BRICS is the association of five nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS nations contribute 23% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) along with a share of 17% in the global trade. The member countries cover 27% of the world’s surface area. The term BRIC was coined by the former chairman of Goldman Sachs, Jim O’neil in 2001. In 2010, South Africa joined the BRIC forum, following which the forum’s name changed to BRICS. The BRICS forum aims for international cooperation in commercial, political and cultural cooperation. The 10th BRICS summit was held in July, 2018 in South Africa, while the 2019 summit was held in Brazil.
What was the outcome of the 2019 BRICS summit?
The five BRICS leaders: China’s premier Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a declaration called ‘Brasilia Declaration’, supporting renewed cooperation towards digital economy, science, innovations technology and digital economy. The declaration announced 30 new outcomes and initiatives in over 70 paragraphs. The summit also renewed its commitment against transnational crime like drug trafficking, money laundering and organised crime. The theme of the summit was: ‘Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.’
Prime Minister Modi, while addressing the BRICS business forum, said that despite recessionary trends in the global market, the member nations had shown economic growth along with cutting-edge innovations in science and technology. While asking for suggestions to reduce the trade tariffs between BRICS nations, he suggested more areas to be identified for strengthening cooperation in the next BRICS summit to be held in Russia next year. The Prime Minister underlined India’s commitment for being and an investment and business friendly nation.
How did India fare at the BRICS summit?
During the summit, the Prime Minister held bilateral talks with China, Russia and India; where key discussions were held regarding a slew of issues, including trade and investment. According to economists and international relations experts, India fared well in the summit not only by renewing its commitment for international trade, but by enhanced strategic partnership with Russia, China and Brazil. The BRICS summit augurs well for Indian businesses because of the following reasons:
Strengthening the National Development Bank: The New Development Bank (NDB) or the BRICS development bank is a multilateral bank established for development projects in developing/emerging economies as well as BRICS member states. The bank, at present, has 44 development projects together with a lending of more than $12 billion. The NDB will open its regional centre in India in 2020.
Combating terrorism: The menace of terrorism can play havoc on busineess. The summit discussed issues like countering terrorism and its financing along with preventing capacity building by terrorists and dealing with foriegn terrorists. The anti-terrorism measures would help member-states, including India, to develop as a trade and investment hub.
MoU on business cooperation: The national trade promotion agencies of the BRICS states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen trade relations. Along with creation of a new Women Business Alliance, the BRICS business council held several meetings to promote cooperation in commerce, finances and digital economy. Enhanced business cooperation would invariably boost Indian business.
New Industrial revolution: In the earlier summits, the members states had mooted the idea of a new industrial revolution through cooperation in the following key areas:
- Digital economy
- Trade and commerce
The BRICS summit discussed ways and means to bring about a new industrial revolution in the emerging economies of the member states. Dialogues were held to concretise the establishment of the following through partnerships:
- Business centres and incubators
- Science parks
- Industrial centres
- Innovation centres
Along with these dialogues, the BRICS leaders also laid a roadmap to facilitate commerce and trade through culture, arts and sports.
While the establishment of such centres to bring about a revolution in Industrial/commercial aspects would again facilitate and strengthen Indian businesses on a global scale, India’s growth as an investment hub would also provide a boost Indian industries , especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
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With dialogues and resolutions supporting the advancement of trade and commerce within BRICS economies, and on a global scale, the summit ended on a positive note for India.
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