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Cablegate: Brazil: New Delhi Ibas Summit Ensures Continuity

VZCZCXRO1604
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1435 3081138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031138Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2783
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 7182
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5915
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7581
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0595
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0655
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0699
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8648
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6818
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3002

UNCLAS BRASILIA 001435

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD IN SF BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: NEW DELHI IBAS SUMMIT ENSURES CONTINUITY

REF: NEW DELHI 2763

1. (SBU) Summary. Brazilian diplomats say Brazil was
satisfied with the October 15 India)Brazil-South Africa
(IBAS) Summit in New Delhi because it strengthened IBAS and
should ensure its continuity after the upcoming changes in
member state governments. The IBAS Fund is capitalized at
only twelve million dollars, but leaders approved four new
development projects and a second phase for two existing
projects. A leading goal of IBAS continues to be increasing
and diversifying trade flows among the three, with a goal of
25 billion dollars by 2015. Brazil will assume the IBAS
secretariat in 2009 and host the next summit a year from now.
End summary.

2. (SBU) Poloff met on October 21 with Counselor Joao
Genesio de Almeida, director of the IBAS Division at the
Ministry of External Relations. Almeida said Brazil
considers the summit a success because IBAS's continuity is
now increasingly ensured despite the inevitable changes in
member state governments. This was Brazil's overriding goal
and it was achieved, he said. IBAS is still pursuing other
goals that have not yet reached their potential, he added,
citing Brazil's interest in increasing trade flows, creating
investment opportunities, and increasing trade in medicines
and technology. He noted that IBAS already has done a lot to
fill "voids" in the bilateral relationships Brazil had with
India and South Africa, and that this occurred "very
quickly." Brazil's long-range goal is "convergence," Almeida
said, and it has been going very well.

IBAS Fund

3. (SBU) At the summit, leaders agreed to advance two
existing IBAS Fund projects to a second phase ) solid waste
collection in Haiti and agricultural development in
Guinea-Bissau -- and to initiate four new projects. The new
projects are a sports complex in Ramallah; an HIV/AIDS clinic
in Burundi; a water management project in Laos; and a
desalinization project in Cape Verde. The IBAS Fund was
conceived in 2004 as a fund to combat hunger and poverty,
according to MRE briefing papers available online
(www2.mre.gov.br/ibas/). Almeida said the IBAS Fund is
currently capitalized at twelve million dollars, with seven
million designated for Fund projects and the remainder
unallocated.

Challenges: Transportation, Trade, and the IBAS Mechanism

5. (SBU) Almeida cited increasing commerce and
transportation links among the three countries as a major
challenge Brazil would like to address. IBAS has set a goal
of increasing total three-way commerce from the current eight
billion dollars a year to 15 billion in 2010 and 25 billion
dollars by 2015. Almeida acknowledged this was a very
ambitious goal and said it was suggested by the Business
Forum, and in view of a possible global recession, leaders
might review trade goals at upcoming meetings in Brazil. He
added that the IBAS mechanism must be improved and
structured, although IBAS members want to keep it informal
and relatively free of bureaucracy.

Upcoming meetings

4. (U) Brazil will assume the IBAS secretariat next year and
will host the next summit on October 8, 2009. IBAS Foreign
Ministers will meet in Brazil in July, and member states may
hold a special meeting on economic topics later this year.

Comment

6. (SBU) By defining success as IBAS's continuity, Brazil
has set the bar low. This could be because other goals are
too still difficult for the young group to achieve and Brazil
may not have high expectations from IBAS in the near future.
The goal of increasing three-way trade to 25 billion dollars
in seven years may be especially difficult and would require
rapid growth through a likely global recession with falling
or weak commodity prices. "Convergence" in some areas may be
easy but in others, such as on the Doha Round, sharp
divisions remain, especially between Brazil and India.
SOBEL

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