Foreign Ministers of India- Brazil-South Africa(IBSA) met today in delhi. This trilateral partnership , formed in 2003 is becoming stronger and stronger. The three cooperate in a number of areas and take common positions on WTO, intellectural property and other issues of common interest.
In the first IBSA meeting in delhi in 2004, they had set a trilateral trade target of 10 billion dollars in 2007, which is being exceeded. They are facilitating trade between the three through harmonisation of standards, customs cooperation and participation in trade fairs. They are trying to improve air connectivity and shipping.
IBSA has decided to initiate talks for a FTA between India, Mercosur and SACU. When this comes about, it will become one of the largest economic spaces in the world with a GDP of 3 trillion dollars and 1.3 billion people.
The next IBSA summit will be held in South Africa in october 2007. During the last IBSA summit in sept 2006 in Brazil, there was a summit of IBSA businessmen.
I call the IBSA alliance as a " cafe con leche" ( coffee with milk) partnership.