Thursday, September 14, 2006

leaving part of my heart behind in Brazil

ssssh.... you are wrong ... These are not my words as you might have guessed. It was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who said this in his speech to the Brazilian dignitaries and media in Brasilia on 12 sept. He said "I have come to Brazil for the first time but I am leaving part of my heart behind". Even he could not resist the magic spell of Brazil !! His speeches came straight from the heart!! He bonded with President Lula and called him as a brother, friend and world statesman. The two agreed to upgrade the relations to a new strategic level. Expect more in bilateral relations in the coming years.

The 50 plus business delegation from India discovered the opportunities for business and complementarities of the markets. First time, such a large delegation has ever visited Brazil. The presidents of CII and FICCI as well as Vice president of Assocham were there in the first IBSA bz summit on 12 sept, along with Brasilian and South African bzmen. Agribusiness and food processing was one of the areas identified for two-way flow of investment and technology with Brazil.

The first IBSA ( India Brazil South Africa) summit took place on 13 sept. This tricontinental partnership ( cafe- with- milk alliance !!! ) of the three large pluralistic democracies and vibrant economies is set to become a formidable force. The trade betweem them is poised to reach the 10 billion dollar target set in 2004.

The Goan pop singer Remo Fernandez entertained the IBSA audience on 12 sept with his Goan, portuguese and Hindi songs and got some to the dance floor. This was organised by India Brand Equity Foundation CEO Ajay Khanna.

In the meeting of the Prime Minister with Brazilian intellectuals and cultural personalities on 13 sept, Ana Christina announced her project for a Indo- Brazilian coproduction of a film. This is based on Indrani Chakravarthy's novel "Tamarind". Part of the film shooting will be done in Goa. Another Brazilian producer is also keen to shoot a film in India. Monika Petrocelli talked about her consultancy introducing Yogasutras in management. She has earlier worked with Price waterhouse. She studied Indian philosophy in Calcutta for two years. The Brazilian economists compared the developmental experience of the two countries.

The last event was the dinner on the boat in the lake by Ambassador Puri. The credit for raising the profile of Brazil in India goes to him.

I am thrilled with the success of the visit, which has opened the minds of Indian policy makers, business and media stimulating their interest in Latin America and in the business opportunities in the region.

Many male delegates are also leaving their heart behind... I saw their eyes popping out, going up and down and sideways. Their mouths were open and saliva was flowing profusely. They were incoherent and giddy and speechless. You guessed it ....This was the effect of the young Brazilian interpreters whose maxi smiles and mini skirts floored the delegates. No wonder they needed interpretation all the time !!!

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