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HomeNewsStructural changes in BRICS have increased its influence, says PM Modi

Structural changes in BRICS have increased its influence, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the BRICS summit on Thursday that the influence of the grouping has grown as it has undertaken structural changes and acted with “practical steps” through institutions like the New Development Bank whose membership has only grown.

“The influence of the grouping has increased over the past several years. We have undertaken structural changes in BRICS in the last few years that increased the influence of this institution,” Modi said while addressing the virtual summit.

The PM said he was confident that the deliberations at the summit “will produce suggestions to further strengthen our ties”. Modi also joined leaders from the BRICS countries in calling for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the UN Security Council, to make it more representative, effective and efficient, even as the grouping called for increased take participation of the emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance.

Modi said in his initial remarks that BRICS can make a useful contribution to the global economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

BRICS in Favour of Russia-Ukraine Talks

“BRICS members have a similar approach to the governance of the global economy. Our mutual cooperation can make a useful contribution to the global post-Covid recovery,” he said.

“We stress that global economic governance is of critical importance for countries to ensure sustainable development and recall further our support for broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes,” said the BRICS declaration, released after the summit held under Chinese presidency. “We reiterate our support for G20’s leading role in global economic governance and underline that G20 shall remain intact and respond to current global challenges.”

The leaders of the five member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – also discussed the Ukraine situation and backed talks between Russia and Ukraine, a view that India has been espousing. The grouping committed itself to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

Ahead of the virtual summit, India’s ambassador to China, Pradeep Kumar Rawat, met Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing and discussed matters of mutual interest, including the border issue and return of Indian visitors to China. Rawat emphasised the “criticality of maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas” to realise the full potential of the consensus between the top leaders.

The BRICS declaration recognised the important role of the member countries working together to deal with risks and challenges to the world economy in achieving global recovery and sustainable development. “We reaffirm our commitment to continuing to enhance macro-economic policy coordination, deepen economic practical cooperation, and work to realise strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive post-Covid economic recovery,” it said.

The grouping called upon the international community to foster partnerships while underlining that “it is imperative to strengthen macro-policy coordination in driving the world economy out of the crisis and shaping a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery”. “We urge major developed countries to adopt responsible economic policies, while managing policy spillovers, to avoid severe impacts on developing countries,” said the declaration.

The leaders devoted considerable time discussing global economic governance and the declaration reaffirmed support for an open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system under the WTO. “We will engage constructively to pursue the necessary WTO reform to build an open world economy that supports trade and development, preserve the pre-eminent role of the WTO for setting global trade rules and governance, supporting inclusive development and promoting the rights and interests of its members, including developing members and LDCs (least developed countries,” said the declaration.

Ensuring global food security was also a key item on the agenda. The BRICS countries produce about a third of the world’s food, and they stressed their commitment to furthering agricultural cooperation and driving sustainable agricultural and rural development aimed at safeguarding food security of the BRICS countries and the world. “We emphasise the strategic importance of agriculture inputs, including, inter alia, fertilizers, on ensuring global food security,” said the declaration.

Modi said at the summit that the citizens of the BRICS nations have derived benefits from cooperation among the member countries. “There are multiple areas wherein, through cooperation between BRICS nations, the citizens have benefited. By increasing connectivity between BRICS Youth Summits, BRICS sports, civil society organisations and think tanks, we have strengthened our people-to-people connect,” he said.

Modi addressed the summit virtually alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Prior to the summit, the PM delivered a keynote speech virtually in the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday, where he highlighted the success of the Indian economic model. “In order to deal with the economic problems arising out of the pandemic, in India we have adopted the mantra of ‘reform, perform and transform’. And the results of this approach are evident from the performance of the Indian economy,” he said.

This year, India is expecting 7.5% growth, which makes it the fastest growing major economy, Modi said.

“Transformative changes are taking place in every sector in the emerging ‘New India’,” said the PM. “I want to draw your attention to four main aspects. First, a key pillar of India’s current economic recovery is technology-led growth. We are supporting innovation in every sector. We have made innovation-friendly policies in many areas like space, blue economy, green hydrogen, clean energy, drones, geo-spatial data, etc. Today, India has one of the best ecosystems in the world for innovation, which is reflected in the growing number of Indian startups.”

BRICS will host a high-level dialogue on global development with guest countries on Friday.

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