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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
India, Brazil, SA to boost trade
Brazil trade minister Celso Amorim
Brazil's Celso Amorim has called for richer nations to ease trade barriers
India, Brazil and South Africa have a agreed to continue efforts to improve trade between the three nations.

The announcement came at the end of a day of talks between the three ahead of informal World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

The trio said the move would strengthen their bargaining power during efforts to break down global trade barriers.

The trilateral group has been trying to lift trade between developing nations in the continents they represent.

"We are doing the right thing," Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim said of the agreement.

Last year, more than half of Brazil's total trade - worth about $200bn (115bn) - came from developing nations, he added.

Trade boost

"In the last two years, bilateral trade with India increased by 170%, with South Africa it went up by 86%," he said.

"We are creating better conditions to negotiate at the World Trade Organization."

Developing nations have expressed dismay at the lack of progress in WTO efforts to open up agricultural markets.

Developing countries want rich nations to lower farming subsidies, but the US and the EU insist that poor nations must open their markets to more non-agricultural goods.

News of closer trading ties between the three nations came as India outlined plans to liberalise its sugar export market.

Following a bumper harvest and rising global prices, the government is set to allow 300,000 tonnes of sugar to be exported, Food Minister Sharad Pawar said.

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