India, Brazil hold first '2+2' defence and foreign ministerial dialogue

GS Paper II

News Excerpt:

India and Brazil on Thursday explored ways to expand cooperation in areas of energy, critical minerals, technology and counter-terrorism at their first ‘2+2’ defence and foreign ministerial dialogue.

More about the news: 

  • Discussions spanned defence, space, energy, critical minerals, tech, counter-terrorism and regional, multilateral & other issues of mutual interest. 
  • It was co-chaired by an additional secretary in the external affairs ministry and joint secretary in the defence ministry. 
  • The Brazilian delegation was led by Director at the Brazilian foreign ministry and Rear Admiral Fernando de Luca Marques de Oliviera.

About 2+2 Dialogue

  • The 2+2 meetings involve the attendance of two prominent ministers or secretaries from the Defense and Foreign Affairs sectors from both nations, with the objective of enhancing dialogue between them. 
  • This framework enables partners to gain deeper insights into each other's strategic priorities, fostering a stronger and more cohesive strategic partnership. 
  • India holds the 2+2 dialogue with the USA, UK, Russia, Japan, Australia.

India-Brazil Relations:

  • Bilateral Relations & Partnership: India and Brazil enjoy a close and diverse relationship, both bilaterally and within various plurilateral forums such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, and the International Solar Alliance. They also collaborate within larger multilateral bodies including the UN, WTO, UNESCO, and WIPO. Designated as Strategic Partners since 2006, their bond is founded upon a shared global vision, democratic principles, and a mutual dedication to promoting economic growth with social inclusivity for the benefit of their respective populations.
  • Historical Roots: Pedro Alvares Cabral, a Portuguese explorer, landed on the East Coast of Brazil in 1500, two years after Vasco de Gama had landed in India. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Brazil and Goa, both outposts of the Portuguese imperialist empire, had bilateral exchanges that are reflected in food and dressing as well as local traditions. Another remarkable, but relatively unknown facet of India-Brazil bilateral relations is that the bulk of Brazilian cattle are of Indian origin. More recently, the popularity of a Brazilian tele-novella called ‘Caminho das Indias’ (Paths of India) has had a great impact in enhancing awareness of India in the minds of the Brazilian public.
  • Diplomatic Relations: Diplomatic relations were established in 1948, with both countries opening embassies in the same year. India has a Consulate General in Sao Paulo, while Brazil has one in Mumbai. India opened its embassy in Rio de Janeiro in 1948, later moving it to Brasilia in 1971. The Indian Consulate General in Sao Paulo, the industrial and commercial hub of Brazil, was opened in 1996. The Brazilian Embassy has been functional in India since 1949 and has a Consulate General in Mumbai.

Why Brazil is Important to us:

  • Brazil holds strategic significance for India due to its abundant natural resources and expanding markets, offering substantial opportunities for collaboration across diverse sectors.
  • As a critical supplier of minerals and hydrocarbons, Brazil, particularly in crude petroleum oil, plays a vital role in supporting India's economic growth trajectory.
  • With its status as the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil serves as an attractive destination for Indian investors and businesses, fostering bilateral economic engagement.
  • India and Brazil, both influential players in the Global South, collaborate closely on various global issues within multilateral forums, advocating for the interests of developing nations and promoting multilateralism.

Areas of Cooperation between India and Brazil:

  • Institutional Mechanisms: As strategic partners, India and Brazil maintain several institutional mechanisms to facilitate coordination across different facets of their bilateral relationship, including strategic dialogue, trade monitoring, defense cooperation, and joint committees on science and technology.
  • Trade and Investment: The bilateral trade between India and Brazil has witnessed substantial growth, with India emerging as Brazil's fifth-largest trading partner in 2021. Major exports from India include agrochemicals, synthetic yarns, and auto components, while Brazil exports crude oil, gold, and vegetable oil to India. Investments between the two countries span various sectors such as automobiles, IT, mining, energy, biofuels, and footwear, reflecting the diversification and depth of their economic collaboration.
  • Defense and Security Cooperation: India and Brazil signed a defense cooperation agreement in 2003, institutionalizing mechanisms like the Joint Defense Committee to enhance collaboration in defense and security. The two nations also engage in strategic dialogue, addressing regional and global challenges of mutual concern, with recent agreements focusing on cybersecurity cooperation.
  • Cooperation in Biofuels, Oil & Gas: With Brazil boasting significant crude oil reserves, the collaboration between India and Brazil extends to the energy sector, particularly in biofuels and oil & gas. Efforts to increase the blending percentage of biofuels with petrol and diesel align with the shared objectives of both countries' national policies, facilitating cooperation in this critical area.
  • Multilateral Cooperation: India and Brazil collaborate closely within various plurilateral and multilateral forums like BRICS, BASIC, and IBSA, leveraging their collective influence to advocate for common developmental goals and promote South-South cooperation.
  • Science and Technology: Cooperation between India and Brazil in science and technology spans space exploration, satellite monitoring, and agricultural research, facilitating knowledge exchange and capacity-building initiatives.
  • Cultural Relations: Cultural exchanges between India and Brazil, supported by initiatives like the Cultural Exchange Programme, foster mutual understanding and appreciation for each other's heritage, with yoga and Ayurveda gaining popularity in Brazil.
  • Challenges in the Bilateral Relationship between India and Brazil: Despite the growing partnership, challenges persist, including trade competition in agricultural products, concerns over sugarcane subsidies, limited people-to-people contacts, and the influence of China in the region.


The diplomatic relationship between India and Brazil, reaching its 75th year in 2023, has undergone significant evolution, driven by common democratic principles, a shared global vision, and a mutual dedication to development. Nevertheless, like any relationship, challenges persist, serving as opportunities for strengthening bonds. To bolster their partnership, India and Brazil must explore new avenues for collaboration, tackle trade obstacles, foster cultural exchanges and interpersonal connections, improve energy cooperation, and increase involvement in multilateral platforms.

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