By Bibhudatta Pradhan
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The global financial crisis, fuel prices and food security will be the focus of a summit-level meeting among leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa in New Delhi today.
The summit will ``provide the leaders an opportunity to exchange views on issues of international and regional interest and concern to them,'' Nalin Surie, a secretary at India's foreign ministry, said in New Delhi yesterday. ``I have no doubt this will include the global financial crisis, food and energy security.''
The three countries, which haven't been directly affected by the global financial turmoil, want to serve as growth poles for each other and focus on their role in the evolving financial architecture, India has said.
The IBSA grouping, which brings together the three emerging economies from Asia, Africa and Latin America, is aimed at promoting trilateral cooperation in various sectors, including energy, agriculture and trade. They have collectively fought for the rights of developing nations at World Trade Organization talks and have advocated reform of the United Nations.
Ahead of the summit, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee called for speeding up changes in the international financial system.
``Such turmoil in the global markets further enhances the imperative of South-South cooperation,'' Mukherjee said in New Delhi on Oct. 13. ``We should also exploit the strategic potential of the IBSA partnership in building a more inclusive and equitable global economic order.''
The International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook last week forecast that global growth will slow to 3 percent in 2009, from 3.9 percent this year and 5 percent in 2007. That would mean a recession under the fund's informal definition, growth of 3 percent or less, although current IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard declined to describe it as such.
The three nations need to consider ways and means of mutual cooperation contributing to enhanced food and energy security, Mukherjee said.
The IBSA countries aim to achieve a trade target of $15 billion by 2010 from the current level of $10 billion.
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