FDI cap in special technology area to be raised to 100 pc: PM Modi

Russia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said FDI cap in special technology would be raised to 100 per cent as he pitched for greater cooperation with Brazil and South Africa in the field of defence and other areas.

During a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff here, Modi noted that his government had raised FDI cap to 49 per cent but in the area of special technology, it would be raised to 100 per cent, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Navtej Sarna said while briefing media on the discussions.

Sarna said the Defence Minister favoured increased defence cooperation with Brazil while noting that some Indian equipment is already being used in Brazilian jets. Modi also pressed for cooperation in the field of agriculture, saying there were possibilities in areas like food processing and genome research.


PM Narendra Modi. File Pic/ PTI

Cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons, including exploration in Brazil by India, was another major issue of discussions between the two leaders. Modi also requested for expansion of the list of items traded between India and MERCUSUR (a grouping of Latin American countries) from the current 450 to 2000, saying it would have major impact on business, Sarna said.

Rousseff responded positively, the Secretary said, adding India will now look forward to the Brazilian President taking up the issue with other MERCUSUR member countries. With Zuma too, Modi pitched for more cooperation in the field of defence, including joint production of equipment, Sarna said.

The issue of FDI also came up in this context. The Prime Minister mentioned naval exchanges, fleet review and said the two countries could later have joint exercises. Zuma told Modi that South Africa supports India's quest for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which the Indian leader appreciated.

During the two meetings, the issue of upcoming meeting on Climate Change also was discussed, with the Prime Minister favouring closer coordination among the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries to have a common position. Modi said the three countries should have a clear strategy for the Climate Change meeting, Sarna said.

He said the Prime Minister has already written to leaders of all countries of the world on climate change issue and the discussions with Rousseff and Zuma were held in that context. Modi favoured greater transfer of technology that would help developing nations to meet the challenge of climate change.

The issue of UNSC reforms was also discussed, with Modi, Rousseff and Zuma favouring urgent steps to include their countries in an expanded world body. They decided to remain in touch over the issue.

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