Reddy shared a similar view when he said that the relationship is too good to occupy headlines. Both of them expressed resentment at not being considered global powers.
When questioned about the competitive nature of the relationship, Amb. Correa do Lago said “We are complementary (to each other), not competitors”. He appreciated the Indian space program and the visit of the Brazilian delegation to ISRO. Amb. Reddy praised the public healthcare system of Brazil and its prowess in agriculture as role models for the world. He drew attention to the brazilian poultry industry exploring the growing Indian market of protein rich food.
Similar views on climate change negotiations form the backbone of the present strategic partnership between India and Brazil. Both the ambassadors asserted the positive role played by Ethanol in strengthening the bilateral relationship. Amb. Reddy sees a scope for collaboration and cooperation here, to reduce crude oil imports of India, ensure sustainability of sugarcane farmers and profitability of sugar distilleries, and ensure stability in the global sugar market which will be mutually beneficial for both the countries. Amb. Correa do Lago also talked about the potential of biomass pellets as a substitute for coal.
The ambassadors hope to work towards building better understanding and knowledge in their respective nations about the other by leveraging tourism opportunities presented by shared colonial history, increasing popularity of Bollywood and Indian web series in Brazil, rising demand for coffee in India, and evolving market for fintech and agritech in both the nations.
You can watch the full conversation on YouTube.