This article on BRICS Summit covers a wide spectrum of characteristics of BRICS grouping which will not only enhance your knowledge but will also help you to have a proper understanding of the current working scenario of the BRICS nations.
India Emerges a Major Gainer
The eighth plenary summit of the emerging-market bloc of BRICS concluded in Goa. It helped consolidate past institutional progress and chart out a sustained path of economic revival. The core theme of the Summit was “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”.
The term BRICs was first coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 in their Global Economics Paper, “The World Needs Better Economic BRICs” where the acronym BRICs stood for a grouping of the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China which were all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development. The grouping of the four member countries was finally formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of the United nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in 2006.
The first BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on 16 June 2009. It was later agreed to expand BRIC into BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa at the BRIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New York in Sep 2010. The deepest rationale behind forming a group was to address the financial as well as social needs of these large populous countries individually and collectively, which were mainly ignored by the western foreign states. BRICS together constitutes 43 per cent of the world population, having 30 per cent of the world GDP and 17 per cent share in the world trade.
BRICS cooperation has two pillars – consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as of Ministers of Finance, Trade, Health, Education, Agriculture, Communication, Labour, etc and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of Working Groups/Senior Officials. Regular annual summits as well as meetings of Leaders on the margins of G20 Summits are held.
The BRICS meetings provide a platform to identify and address global challenges and co-ordinate their actions within and outside global institutions. The small size of the group helps in shaping the discussions at the summit. The Indian approach towards its BRICS Chairmanship was captured by ‘IIIIC or I4C’ which stands for….
(i) Institution building to further deepen, sustain and institutionalise BRICS cooperation;
(ii) Implementation of the decisions from previous Summits;
(iii) Integrating the existing cooperation mechanisms;
(iv) Innovation, ie new cooperation mechanisms; and
(v) Continuation of mutually agreed existing BRICS cooperation mechanisms.
The footprint of Intra-BRICS Engagement has expanded over time to include large areas of economic activity. The scope of the member countries of BRICS nation partnership today stretches from agriculture to industry and innovation; trade to tourism; environment to energy; films to football; skill development to smart cities; and from fighting corruption and money laundering to securing our societies. In order to shape and steer the BRICS agenda, several sectoral meetings/activities were hosted across various cities in the country, which apart from being innovative also served the purpose of branding India globally. Over fifty meetings and events at the Ministerial, Senior Officials, Working Groups, Technical and Track-II levels, were successfully conducted during India’s BRICS Chairmanship through the year.
A decade-old partnership of the member countries has produced strong benefits of cooperation in the field of economic advancement. The establishment of New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) are indeed signature achievements. It not only contributes greatly to the global economy and strengthens the international financial architecture but the operationalisation of BRICS CRA has strengthened the global financial safety net as well. In order to further strengthen the global governance architecture experts have explored the possibility of setting up an independent BRICS Rating Agency based on market-oriented principles. This rating mechanism will grant autonomy from speculative attacks of Wall Street and other global financial entities that undermine economic stability in BRICS. The induction of the NDB amidst WB, ECB and IMF, which are largely West-dominated, seems that BRICS intends to balance out this preponderance in international monetary arena as well.
On a global scale the five BRICS leaders welcomed the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda adopted during the Hangzhou Summit and committed themselves to its implementation. In the Goa Declaration, the member countries also urged developed countries to honour their commitment to earmark 0.7 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to developing countries. Apart from this, the bloc also welcomed the Paris Agreement and urged countries to implement it.
In the wake of the recent terrorist attack at Uri in J&K and as part of a common practice, India invited the member Countries belonging to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) group to strengthen co-operation in combating international terrorism at the bilateral and international levels and to explore connectivity and business opportunities with South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. The member countries of the BRICS–BIMSTEC were seen raising voice unequivocally against terrorism and condemned it in all its forms and manifestations. The group also reaffirmed to their commitment to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and called for swift, effective and universal implementation of FATF Consolidated Strategy on Combating Terrorist Financing.
At the end of the two-day BRICS summit, India was seen as a major gainer, for it signed several pacts in multiple sectors worth Rs 39,000 cr with Russia and engaged in dialogues with the member countries. Besides, India was also able to seek support against terror from all member countries. The assembling of the BRICS leader in Goa is cognisant of the fact that the group wants nothing less than a revamped world order. The Summit came to an end after China offered to take the rotating chair of the influential bloc.