The 8th BRICS Summit took place in Goa under the Chairmanship of India. The meeting is of global importance as BRICS nations collectively account for 43% of the world population, with around 25% of the world’s total land area and close to 30 % of the world GDP with around 17 % share in the world trade.(1).
Origin of BRICS:
In 2001, in a research paper on global economics titled ‘Building Better Global Economic BRICs’ which was published by Goldman Sachs, British economist Jim O’ Neill coined and used the acronym ‘BRICs’ for the first time for four rapidly developing economies-Brazil, Russia, India and China.
In 2006, Brazil, Russia, India and China began a regular informal interaction around UNGA and in 2009, the first BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg (Russia).
In 2011, South Africa was included to formally form BRICS.
Cooperation Areas of BRICS:
Cooperation is BRICS is structured around two main pillars, which are Coordination in multilateral forums, with a focus on economic and political governance and Cooperation between members. The cooperation areas among BRICS members has diversified with years and it now includes areas such as finance, agriculture, economy and trade, combating transnational crime, science and technology, health, education, corporate and academic dialogue and security, among others.
New Initiatives of BRICS:
- New Development Bank (NDB)
- Has been setup to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging and developing economies.
- K.V. Kamath from India was appointed as the President of the New Development Bank with its headquarters in Shanghai (China).
- Recently the Bank approved its first package of loans worth about $811 million. The four projects in Brazil, China, South Africa and India are all in the renewable and green energy development sphere.
- BRICS Currency Reserve Arrangement (CRA)
- It has been setup with an initial size of $100 billion, to help countries forestall short-term liquidity pressure.
BRICS Goa is the 8th Edition of BRICS meeting. Leaders including:
- B: The new Brazilian President Temer
- R: President Putin from Russia
- I: Prime Minister Modi,
- C: President Xi from China
- S: President Zuma from South Africa,
participated in the meeting. The theme for BRICS GOA summit was “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”. The summit concluded with adaptation of Goa Declaration.
Key Points of BRICS – GOA Declaration
- Declaration called for resolution of the civil war in Syria, in accordance with the “legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria”.
- BRICS nations condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism both at the bilateral level and at international fora. It also out the need for countering terrorist organization, specially mentioning, the Islamic State which has occupied territories in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
- BRICS also called for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the U.N. General Assembly.
- BRICS said it reaffirmed commitment to the Financial Action Task Force international standards on combating money laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation.
- The FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001 the purpose expanded to act on terrorism financing.
- Appreciated progress in implementation of Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and emphasize importance of BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020.
- Welcomed adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
Analysis of Summit from India’s Point of View:
- India’s NSG bid got acknowledged in BRICS Summit communiqué but bilateral task with China remains open as China continues to oppose India’s Membership.
- NSG, an elite club of countries that controls trade in nuclear technology and fissile materials.
- New initiative of BRICS-BIMSTEC has great importance for both BRICS and India and China individually. The region averages 6.5% growth and represents an emerging consumer market.
- China and India need more and more energy resources to fuel their growth, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s idea of an energy cooperation agency, is an idea for India to look forward to.
- While the declaration called for cooperation against terrorism, China blocked India’s attempts to include the names of terror groups like JeM and LeT in the BRICS’ Goa Declaration. Further, Russia’s disinclination to argue India’s case also must be point of concern.
- While Russia itself has been the clear winner in terms of BRICS’ focus on security related issues(Moscow also had its full say on Syria), China continues to call the shots on financial issues (NDB headquartered in China), leading to questions about the utility of BRICS for India.
BRICS – BIMSTEC:
The 2016 BRICS GOA Summit also included the first-ever BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit. Leaders from both forums jointly explored possibilities of expanding ties between them on issues such as terrorism, economy, trade and connectivity. BIMSTEC issued Leaders Retreat Outcome Document emphasizing that there can be no justification for acts of terror.
- BIMSTEC countries strongly condemned the recent terror attacks in the region and recognized the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.
- Agreed to expedite the signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and called for early ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking.
- Renewed their commitment to the early conclusion of BIMSTEC Free Trade Area negotiations, and direct the Trade Negotiating Committee and Working Groups to expedite the finalization of its constituent Agreements.
- Stressed the necessity of pursuing sustainable development and of the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and recognized that cooperation in sustainable development of fisheries in Bay of Bengal region for ensuring food security and improving livelihoods of people
- BIMSTEC stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.
- BIMSTEC member countries are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
End Note: The ninth BRICS Summit will be hosted by China in 2017.
Question: Describe the significance of BRICS in context of India’s aspiration in South-Asia?
IMP Points to note:
- What are India’s aspiration in South-Asia?
- Significance of BRICS in those aspiration.
4. The Hindu