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‘BRICS’- CEMENTING TIES

BRICS 2017

What is BRICS?

  • BRICS is made up of Brazil Russia India China and South Africa
  • The BRICS cooperation process was first launched in 2006
  • 2017 ushers in the second decade of BRICS cooperation
  • Ten years of hard efforts have resulted in ten years of progress
  • BRICS is now a multi-level process led by the Summit
  • First BRIC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in 2006
  • In 2009, first BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • BRICS Summit has become an annual event since 2009
  • South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010
  • BRIC officially enlarged to include 5 countries and acronym changed into BRICS
  • BRICS’ pragmatic cooperation has gone to greater depth to yield fruitful results
  • BRICS has exerted important influence globally
  • 9th BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen, China in September 2017

In the 10 years since its inception, BRICS cooperation has continued to consolidate its foundation and expanded to more areas.

BRICS is now a multi-level process led by the Summit, buttressed by meetings of the national Security Advisors, Foreign Ministers and other ministerial meetings

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BRICS is enriched by pragmatic cooperation in multiple areas

  1. Economy
  2. Trade
  3. Finance
  4. Business
  5. Agriculture
  6. Education
  7. Health
  8. Science and technology
  9. Culture,
  10. Think tanks
  11. Friendship cities
  • Cooperation mechanisms established by BRICS
  1. New Development Bank
  2. Contingent Reserve Arrangement
  3. Business Council and Think Tank Council

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BRICS has grown into an important platform for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries.

  • BRICS countries come from Asia, Africa, Europe and America
  • All five BRICS countries are members of the G20
  • BRICS account for 26.46% of world land area
  • BRICS account for 42.58% of world population
  • BRICS account for 13.24% of World Bank voting power
  • BRICS account for 14.91% of IMF quota shares
  • BRICS countries generated 22.53% of the world GDP in 2015
  • BRICS has contributed more than 50% of world economic growth during last 10 years

Brief Introduction of Previous EIGHT BRICS Summits

 On 9th July 2008, BRIC leaders held a brief meeting and took group photos during the dialogue meeting between the leaders of G8 and the 5 developing nations in Hokkaido, Japan.

  1. The 1st BRIC Summit was held in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia to discuss issues including the global financial crisis, the international situation, future direction of BRIC dialogue and cooperation, the G20 Summit, reform of international financial institutions, food security, energy security, climate change, development assistance, the Heiligendamm Process and prospects for BRIC dialogue.
  • The Summit issued a joint statement that call for greater say and representation of emerging markets and developing countries in international financial institutions, and adopted a Joint Statement on Global Food Security.
  1. The 2nd BRIC Summit was held in April 2010 in Brasilia, capital of Brazil.
  • The leaders discussed issues including the international situation, the global financial crisis, the selection mechanism of World Bank and IMF’s senior management, G20 affairs, climate change, UN reform, international and regional hot-spot issues and BRIC cooperation.
  • The Summit issued a joint statement and agreed on concrete measures to promote BRIC cooperation and coordination.
  1. The 3rd BRICS Summit was held in April 2011 in Sanya, China.
  • The theme was “Broad Vision, Shared Prosperity”.
  • Agenda items included the international situation, global economy and international finance, development and BRICS cooperation.
  • The Summit issued the Sanya Declaration and its Action Plan. On the sidelines, the Meeting of Trade Ministers, Academic Forum, Financial Forum and Business Forum were held.
  1. 4. The 4th BRICS Summit was held in March 2012 in New Delhi, India.
  • The theme was “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity”.
  • The leaders discussed issues including global governance and sustainable development.
  • The Summit issued the New Delhi Declaration, its Action Plan and the BRICS Report on BRICS countries’ developing prospects, the cooperation process and areas with competitive advantage to enable BRICS countries to play a more important role in the global economy in the post-financial crisis era. .
  1. The 5th BRICS Summit was held in March 2013 in Durban, South Africa under theme “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization”.
  • The Summit issued the eThekwini Declaration and its Action Plan, and decided to set up the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement.
  • The establishment of the BRICS Business Council and Think Tank Council was announced. The BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum was held during the Summit.
  1. The 6th BRICS Summit was held in July 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil under the theme “Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions”.
  • The leaders discussed such issues as political coordination, sustainable development and inclusive growth. The Summit issued the Fortaleza Declaration and its Action Plan.
  • The leaders witnessed the signing of the Agreement on the New Development Bank and the Treaty for the Establishment of A BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement. BRICS Leaders meeting with South American Heads of Government and/or State was held during the Summit.
  1. The 7th BRICS Summit was held in July 2015 in Ufa, Russia under the theme “BRICS Partnership – a Powerful Factor of Global Development”.
  • The leaders discussed issues including global political and economic issues and BRICS cooperation. The Summit issued the Ufa Declaration and its Action Plan, and adopted the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership.
  • The BRICS Leaders also held a meeting with the leaders of Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the leaders of observer countries during the Summit.
  1. The 8th BRICS Summit was held in October 2016 in Goa, India under the theme “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”.
  • The leaders discussed issues including international political and economic situation, global governance, counter-terrorism, climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, BRICS cooperation, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
  • The Summit issued the Goa Declaration and its Action Plan, and reiterated the commitment to strengthening BRICS partnership. Outreach Summit of BRICS Leaders with the Leaders of BIMSTEC Member Countries was held during the Summit.

