PM proposes a BRIC joint business forum

17 Jun 2009


Prime minister Manmohan Singh today called on his BRIC counterparts to consider the establishment of a joint business forum for identifying areas of cooperation in science and technology, energy, agriculture, aviation, pharmaceuticals and the service sector.

"Our cooperation in the G-20 process must be backed up by cooperation in the real economy," the prime minister told the BRIC summit at Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The volume of trade among BRIC countries has grown rapidly in recent years. Intra-BRIC investments have also grown, he said.

He reminded them that the global financial and economic situation is much more severe than when they met at the second G-20 leaders' summit in April this year.

"The global downturn was much more severe than what we had anticipated in Washington DC in November last year," he said.

He said the G-20 summit had agreed on several short-term measures to infuse liquidity and make good the decline in capital flows to developing countries by providing adequate resources to the international financial institutions. The G-20 had also agreed on a broad direction for improvement in the regulatory and supervisory structure for the global financial system.

"We also agreed on the need to develop an effective early warning system which can identify the build up of risks which may threaten global financial stability," he said.

He said the protectionism or restrictions on the free flow of trade and persons are counterproductive, and pose a particular threat to recovery in the developing world. "The stark collapse in world trade has heightened the importance of an early completion of the Doha Round of talks keeping in mind its development dimension," he added.

There is a continuing need to redefine the role of institutions of global economic and financial governance to deal with the problems of today and to reflect contemporary realities, he said.

As far as the IMF is concerned, its surveillance function, its lending role, its resource base and governance need reforms, while the World Bank needs a substantial increase in lending, a review of its lending capacity and capital adequacy and an increase in lending limits in order to enable large developing countries to access required levels of finance so that they can support recovery in their regions, he said.

While finance ministers and central bank representatives of BRIC countries have met and identified the areas where our efforts should be focused, the prime minister said, "Our countries should also keep in contact with each other in the run up to the next G-20 leaders summit in Pittsburgh."

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