Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, who will be the chief guest on Republic Day, arrived in New Delhi on Friday on a four-day visit from January 24-28.
Bolsanaro agreed to visit India last November when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met him at the BRICS Summit.
Why is Brazilian Prez visit Important for India?
This is the first visit to India for Bolsonaro. Both the countries have been hit by slowdowns and Bolsonaro’s visit will help boost trade ties, especially in the fields of energy, agriculture and defence.
Both countries are members of several multilateral fora, such as BRICS, IBSA, G-20, and G-4. Moreover, Bolsonaro’s invite came after he announced last year that Indians will be allowed visa-free travel to Brazil.
Due to the requirement of crude oil by India, the importance of South American countries has also gone up, especially after Venezuela which was India’s fourth-largest supplier, came under US sanctions along with Iran. Iran’s crude oil imports from Brazil have been on the rise once again, after a drastic fall in 2015-16, when India imported $1.24 billion worth of crude oil- a decline of almost 51% from the $2.51 billion worth of crude oil imported in 2014-15. in 2018-19, India’s crude oil imports from Brazil were close to $1.6 billion.
Moreover, Brazil wants India to cut its import taxes on chicken and chicken products, so it can cash in on India’s increasing demand for poultry and poultry products as incomes rise and food habits change. India imposes a 100% import tax on chicken products and a 30% duty on whole chickens, too high for countries such as Brazil and the United States to gain a foothold in the market, where the poultry industry is growing at more than a 10% a year.
Indian investments in Brazil were around $6 billion in 2018 while Brazilian investments in India were approximately $1 billion. Brazilian investments in India are mainly in automobiles, IT, mining, energy and biofuels sectors. India has invested in Brazil’s IT, pharmaceutical, energy, agri-business, mining, and engineering sectors.