Area of Cooperation


Agriculture

A Joint Development Project in the agriculture sector has been undertaken in Guinea Bissau.  This project, though a series of strategic interventions, envisages support for the national authorities for the development of capabilities for the sustainable management and use of agricultural and livestock resources.  This would, it is expected, increase income of targeted communities and groups. 

  1. The project has the following objectives:

  2. To increase production to reduce country’s rice deficit;

  3. Improvement and diversification of horticulture;

  4. Improvement of short-cycle livestock production;

  5. Promotion and development of small and medium scale agro-industry.

IBSA Ministers of Agriculture met in Rome on 22nd November 2005 on the margins of a FAO Conference.  This was followed by a meeting of IBSA Senior Officials in Agriculture in New Delhi on 18 & 19 January 2006.  The meeting discussed a draft MOU for trilateral cooperation in agriculture and allied fields.  The draft provides for the development of action plans for cooperation in research and capacity building; agriculture & trade; and rural development & poverty alleviation.

Climate Change (Information Awaited)

Culture

The WG on Culture was established in March 2005, during the Cape Town Trilateral Meeting. IBSA countries agreed to host regular cultural activities, one in each country. The WG facilitates the implementation of the agreed decisions on cultural issues of the Trilateral Meeting.

Defence

The WG on Defense is exploring possible areas of cooperation amongst the three countries.

Education

Education, a powerful instrument for achieving the goals of social equality, had been included by the Governments of India, Brazil and South Africa as an area of cooperation in Brasilia Declaration.  India is the lead country in education sector.

At the 2nd IBSA Focal Points Meeting held on 29th November 2004, the following three major areas of cooperation were identified for collaboration in the education sector: -  

  1. Open and Distance Education  

  2. Higher & Professional Education; and

  3. Universal Mass Education with special emphasis on quality and gender equality.

 Each of the three countries are to host one Round Table on one of the selected themes. The theme of the Universal Mass Education with special emphasis on quality and gender equality was chosen by India, Open and Distance Education by South Africa and Higher and Professional education by Brazil.

Energy

The WG aims to promote the production and use of Bio-fuels as environmentally friendly and sustainable fuels that would promote socio-economic development, taking into consideration their global importance. The WG also creates an opportunity for information exchanges on Renewable energy and the Bio-fuels value chain.

Health

The focus of the WG on Health is on the exchange of information and best practices in the following areas of co-operation: epidemiology surveillance; sanitary regulations; traditional medicines; and related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Information Society

The WG reached an agreement on the content of the ?IBSA Framework for Cooperation on Information Society. This framework sets up the basis and defines the areas of cooperation in the fields of Information Society and Communication Technologies. The WG is also responsible for the design and configuration of the IBSA website hosted by South Africa.

Science and Technology

Science & Technology was one of the key areas identified for tri-lateral cooperation in the Brasilia Declaration.

Activities in this area are guided through annual meetings of the S&T Ministers of  India, Brazil and South Africa. The inaugural meeting of the IBSA Science & Technology Ministers was held in New Delhi on October 25, 2004. The Second IBSA Ministerial meeting on S&T Cooperation was held in Rio de Janeiro on 8-9 June 2005.

  The following are the approved areas of research cooperation and the corresponding lead countries

  1. TB : South Africa

  2. Malaria : Brazil

  3. HIV/AIDS : India

  4. Nanotechnology : India

  5. Biotechnology : South Africa

  6. Oceanography : Brazil

Activities in each area are implemented by experts designated as Area Coordinators. Based on their recommendations, a calender of activities is recommended by the IBSA Trilateral Working Group on Science & Technology for approval by the IBSA S&T Ministerial meeting. The IBSA Trilateral Working Group on Science & Technology has met three times : Cape Town, South Africa (7-9 March, 2005) , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (8-9 June 2005 and 28 - 30 March 2006).

 Workshops in the following areas have been held:

  1. Nano-technology in India on 19 April 2005
  2. HIV Aids in India on 26 May 2005
  3. Functional Genomics, Life Science, GM and Agriculture in India on 18 & 19 July 2006.
  4. Malaria in South Africa on 4-7 September 2005
  5. Oceanography & Antartic Research in Brazil from 14-16 September 2006
  6. HIV/AIDS in South Africa from 2-4 October 2005

Social Issues (Information Awaited)

Tourism

The WG intends to promote tourism between the regions through visits by specialized travel journalists from IBSA countries.

Trade

The coming together of India, Brazil and South Africa to strengthen trilateral economic partnership is a major development in the area of South-South Co-operation. There are significant synergies between the three countries – India, Brazil and South Africa, as they have developed substantial capabilities in different sectors over many years.   

The IBSA Economic Ministers met in New Delhi in March 2005 and decided to put in place arrangements  for identifying & eliminating the non-tariff barriers which impede mutual trade.  To this end, Brazil, India and South Africa have agreed on a common action plan, which includes establishment of a mechanism to exchange information and experiences between the Parties on various regulatory issues, organizing sector-specific seminars and workshops on technical regulations and conformity assessment, identifying possibilities of harmonizing standards to facilitate trade, etc.  

 Another key area for trade facilitation is customs co-operation. At the Working Group Meeting on Trade held on 28 & 29 March 2006 in Brazil, the possibility of a Trilateral Agreement on Customs Cooperation  was discussed.   

Sectoral cooperation and sharing of expertise and experiences particularly in the field of energy, agriculture and food processing, gem and jewellery, tourism, entertainment and animation industry and financial sector & banking are also being considered.  

It has been decided to promote co-operation in SME sector. For this purpose, common terms of reference for a study has been developed which would explore areas of complementary advantage. This could contribute substantially to cooperation between the SMEs, as all the three countries have very rich experience in promotion of small & medium enterprises and micro-enterprises. This can have profound development implications.  

Transport

The WG focuses on cooperation between the three countries on areas such as air link expansions, training and knowledge sharing in airports and airspace management, port management, operational and infrastructural systems, including capacity building in shipbuilding, environmental management and navigational systems. Discussions on maritime and air transport agreements are considered within this WG.

The development of transshipment facilities in order to support the IBSA trade strategy which advocates for the creation of South-South shipping highway that integrate sub-regional connection between MERCOSUL, SACU and Indian regions, is a priority area for the WG.

 

Nodal Points

■ India

■ Brazil ■ South Africa