Besides, BRICS Leaders held informal meetings during the G20 Cannes Summit in November 2011, the Los Cabos Summit in June 2012, the St. Petersburg Summit in September 2013, the Brisbane Summit in November 2014, the Antalya Summit in November 2015, and the Hangzhou Summit in September 2016, to exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest.

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Theme and Cooperation Priorities of 2017 BRICS Summit

The 9th BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen, Fujian Province in September 2017 under China’s Chairmanship.

  • Ten years of hard efforts have resulted in ten years of progress.

Over the past decade, BRICS cooperation has gone to greater depth and substance, yielding fruitful and laudable outcomes.

Now, BRICS provides an important cooperation platform for emerging markets and developing countries.

BRICS cooperation meets the objective needs of world economic development, conforms to the trend of the evolution of international paradigm, and serves the common interests of the international community.

  • The year of 2017 ushers in the second decade of BRICS cooperation.

BRICS join hands to:

  1. Uphold the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation
  2. Comprehensively deliver on the outcomes of the previous Summits
  3. Build a closer partnership
  4. Deepen practical cooperation in all fields
  5. Effectively address global challenges
  6. Make bigger contribution to world economic growth
  7. Make bigger contribution to global governance and democracy in international relations

In today’s world, emerging markets and developing countries, with sound momentum and prospects for development, are a pivotal force in global development.

At the same time, they are faced with a myriad of complex challenges and “headwind” in development.

The lack of steam in world economic recovery, the interplay of traditional and non-traditional security risks as well as the anti-globalization and protectionism tendency are especially sources of concern.

Against this backdrop, it is all the more important for BRICS to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, uphold common interests and shoulder the due share of responsibilities as major countries.

Theme of the Xiamen Summit

  • On 1 January 2017 when China officially took over the BRICS Chairmanship, President Xi Jinping sent letters to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Michel Temer of Brazil and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, briefing them on how China plans to promote BRICS cooperation under its Chairmanship.
  • He pointed out that China looks forward to working with the other members to take stock of the decade-long BRICS cooperation and draw a blueprint for future development at the Xiamen Summit under the theme of “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.
  • Thanks to a decade of development, BRICS partnership has taken deep roots and represents the shared aspirations of all members.
  • The strengthening of BRICS strategic partnership was highlighted both in the 2015 Ufa Declaration and the 2016 Goa Declaration.
  • Building on this, China looks forward to earnestly implementing the leaders’ consensus and working with all the other members for an enhanced BRICS Partnership.

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BRICS 2017 AIMS

  1. A partnership that upholds world peace
  2. A partnership that promotes common development
  3. A partnership that carries forward diversity of civilizations
  4. A partnership dedicated to improved global economic governance

A partnership that upholds world peace

  • BRICS countries should advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, act in coordination and render each other support. It is important to uphold international fairness and justice and call for peaceful and political settlement of disputes through dialogue and negotiation.

A partnership that promotes common development

  • BRICS countries should strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, press ahead with structural reforms, adopt innovative growth models and foster an open world economy. Efforts should continue to be made to hold high the banner of development and facilitate market inter-linkages, financial integration and infrastructure connectivity among BRICS countries.

A partnership that carries forward diversity of civilizations

  • BRICS countries should support all-dimensional friendly exchanges and people-to-people contacts carried out by all walks of life to bringing people closer, and enhance mutual understanding and traditional friendships between BRICS peoples to garner more popular support for BRICS cooperation.

A partnership dedicated to improved global economic governance

  • BRICS countries should continue to push forward the reform of global economic governance so as to make it reflect the historical trend of the rise of emerging markets and developing countries and provide these countries with bigger voice and representation in international affairs.

With a deepened partnership, BRICS countries will comprehensively strengthen practical cooperation in all areas, improve people’s well-being and open up a brighter future for the common development of the five countries.

With a deepened partnership, BRICS countries will take South-South cooperation to a new high, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open up a brighter future for economic development and social progress of all developing countries.

With a deepened partnership, BRICS countries will enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, promote a fairer and more equitable international order and open up a brighter future for the global cause of peace and development.

