Story Of The Week

THE BRICS SUMMIT 2017

“BRICS must provide a united and clear voice in shaping a peaceful, balanced and stable world. We must harness each other’s strengths, in knowledge, skill and resources.”

-Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

About BRICS

BRICS was formed in 2006, Over the 10 years of its formation, BRICS cooperation has entered greater depth and substance, yielding many fruitful and laudable outcomes. BRICS cooperation focuses primarily on the objective needs of world economic development, makes changes and adapts itself to the trends with the evolution of international paradigm, and serves the international community with mutual as well as common interests.

The year 2017 marked the start of the second decade of the BRICS Cooperation. BRICS stands ready to join hands with each other and all other countries to uphold the BRICS spirit of open, inclusive and win-win cooperation, with comprehensive deliverance on the outcomes of the previous summits, build closer partnerships, strengthen practical cooperation in all fields, addressing global challenges with effectiveness, and make substantial contribution to world economic growth, global governance and democracy in its international relations.

BRICS – An association formed by India, China and Russia comprises of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Started with four countries called as “BRIC” before inducing South Africa in 2010 and it was renamed as BRICS thereafter. The BRICS members are all leading developing countries or have industrialized in the recent past. They are distinguished by their huge, sometimes fast-growing economies and their influence on the regional affairs; BRICS countries are also G-20 members.

BRICS Nations (as of 2017) accounts for:

  • 3.6 billion population forming about 48% of the world
  • Combined nominal GDP of US $16.6 trillion, approximately 22% of the gross world product
  • Combined GDP (PPP) of around US $37 trillion
  • An estimated amount of US $4 trillion in combined foreign reserves.

The BRICS Forum was formed as an independent international organisation with a motive to encourage commercial, political and cultural cooperation between the five nations which it has successfully achieved. In the 10 years of its existence, BRICS cooperation has continued to strengthen its foundation and has expanded to more areas. It has now become a multi-level process led by the Summit, cemented by meetings of the National Security Advisors, Foreign Ministers and other ministerial meetings in the summits.

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The Host’s Words

Xi Jinping – President of the People’s Republic of China

An ancient Chinese saying says,

“A partnership forged with the right approach defies geographical distance; it is thicker than glue and stronger than metal and stone.”

The rapid development of BRICS cooperation is owed to the adoption of a right approach. Guided by this, we have respected and supported each other in following the path of development as it suited to our respective national conditions; we have pushed forward economic, political and people-to-people cooperation in an open, inclusive and win-win spirit.

Of the 197 billion US dollars of outbound investment we made in 2016, only 5.7% took place among The BRICS. This year, we have formulated the BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap, the Outlines for Investment Facilitation, E-Commerce Cooperation Initiative, Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation and the Action Plan for Deepening Industrial Cooperation. We have launched the African Regional Center of the New Development Bank (NDB), decided to set up E-Port Network and reached extensive agreement on taxation, e-commerce, local currency bond, a public-private partnership, and the network of financial institutions and services.

China will launch the Economic and Technical Cooperation Plan for BRICS Countries with 500 million yuan for the first term to facilitate policy exchange and practical cooperation in the economic and trade fields. China will contribute $4 million to the NDB Project Preparation Facility to support the business operation and long-term development of the bank. The past decade has seen the unremitting efforts in pursuing development and deepening partnership. As I said in my letters to you early this year, looking ahead, BRICS cooperation is set to achieve greater development and play an even bigger role in international affairs.

Let us set sail from Xiamen and join hands to usher in the second “Golden Decade” of BRICS cooperation and deliver greater benefits to the people of BRICS countries and around the world.

BRICS 2017, Xiamen Province China

The BRICS 9th annual summit was held last week from 3rd to 5th September at Xiamen, China. The theme of the five-member group’s summit was “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future.”

