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New Delhi, Nov. 15

THE State of Sao Paulo can be a significant platform for enhancing bilateral trade between India and Brazil, according to Dr Geraldo Jose Rodrigues Alckmin, Governor of Sao Paulo.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) here on Monday, Dr Alckmin invited Indian business community to increase partnership in sectors where both sides have complementarities and also in the segment of specialised services.

In particular, he highlighted the importance of ethanol as a source of clean fuel. The Sao Paulo Governor suggested that this fuel could be used in India, as it was an economically competitive as well as an environment-friendly product. He also said that the development of the flexfuel cars has the potential to revolutionise the world's energy matrix.

The annual bilateral trade between India and the State of Sao Paulo is estimated at about $ 1 billion, which represents about 40 per cent of the bilateral trade between India and Brazil.

Responding to a query on whether duty structures between Brazil and the US are comparable, the Sao Paulo Governor said that Brazil was discussing a tax reform to make the tax system more efficient and simple. It was indicated that there might be a reduction in tax rates. An Indian businessman raised this query in view of the fact that a majority of goods from India go to Brazil via the US.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, highlighted that India's trade engagement with the world this fiscal may touch $330 billion and that there was ample opportunity for India and Brazil to expand bilateral trade through business-to-business contacts.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 16, 2005)
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