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Cooperation Priorities in BRICS 2017

Xiamen Summit is expected to make progress in following four areas:

  1. Deepen BRICS cooperation for common development
  2. Enhance global governance to jointly meet challenges
  3. Carry out people-to-people exchanges to support BRICS cooperation
  4. Make institutional improvements and build broader partnerships
  • DEEPEN BRICS COOPERATION FOR COMMON DEVELOPMENT

Strengthen Economic Partnership

BRICS countries are all members of the Group of 20. With vast territories and big populations, BRICS countries carry much weight in the world economic paradigm. Over the past decade, BRICS economic aggregate has soared from 12% of the global total to 23%, and its share in international trade increased from 11% to 16%. Together, BRICS countries have formulated the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, which draws up systematic plans for deepening economic cooperation and fostering integrated trade and investment markets. The inception of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) represents a good effort to promote global economic governance and development of emerging markets and developing countries. Given the persistence of complex and grim world economic situation, BRICS countries face both development opportunities and challenges. Against this backdrop, BRICS needs to implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, step up macroeconomic policy coordination and dovetail development strategies.

Promote International Cooperation on Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a guideline for international development cooperation. Representing the interests of emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS needs to hold high the banner of development, lead by example in the implementation of the Agenda, and consolidate the momentum of international development cooperation.

  • STRENGTHEN GLBOAL GOVERNANCE TO JOINTLY MEET CHALLENGES

Maintain International Peace and Stability

Political and security cooperation is an important pillar for BRICS. Through such mechanisms as the Meeting of National Security Advisers and the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations, BRICS countries have maintained regular exchange of views and coordinated positions on major international and regional issues of common interest. Working groups on counter terrorism and on security in the use of ICT have been established. Building on past achievements, BRICS countries need to further enhance strategic mutual trust, intensify communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, speak with one voice on hotspot issues and play a constructive role in preserving international and regional peace and stability and upholding fairness and justice in international affairs.

Foster an Open World Economy

Economic globalization stands at a crossroads. The international community is to make the crucial choice between remaining open and going for isolation. The multilateral trading system lacks progress and economic cooperation becomes more regionally fragmented. Global trade and investment remains sluggish and less effective in spurring growth. Under such circumstances, BRICS needs to work together for an open world economy. It is important to firmly uphold the role of the multilateral trading system as the main channel, keep pushing forward the WTO Doha Round negotiations, oppose all forms of protectionism and particularism and ensure that all countries enjoy equal rights and opportunities and follow the same set of rules in development.

Improve International Financial and Monetary Systems

With the implementation of the 2010 IMF reform, an important step has been taken in the global economic governance reform. BRICS needs to continue pushing forward the reform of the Bretton Woods institutions to increase the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance. It is important to urge the IMF to complete the 15th general review of quotas on time, and expand and strengthen the role of SDR. Efforts should also be made to push forward the World Bank voting share review. At the same time, BRICS should make better use of the role of the NDB with a view to supporting the development of BRICS and other emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS should also encourage the CRA to step up macroeconomic research and enhance its operability.

Strengthen Coordination and Cooperation in Multilateral Mechanisms

As responsible members of the international community, BRICS countries are firm followers of multilateralism. The five countries need to enhance communication and coordination in the G20, UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO and other major international organizations and cooperation frameworks to improve global economic governance and promote a more equitable, reasonable and efficient international order.

CARRY OUT PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGES TO SUPPORT BRICS COOPERATION

Engage in Cultural Exchanges and Mutual Learning

Culture carries the spirit and blood of a country and a nation and should therefore be passed down and enriched through mutual learning. BRICS countries all enjoy profound cultural tradition and distinct cultural identity, and are all outstanding representatives of the diverse human civilizations. Enhanced cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation among BRICS countries will go a long way in deepening the traditional friendships and mutual understanding between BRICS peoples and promoting the exchanges and development of all civilizations. In the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, diversity and mutual learning, BRICS countries should introduce more mechanisms for cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, work together to implement the Agreement Between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture signed in 2015, and on that basis formulate an action plan. Efforts should be supported to carry out rich and colorful cooperation and activities in such fields as culture, art, sports, media, think tank and traditional medicines, which will attract more diverse participants, benefit more people, and make BRICS cooperation more attractive and appealing.

Enhance Educational Cooperation

BRICS future belongs to the younger generation. BRICS countries, going through similar stages of development and enjoying high complementarity in education, should enhance educational cooperation through the BRICS University League, Network University and other channels, to jointly nurture innovation-minded people with international perspectives.

Promote Development of Sports

Sports is an important hallmark of social development and human progress. BRICS countries all attach great importance to sports and actively participate in international sports affairs. Cooperation in this area needs to be further enhanced with a view to promoting common development in sports and deepen friendships between their peoples.

