Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2020.

Prime Minister Modi met Bolsonaro on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS Summit, which is being held in Brasilia.

During his meeting with Bolsonaro, Prime Minister Modi invited the President of Brazil to be the chief guest at the Republic Day in 2020. Bolsonaro accepted the invitation with pleasure. “Both leaders agreed that on this occasion, the two countries can comprehensively enhance our strategic partnership,” an official statement said.

Former French President François Hollande was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2016. In 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of United Arab Emirates took part in the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest.

The year 2018 was historic as leaders of the 10 ASEAN nations attended the event as chief guests.

In 2019, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was in attendance as the chief guest. He was the second South African president, after Nelson Mandela, to attend the grand event as its chief guest.

Talking trade

Modi and Bolsonaro held “fruitful talks” to strengthen the bilateral ties.

Modi said that he looked forward to discussing matters relating to trade. He also outlined areas for potential investment from Brazil, including in areas of agricultural equipment, animal husbandry, post-harvest technologies and biofuels, the statement said.

The Brazilian President expressed his readiness and informed Prime Minister Modi that a large business delegation will accompany him to India, it said, adding that the two leaders also discussed other areas of cooperation including space and defence sectors.

Modi also welcomed the decision of the President to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.