Rather than having a secretariat or an organizational structure, IBSA consultations take place among heads of state and/or government (summit), ministers (trilateral joint commission) and senior officials (focal point). Further down the scale, there are interactions between government officials who are part of the working groups, as well as academics, business leaders and civil society. There are now 16 working groups on issues such as agriculture, defense and public administration, made up of policy makers from each country’s ministries. They are considered to be the centerpiece of the grouping. In theory, IBSA is an extremely useful vehicle to close the gap that existed and continues to exist between the three countries ‘governments. As many observers argue, India, Brazil and South Africa face many similar internal challenges – ranging from socioeconomic inequality, low levels of public education and rapid urbanization – so exchanging views and experiences could be a productive exercise for policy makers.
Available at: http://www.postwesternworld.com/2014/02/13/cooperation-working-matter/