Mr. Paulo Skaf, President of Federation of Industry of the State of Sao Paulo,Business Representatives from Brazil and India,Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here.No other country could have been a better destination to start my first official visit after taking over the Presidency of India last July than this beautiful country. And, I am particularly pleased that I am starting my visit to this great country by addressing the business communities of our two nations and that too in Sao Paulo, known as the business and economic capital of Brazil. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased that FIESP has taken the initiative to organize this meeting. The Confederation of Indian Industry also needs to be complimented for mounting a group of enterprising Indian businessmen who are here in Brazil in search of business opportunities. This meeting today, between FIESP and CII, is an unique gathering of businesspersons representing two populous, democratic and fast growing economies of the world.
The Indian economy has sustained high growth rates for several years now. Our macro-economic fundamentals are strong. Domestic savings and investment rates are high and growing. Labour as well as capital have become more efficient over the years. We are thus confident that we will have high growth rates of over 9% in the next 2 to 3 decades.
Both India and Brazil are large and growing economies with enormous opportunities for further rapid growth. Our natural synergies and economic complementarities can be exploited to mutual benefit. Your meeting today is an expression of the confidence that there are concrete opportunities for business and economic cooperation between India and Brazil. Over the past few years, our captains of industry have shown increasing confidence in each other and I am confident that you will also break new ground and define new frontiers of collaboration.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our bilateral trade with Brazil has almost trebled over the last three years to US $ 3.12 billion in 2007. It is encouraging that it was US $ 600 million in the first two months of this year. We are determined to achieve the trade target of US $ 10 billion by 2010 set during the visit of President Lula to India last June. This is the challenge before you.
I understand the two-way investment process is also gaining ground. At least eighteen Indian pharmaceutical companies have opened their offices or production facilities in Brazil. While Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are providing jobs to at least 2000 Brazilians in Brazil, the other two major IT companies, Satyam and Wipro have major plans for expansion in Brazil. A major Indian oil company, OVL, has already invested close to US $ 750 million in Brazil. On the other hand, Marcopolo, Stefanini, WEG and Gerdau have investment in India. CVRD and Embraer have either set up offices or have representatives in India. These are just some of the examples of breaking new ground in economic cooperation between us.
I spoke earlier of synergies and complementarities. India has strengths in services, IT, pharma, auto components and agricultural equipement to name a few. Our requirements in infrastrure are huge. Brazil has strengths in the latter including agriculture. I would, therefore, urge you to to exploit these obvious complementarities that exist between our two countries for mutual benefit.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to assure you that both our Governments are committed to put in place an enabling environment for greater bilater trade, investment and economic interaction. Several bilateral understandings and agreements are already in place to address different sectoral aspects which impact on our economic cooperation. More are being finalized. I urge you all to grasp the many profitable opportunities that beckon and which will make our partnership even stronger.I would like to conclude by thanking the Federation of Industry of the State of Sao Paulo for organizing this event.