Following were the representatives of the 5 Countries in the BRICS order:

Country Representatives of the State
Brazil Michel Temer, President
Russia Vladimir Putin, President
India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister
China Xi Jinping, President (Host)
South Africa Jacob Zuma, President

The Xiamen Declaration signed by the members during the summit gave a message that BRICS has “fostered the spirit of mutual respect and understanding towards each other with developing equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation,” among the countries, the shared desire for “peace, security, development, and cooperation in all conditions with common interests.”

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Terrorism

The most significant highlight from India’s perspective was that the BRICS had finally, for the first time, particularly named Pakistan-based terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Haqqani network as major threats to the BRICS as well as the overall global development. The Joint Declaration condemning terrorism stated “concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by terror groups like Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates”.The BRICS also mentioned Pakistan’s active role in providing “safe havens” to such organizations. The consideration of JeM and LeT in the Xiamen Joint declaration has been most welcomed by India and is considered to be one of the greatest strategic success for India. Also, it is the first time that China has signed a statement which names Pakistan-based terrorist groups and points out at Pakistan.

The BRICS also mentioned Pakistan’s active role in providing “safe havens” to such organizations. The consideration of JeM and LeT in the Xiamen Joint declaration has been most welcomed by India and is considered to be one of the greatest strategic success for India. Also, it is the first time that China has signed a statement which names Pakistan-based terrorist groups and points out at Pakistan.

Boosting Commercial Ties

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Four documents, including one on economic and trade cooperation, were signed by the BRICS countries with a plan to expand commercial ties among the five members.

Apart from the agenda on economic and trade cooperation, the other major documents signed were, 1) action plan for innovation cooperation (2017-2020), 2) strategic framework of BRICS customs cooperation and 3) MoU between the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank (NDB) on Strategic Cooperation.

Modi-Xi bilateral meet post Doklam

The 73-day standoff between India and China had cast a shadow over the possibility of a successful summit this year. However, the standoff came to an end significantly just days before the BRICS summit was scheduled to be held in China.

On the last day of the summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines, this was the first bilateral meeting between the two post-Doklam. Commenting on the meeting, The Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said “it was a forward-looking conversation” with an emphasis on “peace and tranquility in border areas.” He added that both sides felt the need of a “closer communication between the defense and security personnel of India and China.” Soon after the meeting Modi took to Twitter and wrote “met President Xi Jinping. We held fruitful talks on bilateral relations between India and China.”

Dialogue for Emerging Market & Developing Countries

Chinese President Xi Jinping is chairing the ‘Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries’. It was attended by the leaders of the five BRICS countries, as well as the leaders of Egypt, Mexico, Tajikistan, Guinea, and Thailand, at Xiamen, China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday chaired the 9th BRICS summit and called the member countries to intensify cooperation and contribute more towards a world troubled by protectionism and imbalanced development.

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“We must redouble our efforts to usher in the second golden decade of BRICS cooperation,” President Xi told leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, ending his welcome speech, at the summit at Xiamen, Fujian Province, China.

Conclusion

India and China, being the two largest economies of the BRICS along with Russia, are the group’s most crucial members and the pillars to BRICS Cooperation. For a long time, trade and economics have been the key drivers of the bilateral relationship between India and China, while tricky geopolitical issues have continued to overshadow more productive aspects of the relationship at times. Recent tensions over the issues like Doklam, which is set aside for now, China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative that it has been promoting for a while now, and India’s reservations over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) accounting Pakistan, continue to remain major irritants in the bilateral relationship.

However, at the 2017 BRICS summit, the two leaders displayed significant diplomatic maturity by creating space, despite difference, for multilateral cooperation on a broad range of issues, enabling the spirit of oneness among the BRICS and what was termed as a successful and productive summit.

References

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/narendra-modi-xi-jinping-brics-summit-live-updates-doklam-standoff-india-china-4829248/

https://www.brics2017.org/English/

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/brics-2017-modi-team-took-off-from-china-satisfied-but-differences-remain/story-rbRclnBIs6DsawkplAfeGL.html

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/slideshows/nation-world/indias-participation-in-brics-summit-2017-highlights-from-the-event/brics-summit/slideshow/60374940.cms

https://www.brics2017.org/English/China2017/Theme/

 

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