The Miami Herald
Jan. 28, 2004

Lula courts China, Russia, India

  Associated Press

  NEW DELHI - Brazil's president Tuesday said his country is pushing for closer ties with India, South Africa, China and Russia to counter what he termed
  American "hegemony in international relations.''

  Winding up a four-day trip to India, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said he hoped to form an alliance with China and Russia similar to what Brazil already had
  forged with India and South Africa to cooperate on issues of international importance.

  ''I am quite optimistic about the relations we are promoting with China and Russia,'' he said.

  Last year, Brazil and India led a bloc of nations, including China and South Africa, that stood up to the United States and Europe at World Trade
  Organization talks in Mexico, blocking a proposal on farm trade.

  While the European Union and the United States had pressed for tariff reductions, poor nations demanded that rich countries stop giving their farmers
  billions of dollars in subsidies.

  Lula da Silva said that the collapse of the WTO talks proved poorer nations were organizing successfully to protect their own interests.

  He said the spirit of partnership underlined India's growing relations with Latin America. Lula da Silva was the chief guest at India's national day
  celebrations Monday.

  During Lula da Silva's visit, India signed a preferential trade agreement with the Latin American trading bloc, Mercosur, comprising Brazil, Argentina,
  Paraguay and Uruguay.

  The pact could eventually lead to a free-trade arrangement.

  Lula da Silva also suggested expanding air routes between India and Brazil.

  Bilateral trade, which now stands at $1.2 billion, is projected to reach $5 billion by 2005, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
  Industry, a grouping of top Indian industry representatives.