On the sidelines of the 11th BRICS Summit in Brazil, book "Brazil-India Relations Beyond the 70 years" will be released by KV Kamath, President of the New Development Bank in the presence of business representatives from the two countries. The book which is in English is expected to be released in Portuguese in the near future. The book which has contributions from scholars and diplomats from both countries has proposals on how to advance Brazil-India relations in areas like defence, science and technology, peacekeeping, sustainable development, renewable energy and financial inclusion.
The book has been edited by Karin Costa Vazquez, Professor, Assistant Dean and Executive Director of the Center for African Latin American and Caribbean Studies at OP Jindal Global University. She is also Fudan Scholar at the Center for BRICS Studies, Fudan University, China.
Ms Vazquez, probably the only Brazilian scholar who has lived and worked in both countries, talks to Huma Siddiqui about the book. Following are excerpts:
The book is going to be released on the sidelines of the CEOs Meet. Who is releasing it? What is so special about the book?
The President of Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation (FUNAG), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil at the India-Brazil CEO Forum will release the book. KV Kammath, President of the New Development Bank will be at the event along with approximately 80 businesspeople from the two countries.
Brazil-India relations remain remarkably underexplored by academics and policymakers of the two countries. The book fills in this gap by offering a perspective view on the potential of a greater Indo-Brazilian collaboration in the areas of science, technology and innovation; trade and investment; defence; sustainable development and combating poverty; governance; multilateral cooperation; and civil society exchanges.
There are other experts who have contributed to the book…How did you identify them?
In 2017 the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at OP Jindal Global University launched an open call for articles inviting Brazilian and Indian scholars to contribute single-authored or co-authored articles (articles co-authored by one scholar from each country were particularly encouraged) on themes relevant to the next 70 years of India-Brazil relations. Nearly 20 articles were received out of which the 9 best were selected.
What role did the Embassy of Brazil in New Delhi and the Government of Brazil play in this book?
The embassy of Brazil gave institutional support and launched the call for articles. The embassy also helped disseminate the call for articles to Brazilian Universities. And Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão, from the Ministry of External Affairs published the book.
Last but not least, both countries are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations. What more can be done to enhance bilateral relations?
Brazil is the biggest economy in Latin America and the largest trade partner of India in the region with a bilateral trade of US$ 8.6 billion in 2017-2018. But the potential of Brazil-India strategic partnership goes far beyond economic relations. Our scholars can assist policymakers to identify new opportunities for collaboration by bringing fresh views and new perspectives. They may contribute to confirm-or redefine-priority areas and to advance projects of common interest.