India shall invest US$ 6 billion in Brazil

indiaConsul Geral da Índia em São Paulo, Amit Kumar Mishra. Crédito: CCSV. Fonte: Beco da Índia.

Apart by a half-world distance, Brazil and India are not so far away when it comes to business. Both countries are part of BRICS, and they have always been apt to strengthen their partnerships. After the recent agreements signed, trade between them grew by 57% in two months (Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade).  In 2020, Brazil already bought US$ 441 million in Indian goods, and Brazilian exports to India increased 46%, reaching US$ 155 million.

The Consul General of India in Brazil, Amit Kumar Mishra, is a career diplomat, and he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 2004. In his postings abroad, he has dealt with political, commercial, education, cultural
and diaspora issues. The consul opened the doors of his office to give an interview to AgriBrasilis, in which he discussed the mutual commercial interests between the countries.

AgriBrasilis – What is the importance of Brazil entering the Indian market and vice versa?
Consul General of India –  The fact that both countries are emerging economies, means we have similar
problems. We have a strong strategic relationship. I think we were too involved with other partners and we
did not pay enough attention to Brazil. On the other hand, if I had to be fair to companies on this and that side, Indian companies did a better job of discovering Brazil than Brazilian ones in discovering India.

This year, our leaders, agreed on the ambitious goal of doubling trade in the next two years. I hope that we
will also discover ourselves in the economic sense, because there is still a lot to be created.

AgriBrasilis – What was the purpose of the Brazilian president’s visit to India in January?
Consul General of India – Prime Minister Modi visited Brasilia for the BRICS Summit, and he extended an invitation to Bolsonaro as the main guest on Republic Day During the event, fifteen agreements were signed, covering a wide range of subjects. Among them are: biofuels, sugar and ethanol industry, genomic evaluation in livestock, defense industry, research centers in India. I hope that the agreements will help us to bridge the existing gap between both developing countries.

AgriBrasilis – What is the importance of the BRICS to make economic agreements with each other?
Consul General of India – BRICS is seen as the next bloc of emerging economies that will drive the world. Collectively, we are able to better handle the growth and stability of the economy. All five countries have common challenges. BRICS’s economy represents perhaps 40% of the global economy, targeting US$ 500 billion trade within these countries.

A good example would be research targeting cure for dengue; if you give US$ 100 million to the Brazilian government, the results would probably not be the same level if you distributed US$ 100 million in five laboratories. Jointly, we find better solutions. Together, we have the monetary, human and intellectual resources to solve problems.

AgriBrasilis – Brazilian investments in India do not reach US$ 1 billion while Indian investments in Brazil represent almost US$ 6 billion. What is expected from these investments?
Consul General of India – Thinking of India, we are a market of 1.3 billion people. Estimates confirms that our economy will grow four times. How does an exporting country like Brazil ignores a market that
will become the world’s second largest economic power? Our agricultural area is not going to increase much, our mining sector is not as well developed as Brazil’s.

On the other hand, we managed to export in science and technology in general. Definitely there are areas where we can contribute mutually. An example is the satellite created by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) that will be launched by India and will be used to monitor deforestation in the Amazon.

AgriBrasilis – Why was Brazil chosen as the partner country in India’s energy supply?
Consul General of India – Brazil is simply the best in the field of biofuels. We are not blessed with energy resources, it is the highest amount we spend on imports. So, one of the possibilities is to increase ethanol production in India. The Brazilian experience with biofuels is quite extensive and, now, with flex vehicles, there is a new market that also provided some kind of stability to the sugarcane agricultural
system. We intend to increase the ethanol content in our gasoline from 7% to 20%.

AgriBrasilis – How is the Indian sugarenergy sector today?
Consul General of India – Indian agriculture is different: there are millions of people involved in subsistence, and we don’t have large properties, nor do we have corporate agriculture. Our industry suffers ups and downs. We want to be like Brazil in the area of biofuels. We want our mills to get into that, not only to make more money, but also to make this a stable source of income for farmers.

AgriBrasilis – In the agriculture, what perspectives can arise from our partnerships?
Consul General of India – We want to know how Brazil went from being an active agricultural importer to the second largest exporter on the planet. In India, we struggle with logistics, cold storage etc. Our estimates of post harvest losses are about $15 billion, in some products, even 30 to 40% of agricultural production is lost between the farm and the supermarket. Recently, India has opened up to Brazilian exports of chicken and oak. As things grow, we expect this to be reflected in business numbers.

AgriBrasilis – Can large companies like UPL be more present in the Brazilian market after these agreements?
Consul General of India – I would say that Indian companies are more active here, and UPL is one of the good examples of growth. Their coming to Brazil means that Indian corporations can settle here. UPL has a stable presence and has announced some investments and plans for the next five years, in terms of adapting to research, to expand the existing network. It just tends to grow more.

AgriBrasilis – What is the importance of environmental issues in the signed agreements?
Consul General of India –
The indian prime minister has committed to the Paris Agreement; we have a huge solar energy expansion program; and this year, we will have 100 gigawatts of renewable energy storage capacity. India invited all countries to be part of a global coalition to place such energy as the preferred power generation, and Brazil joined it. We handle environmental challenges better as a group;
together we can reduce the impacts and be prepared for them.