IBSA: Connectivity will ensure the way forward

by Dave

The Financial Express

Intra-nation connectivity is a major impediment to furthering trade between India, South Africa and Brazil, and “I hope the governments of these three countries would take active measures to correct this,” said union commerce minister Kamal Nath, while addressing the summit.

Nath expressed the hope that the business leaders from these three countries would join hands with their respective governments to bring about early improvements in both air and maritime connectivity.
The closer relations between Brazil, South Africa and India have made it possible for their tri-lateral trade to more than double between 2003 and 2007, from $4.6 billion to $10.1 billion, which corresponds to an average annual growth rate of 21.8%.

Chairing one of the sessions Jayant Pendharkar, vice-president and head, Global Marketing, Tata Consultancy Services, said that India offered a unique combination of cost reduction and skills and experience in many business and technological domains, which could be utilised by both Brazil and South Africa.

To promote intra-IBSA trade, it has been recommended that the three governments could consider reducing both tariff and non-tariff barriers on imports from each other. Improved shipping and air links between the three countries will not only increase intra-IBSA trade, but also have a beneficial effect on inter-regional economic exchanges. Importantly, the focus has to be on reducing the cost of doing business in the three countries by making available affordable transportation and logistics support. IBSA could enhance information sharing on business opportunities in the three countries.

Improving transport remains a key issue among IBSA countries and a lot needs to be done in this direction. In terms of technical cooperation, the areas are: tele medicines, consulting and radiology; alliance focused on healthcare informatics; developing health insurance for the poor and prevention care including hygiene, nutrition, prevention of environmental health hazards, mentions CII.

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