Cover Story: IBSA
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh receives the Guard of Honour at the welcome ceremony at the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia


The India, Brasil, South Africa summit turned out to be major affair as the bonhomie between the leaders clearly shows. Going by its success, this club is likely to go places

During the Cold War, the world was bipolar. After the implosion of the USSR, it became uni-polar. Today there is a third axis that is shaping up as a major power centre—India, Brazil and South Africa or IBSA as the grouping has come to be known. Of course, unlike the earlier major blocs that were built on military or ideological basis, IBSA is purely economy-development oriented. 

The initial purpose of IBSA was to create a loose alliance that could present a cohesive voice at the bargaining sessions anticipated for the Doha Rounds, and which would exert pressure on the rich nations in order to achieve common positions in UN Security Council deliberations. IBSA has further amplified its presence in an annual dialogue involving the foreign ministers of India, Brazil, and South Africa to discuss the development issues.

The first IBSA Business Summit was held on September 12 in Brasilia. Launched in March 2005 at Cape Town, the IBSA Business Council aims at exploring synergies for the promotion of trade and economic co-operation among India, Brazil and South Africa. Heads of states from all the three countries visited Brasilia on these dates to attend the summit. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with the heads of states from Brazil and South Africa addressed the summit.

After the signing of the usual agreements and the mandatory flesh pumping, what lingered was the feeling that finally here was a club where India could get some business done. The Non-Aligned Summit that followed immediately after IBSA clearly illustrated the futility of groups with disparate interests.



October 2006

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