MAKE INSTITUTIONAL IMPROVEMENTS AND BUILD BROADER PARTNERSHIPS

Improve Cooperation Mechanisms to Provide Guarantee for Cooperation in Various Fields

Institutional development for BRICS cooperation has started from scratch and made great headway over the past 10 years. Thanks to a decade of hard work, an all-dimensional and multi-layered cooperation architecture pivoted by the Summit, buttressed by the Meeting of National Security Advisers, Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations and other Ministerial Meetings and enriched by practical cooperation in dozens of fields has been developed. Going forward, BRICS needs to strengthen institutional development, set norms for cooperation mechanisms at all levels and improve continuity and consistency of cooperation so as to make BRICS cooperation more efficient, practical and fruitful.

Build Broader Partnerships

Enhanced cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries is the calling of the times. BRICS has a fine tradition of carrying out dialogue and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries for common development. It is important for BRICS to further expand its friend circle, and intensify communication and exchanges with other emerging markets and developing countries under the principle of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation to provide more positive energy for global economic growth and common development of all countries.

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BRICS 2016 Summit in Goa

INDIA’S TRADE RELATIONS WITH OTHER BRICS NATIONS

Brazil and India

Indian exports to Brazil stood at US$ 4.29 Billion in 2015 as compared to US$ 6.63 billion in 2014 and US$ 6.36 billion in 2013.

Indian imports from Brazil stood at US$ 3.62 Billion compared to US$ 4.789 billion in 2014 and US$ 3.13 billion in 2013.

Thus the overall bilateral trade was at US$ 7.9 billion, decreasing 30.7% from US$ 11.424 billion in 2014.

Balance of trade was in favour of India at US$ 672.13 Million compared to US$ 1.846 billion in 2014.

About 39% of Indian exports were value added petroleum products such as diesel.

 Russia and India

In December 2014, the leaders of the two countries set a target of US$30 billion bilateral trade by 2025.

Bilateral trade during in 2015 amounted to US$ 7.83 billion (decline of 17.74% over 2015), with Indian export amounting to US$ 2.26 billion and imports from Russia amounting to US$ 5.57%.

 China and India

Trade and economic relationship has seen rapid progress in the last few years.

India-China bilateral trade which was as low as US$ 2.92 billion in 2000 reached US$ 41.85 billion in 2008, making China India’s largest trading partner in goods.

By 2015, as per DGC&IS provisional data India-China bilateral trade stood at US$ 70.4 billion. India’s exports to China touched US$ 8.86 billion whereas China’s exports were US$ 61.54 billion.

However, India still faces a growing trade deficit vis-a-vis China. In 2015 trade deficit stood at US$ 52.67 billion.

Apart from trade, India is also one of the largest markets for project exports from China. Currently, projects under execution are estimated at over US$ 63 billion.

As per Chinese figures, cumulative Chinese investments into India till December 2014 stood at US$ 2.763 billion while Indian investments into China were US$ 0.564 billion.

 South Africa and India

During the visit of President Zuma to India, both sides agreed to work towards a target of US$ 10 billion in bilateral trade by 2012.

The trade target was revised to US$ 15 billion by 2014 during the visit of the then Commerce and Industry Minister in January 2011 to South Africa as the bilateral trade target was almost achieved in FY 2011-12.

India’s imports from SA in 2012-13 and 2013-14 declined mainly due to restrictions on gold imports by GOI and hence, the target of US$15 billion could not be achieved.

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 BRICS member nations are too different, and have too few synergies, to represent a solid economic and political power.

 The dominance of the Chinese economy and its role in trade relations makes the BRICS much more a China-with-partners group than a union of equal members.

BRICS countries lack mutual economic interests. Trade between them is now less than 320 bln dollars a year and declining. Their trade with the US and EU is 6.5 times higher. China’s trade with the rest of the world is 12.5 times higher. Bilateral trade between China and South Korea is almost as large as that between BRICS nations.

Members are too similar in some key areas. All members (apart from Russia) hold huge foreign reserves (15-35% of GDP) and have low external debt (15% to 37% of GDP.) Apart from Russia, they are heavily integrated into consumer goods production with the ‘West’.

BRICS nations compete in third markets. In many areas, from clothing (China, India and Brazil), through economic influence in Africa (China, South Africa and India) to international aircraft and military equipment markets (China, Russia and Brazil) BRICS countries compete with one another. All are able to re-engineer and copy technologies, which means sharing R&D results and innovations and the development of cross-country scientific cooperation has limited potential.

Diversity of cultures. Phases of economic development, ideologies, definitions of poverty and other cultural differences mean BRICS members lack common understandings about priorities that are necessary for productive sharing of experiences.

 

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