India and Brazil on Saturday signed as many as 15 agreements in areas ranging from energy and trade to cybersecurity and set an ambitious target of $15 billion bilateral trade by 2022, given the complementarities between their economies. They also unveiled an elaborate ‘Action Plan’, laying out a clear road-map for enhancing bilateral engagement.

The agreements were signed after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazil President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on Sunday.

”India and Brazil, two big democracies and developing economies, have similar views on many important global and multilateral issues, be it terrorism or climate change. We are partners in groupings like BRICS and IBSA. We will continue to jointly make efforts for reforms in the UN Security Council and other international organisations,” Modi said at a brief media interaction after talks between the two leaders.

On his part, Bolsonaro said the two countries have further consolidated the already strong ties by signing 15 agreements providing for cooperation in a range of areas. “I am very excited to be here in India and to take part in the national Republic Day. We will use this opportunity to be close to India and the bilateral ties will be substantially boosted by this visit,” said the Brazilian leader who is accompanied by a number of his ministers and a large business delegation on the four-day visit.

The two leaders recognised that agriculture was the key focus area of bilateral cooperation. On the issue of support given by India to sugarcane growers, the matter on which Brazil has filed a WTO dispute, it was agreed to address the issue through bilateral consultations.

Defence was among the key areas identified by the two leaders for strengthening cooperation between their two countries. According to the ‘Action Plan’, the two countries would encourage greater collaboration between their respective defence industrial bases and work towards concluding an MoU in the area of cybersecurity. They would also work to conclude an agreement on cooperation in combating international terrorism and transnational organised crime. Brazil would participate in a big way at the Indian ‘DefExpo 2020’ to be held in Lucknow next month, Modi said.

Among the agreements signed by the two countries, one was on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and another on social security.

This is the first state visit of President Bolsonaro to India. Earlier, India has received Presidents of Brazil as chief guests for the Republic Day Parade in 1996 and 2004.

Bilateral trade between India and Brazil increased to USD 8.2 billion in 2018-19. This included $3.8 billion as Indian exports to Brazil and $4.4 million as imports by India.