Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro held wide-ranging talks on Saturday, a day before the Republic Day celebrations. The leaders focussed on boosting bilateral ties in various areas including medicine, defence, scientific research and trade.
President Bolsonaro who is the Chief Guest in the Republic Day celebrations, is expected to sign around 15 agreements with PM Modi to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
The Brazilian President arrived in India on Friday. PM Modi took to Twitter to welcome the leader. "A warm welcome to President Bolsonaro! We are delighted to host him and we look forward to his taking part in our Republic Day celebrations. His visit will add strength to India-Brazil relations," said PM Modi.
A warm welcome to President @jairbolsonaro!
We are delighted to host him and we look forward to his taking part in our Republic Day celebrations.
His visit will add strength to India-Brazil relations. pic.twitter.com/Ir5xqBbeSe- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 24, 2020
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on President Bolsonaro earlier to discuss ways to enhance the ties between India and Brazil. After the meeting, Jaishankar, in a tweet, said Bolsonaro's visit will open "new opportunities" for bilateral cooperation.
The Brazilian president was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in presence of President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi upon his arrival. Bolsonaro was accompanied by his daughter Laura Bolsonaro, daughter-in-law Leticia Firmo, eight ministers, four members of the Brazilian parliament and a large business delegation.
The Brazilian president is in India primarily to grace the Republic Day celebrations on Sunday as chief guest and explore ways to boost trade ties with India at a time when both the large economies are hit by slowdown.
India's ties with Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, have been on an upswing in the last few years. The country has a population of 210 million with USD 1.8 trillion economy. The volume of bilateral trade was USD 8.2 billion in 2018-19. This included USD 3.8 billion worth of Indian exports to Brazil and USD 4.4 million as imports by India.
Indian investments in Brazil were around USD 6 billion and Brazilian investments in India are estimated at USD 1 billion in 2018.
This is President Bolsonaro's first visit to India.