Trade High On Agenda On Brazil President's India Visit For Republic Day

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's controversial comments - many of which have been sexist, homophobic and racist - have also drawn attention to this visit.

Trade High On Agenda On Brazil President's India Visit For Republic Day

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro arrives on January 24 for four-day India visit.

New Delhi:

India's chief guest at this year's Republic Day parade - Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro - arrives on January 24 for a four-day visit. With both the countries facing huge economic challenges, a bilateral investment treaty is high on agenda, which will allow both the sides to promote and protect investments in the two nations.

Brazil's envoy to India Andre Aranha Correa Do Lago told NDTV, "I think we both face the same criticism that our economies are so deeply, traditionally closed that as you open, you discover there are other obstacles that have to be removed. Then, there is a frustration from the outside world on both the sides that there is too much to do."

In 2018, Indian investments in Brazil were estimated at around US $6 billion. Brazilian investments in India were estimated at US $1 billion, the Foreign Ministry had said, adding that bilateral trade stands at about $8 billion.

"I think that during this visit, a very important investment, protection and facilitation agreement is going to be signed between the two countries," Andre Aranha Correa Do Lago said.

The Brazilian President's controversial comments - many of which have been sexist, homophobic and racist - have also drawn attention to this visit. In 2014, Mr Bolsonaro had made objectionable remarks about a woman opposition leader. "She doesn't deserve to be raped because she's very ugly. She's not my type, I'd never rape her," he had said.

In 2017, he had said: "I have five children. Four are men, and then in a moment of weakness the fifth came out a girl."

Another remark by Mr Bolsonaro in 2011 had sparked a controversy. "I wouldn't be able to love a gay son. I wouldn't be a hypocrite, I'd prefer a son to die in an accident than appear with a moustacho (mustache)," he had said.

Asked about all these remarks, Brazil's envoy to India told NDTV: "He was elected democratically, overwhelmingly and he has a very clear mandate of the Brazilian population. So the first thing is that he went through a very tough campaign, he had a small party. He was not a mainstream politician and he won this election with a huge mandate."

As Mr Bolsonaro heads to India, Brazilian authorities have charged Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald with cyber crimes, accusing him of helping a criminal group that hacked into the phones of Brazilian officials. The charges have been greeted with outrage in Brazil where critics see this as an attack on democracy. 

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