New Delhi: India and Brazil have reaffirmed the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to help combat contemporary challenges to international peace and security, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Saturday.

This consensus was reflected in a joint statement released after the 8th Brazil-India Joint Commission Meeting (JCM). The joint commission, which was held in Brasilia on August 24, was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and his Brazilian counterpart Carlos Alberto Franco Franca.

According to the MEA statement released on Saturday, the Strategic Partnership established in 2006 has deepened over the years to cover several sectors. The partnership is based on shared democratic values, a similar global vision, and a commitment to foster economic growth with social inclusion and sustainable development for the welfare of their people, it added.

The MEA said the two countries also cooperate extensively in multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, and plurilateral fora such as G20, BRICS, IBSA, BASIC and G4.

During the talks in Brazil, the two foreign ministers held discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations. They reviewed trade and economic relations and expressed satisfaction over the steady increase in bilateral trade, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The total bilateral trade increased by 63.5 per cent to USD 11.53 billion in 2021 from the previous year, and India became Brazil's 5th largest trading partner. They noted the great potential for growth and diversification of bilateral trade and urged the private sector to explore opportunities in the respective markets," MEA said.

India's External Affairs Minister noted Brazilian investments in areas such as IT services and equipment, machinery, energy, auto parts, defence products, fintech and healthcare materials.

The Brazilian Foreign Minister acknowledged that a significant number of Indian companies have been investing in Brazil in sectors such as oil, mining, engineering, tractors manufacturing, information technology, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and power transmission.

The two Ministers agreed on the potential for expansion of the sectors in which companies have invested both in Brazil and in India.

Both sides expressed satisfaction over the recent progress in bilateral cooperation in ethanol production, cattle breeding and dairy development. They also expressed a strong desire to increase the level of cooperation in defence, science and technology, and health-related areas.

In this regard, the Brazilian side thanked the Government of India for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic.

The two Ministers appreciated the close coordination between the two countries in the United Nations Security Council in 2022, when both countries coincided as elected members.

"They also reaffirmed the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to make it more representative, effective and responsive to contemporary challenges to international peace and security," the MEA statement said.

Both Ministers highlighted the importance of the G20 and agreed to cooperate closely during the upcoming presidencies of India (2023) and Brazil (2024).

Ministers Franca and Jaishankar agreed to give new impetus to IBSA, which congregates India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democratic, pluralistic, and diverse societies from three continents, in favour of the interests of the developing world and South-South cooperation.

Both Ministers also welcomed the cooperation under BRICS, which has delivered meaningful results to both countries since its creation.