The Heads of State and Government of Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), met on the margins of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated Japan for the G20 Presidency and appreciated the priorities chosen by Japan, including trade, science, technology and innovation, infrastructure, climate change, universal health coverage, aging populations and sustainable development
The BRICS leaders felt the world economic growth appears to be stabilising and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020. However, the strengthening of growth remains highly uncertain, with rising trade and geo-political tensions, commodity price volatility, inequality and insufficient inclusive growth and tighter financial conditions adding to the risk. BRICS stressed the importance of a favourable global economic environment for sustained growth of international trade.
The BRICS countries have been the main drivers of global growth over the last decade, and currently represent close to a third of global output. Projections indicate that the BRICS will continue to account for more than half of global economic growth through 2030. Continued implementation of structural reforms will enhance BRICS’ growth potential. Balanced trade expansion among BRICS members will further contribute to strengthening international trade flows.
The BRICS leadership acknowledged the importance of open markets; stronger economic resilience; financial stability; well-designed and coordinated macroeconomic policies, cooperation in public-private partnerships (PPP). BRICS is committed to transparent, non-discriminatory, open, free and inclusive international trade. Protectionism and unilateralism run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism and international law, and full support to the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its centre. However, any WTO reforms must, preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO. The negotiation agenda should be balanced and discussed in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.
BRICS appreciated the role of the New Development Bank (NDB) in infrastructure financing and sustainable development and stress the need for enhanced and continued efforts to build a strong, balanced and high-quality portfolio of projects. The leaders of BRICS group emphasized the importance for focused efforts to address the backlog in critical infrastructure investments in member countries. The NDB will be strengthened by the establishment of regional offices. BRICS welcomed the NDB’s commitment to mobilise resources in the domestic currencies of all its members, starting in China, as well as the upcoming bond programmes in South Africa and Russia.
BRICS leaders strongly condemned terrorist attacks, including against BRICS countries, in all forms and manifestations, wherever and by whom so ever committed. They urged for concerted efforts and a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis. They reiterated that it is the responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and of terrorist actions from their territories.
BRICS recognises the crucial role of cooperation in transitioning towards cleaner, more flexible energy efficient systems that combine growth with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring energy security, access to energy, sustainability and affordability. All BRICS members are committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, adopted under the principles of the UNFCCC, including the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances. The group said, it looks forward to the UN Climate Action Summit to be held in September this year to produce positive outcomes.
Brazil would be hosting this year’s annual BRICS Summit in Brasilia. The theme for the Summit is “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”. The group recognises that innovation is a key driving force behind development. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to maximise the benefits of digitalisation and emerging technologies. BRICS encourages joint efforts to share good practices on internet-driven poverty alleviation and digital transformation of the industrial sector. The leaders stressed upon the importance of continuing scientific, technical, innovation and entrepreneurship cooperation among the member-states; including BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR), iBRICS Network, BRICS Institute of Future Networks, and Young Scientists Forum.
Script: Padam Singh, Air: News Analyst