BRICS to enhance trade and investment cooperation

04 September 2017

The five countries that form the BRICS grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have agreed to improve and broaden trade and investment cooperation mechanism and scope, with a view to enhancing economic complementarity and diversification in BRICS countries.

The decision is in line with the cooperative frameworks, roadmaps and outlines for trade and investment facilitation and connectivity and enhanced policy sharing, information exchange, capacity building, through enhanced joint efforts on trade and investment facilitation, trade in services, e-commerce, IPR (in synergy with the cooperation activities among BRICS IP authorities), economic and technical cooperation, SMEs and women economic empowerment set at the 7th BRICS trade ministers meeting.

Towards this, it is proposed to set up a BRICS E-Port Network that will operate on a voluntary basis and the establishment of the BRICS E-commerce Working Group.

China will host an International Import Expo in 2018 and participating business communities in the BRICS countries.

Besides the countries proposed to enhance financial cooperation to better serve the real economy and meet the development needs of BRICS countries.

Towards this, the BRICS finance ministers and central bank governors have formalised a framework on cooperation on public private partnerships (PPP), including through PPP experience exchange and application of the BRICS Good Practices on PPP frameworks.

The countries also proposed better financial market integration among BRICS through promoting the network of financial institutions and the coverage of financial services within BRICS countries, subject to each country's existing regulatory framework and WTO obligations to serve the demand arising from rapid growth of trade and investment among the countries.

Towards this, the countries propose to promote the development of BRICS Local Currency Bond Markets and jointly establish a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, as a means of contribution to the capital sustainability of financing in BRICS countries, boosting the development of BRICS domestic and regional bond markets, including by increasing foreign private sector participation, and enhancing financial resilience of BRICS countries.

BRICS countries have committed to further strengthen cooperation among themselves by energising practical cooperation to boost development of BRICS countries and, inter alia, promote exchanges of good practices and experiences on development, and facilitate market inter-linkages as well as infrastructure and financial integration to achieve interconnected development.

The countries also said they would strive towards broad partnerships with emerging market developing countries (EMDCs), and in this context, pursue equal-footed and flexible practices and initiatives for dialogue and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, including through BRICS Plus cooperation.

''We will enhance communication and coordination in improving global economic governance to foster a more just and equitable international economic order. We will work towards enhancement of the voice and representation of BRICS countries and EMDCs in global economic governance and promote an open, inclusive and balanced economic globalisation, thus contributing towards development of EMDCs and providing strong impetus to redressing North-South development imbalances and promoting global growth.

''We will emphasise fairness and justice to safeguard international and regional peace and stability. We will stand firm in upholding a fair and equitable international order based on the central role of the United Nations, the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and respect for international law, promoting democracy and the rule of law in

international relations, and making joint efforts to address common traditional and non-traditional security challenges, so as to build a brighter shared future for the global community,'' the declaration states.

The declaration noted that against the backdrop of more solid global economic growth, enhanced resilience and emerging new drivers, BRICS countries continue to play an important role as engines of global growth.

While the uncertainties and downside risks to global growth persist, the BRICS countries called for greater vigilance in guarding against inward-looking policies and tendencies that are weighing on global growth prospects and market confidence.

The strategy for BRICS economic partnership and initiatives related to its priority areas such as trade and investment, manufacturing and minerals processing, infrastructure connectivity, financial integration, science, technology and innovation, and information and communication technology (ICT) cooperation, among others, remains the foundation for practical cooperation, it said.

''We commit to use all policy tools - fiscal, monetary and structural - and adopt innovation-driven development strategies to enhance resilience and potentials of our economies, so as to contribute to strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth,'' it said.

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