BRICS, the grouping of emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is holding a BRICS Trade Fair, Business Forum & Business Council in New Delhi on 12-14 October, as part of the efforts to energise the BRICS Strategy for Economic Partnership
The trade fair will showcase about 20 key sectors, including aerospace, agro-processing, auto, chemicals, green energy, healthcare, railways, textiles, infrastructure, IT, engineering goods, tourism, gems & jewellery and skill development.
Besides established companies, start-ups and innovators from BRICS will showcase their offerings to help technology solution providers share knowledge in dealing with challenges in healthcare, education, energy efficiency, waste management and urbanisation management.
The fair is meant to give an impetus to intra-BRICS economic engagement, an official statement said.
Leaders from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand have been invited for meetings at the fair. This is a new dimension and complements the regional outreach efforts being made by our respective governments to fortify South-South cooperation.
Through the various programmes that will be held, it is expected that many suggestions would emerge to take forward and implement the action plan contained in the BRICS Strategy for Economic Partnership
In over a decade since its inception, BRICS has evolved as a serious, competent and responsible grouping addressing issues and challenges with global and regional ramifications.
Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues. BRICS cooperation has two pillars – consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of leaders as well as of ministers of finance, trade, health, S&T, education, agriculture, communication, labour etc, and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of working groups / senior officials.
Intra-BRICS trade has also been on the rise. In 2012, intra-BRICS trade stood at $281.4 billion and this increased to $297 billion in 2014. This encouraging trend needs to be strengthened as trade amongst BRICS nations is less than 5 per cent of their total global trade.
The engagement of BRICS countries with the rest of the world in terms of trade flows has increased over time. Merchandise imports from the world into the BRICS countries have gone up from $2.95 trillion in 2012 to $3.03 trillion in 2014. Likewise, the global merchandise exports of the BRICS countries have gone up from $3.2 trillion in 2012 to $3.47 trillion in 2014.
There are several shared interests that bring the BRICS economies together. A major agenda of the grouping is to reform the global governance architecture which is yet to reflect the changing global scenario where the emerging economies are playing a larger role. Another agenda for the BRICS economies is to work with the international community in keeping the multilateral trading system stable.
The most important development under BRICS has been the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) which aims to serve as a source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their developmental needs.
Even as BRICS nations work together towards achieving these objectives, there is a need felt for measures to be taken to deepen intra-BRICS economic engagement, trade and investment ties. The programmes planned at New Delhi – BRICS Trade Fair (October 12-14, 2016), BRICS Business Forum (October 13, 2016) and BRICS Business Council (October 14, 2016) – are steps that would help the grouping to collectively move in this direction.
The first BRICS Trade Fair and Exhibition will be staged just ahead of the BRICS political summit in Goa (October 15-16, 2016). This major initiative was proposed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last year during his address to the members of the BRICS Business Council at Ufa, Russia. In line with the overall core theme for BRICS in 2016, the focus of the Trade Fair is 'Building BRICS – Innovation for Collaboration'. The Trade Fair is expected to give an impetus to intra-BRICS economic engagement and to foster connects amongst members of our business community.
In addition to the BRICS Trade Fair, BRICS Business Forum will be held on October 13, 2016. This is a full day conference that will see participation from over 1,000 business delegates from all BRICS countries.
The BRICS Business Council was established during the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa, with the objective of promoting and strengthening business, trade and investment ties amongst the business communities of the five countries.