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11th BRICS Summit


  • The 11th BRICS Summit took place from 13th -14th November 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil, held under the theme - Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.
  • Brasilia Declaration was adopted by the BRICS member countries.

Major Highlights of Summit

  • The Summit focused on the following priorities:
    • Strengthening of the cooperation in Science, technology and innovation
    • Enhancement of the cooperation on digital economy
    • Invigoration of the cooperation on the fight against transnational crime, especially against organized crime, money laundry and drug traffic
    • Encouragement to the rapprochement between the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Business Council.
  • Need to Reform Multilateral Organisations: BRICS countries called for an urgent need to strengthen and reform the United Nations and other multilateral organisations, including the WTO and the IMF, to address the significant challenges being faced by the developing countries.
  • Obligation to Multilateralism: BRICS is committed to multilateralism, cooperation of sovereign states to maintain peace and security, advance sustainable development and ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all and build a brighter shared future for the international community.
  • Wider Role for Member Countries: Emphasizing on their commitment to shape a more fair, just, equitable and representative multipolar international order, the leaders underlined the imperative that international organisations be fully driven by member states and promote the interests of all.

Main Highlights of Brasilia Declaration

Global Trade Governance

  • The BRICS leaders reiterated their continuous support for the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • It is critical that all WTO members avoid unilateral and protectionist measures, which run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO.

Intra-BRICS Trade

  • The BRICS leaders acknowledged that trade expansion among BRICS members will further contribute to strengthening international trade flows.
  • It noted the progress achieved by the BRICS Customs Administrations regarding the draft BRICS Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement.
  • They also noted the importance of the implementation of the BRICS Authorized Economic Operator Program by the end of 2022.
  • In the development of trade relations, special attention has been accorded to the cooperation of the business communities of BRICS countries.
  • The Brasilia Declaration welcomes the holding of the BRICS Business Forum and the establishment of the BRICS Women Business Alliance.

Investment And Finance

  • The Declaration outlined the directions for the New Development Bank (NDB), the sole international organization established by the BRICS countries which will further contribute to the mobilization of resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and otheremerging markets and dynamic economies (EMDEs).
  • To create a BRICS bond fundwhich involves the establishment of the BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund and continuous consideration of creating an alternative international payments system?

Regional Situations

  • To work together for peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means, and recognize the role of the UN Security Council as bearing the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security

India’s Proposals

India proposed the following actions during the 11th BRICS Summit-

  • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure Initiative: India requested BRICS countries and NDB to join Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure initiative.
  • First Meeting of BRICS Water Ministers: Emphasizing the need of sustainable water management and sanitation, India proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India.
  • Coalition in Health Field: Recalling about the recent Fit India Movement started in India, PM stressed to increase contacts and exchanges between the BRICS in the field of fitness and health.
  • Mutual Social Security Agreement: India suggested that the five countries together should also consider a Mutual Social Security Agreement, a move that would provide benefits of detachment, totalisation and portability to employees of the five nations.

BRICS

  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • In 2001, the British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
  • The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers in New York in 2006.
  • In 2011, at the Sanya Summit, South Africa became part of the grouping, adding the "S" to the acronym, now BRICS.
  • The five BRICS countries are also members of G-20.
Significance
  • BRICS brings together five economies accounting for 42% of the world’s population, 23% of the global GDP and an around 17% share of world trade.

Role of BRICS in the International Order

Important Global Pillar:

  • What makes BRICS important is the fact that with over 40 percent of the world’s population in its fold, the combined output of these countries constitutes more than 20 percent of the world GDP. This means, the BRICS economies collectively have evolved into a strong economic force as reflected in the increasing share of BRICS in the world GDP, making it an important pillar of global order.

Financial Role:

  • What led to the relevance of BRICS in international order was the financial crisis of 2008, which raised skepticism and concerns over the dollar-dominated monetary system.The establishment of a New Development Bank is a part of general efforts on the part of the BRICS group to promote international development and reflects their understanding of where the priorities lie when it comes to promoting development.Such initiatives will open up to the developing world new resources, experiences, and an understanding of the priorities of emerging powers.

Role in International Peace and Security:

  • All BRICS countries are key UN members when it comes to maintaining international peace and security. Most of them make valuable contributions to UN peacekeeping operations by providing troops, training, or voting for supportive mandates. Besides peace operations, BRICS members consider the UN to be the most legitimate institution for adopting collective action for restoring and keeping peace such as preventive deployments and post-conflict peace-building.
  • In August, 2019, USA formally withdrew from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) which mandated the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.The decision has the potential to incite new armsrace. Here comes the relevance of BRICs, which can play a significant role in assuring world peace by playing an active role in dispute resolution, maintaining peace and stability.

Role in Poverty Reduction and Development:

  • Despite recession at the global level, BRICS countries accelerated economic growth, drove millions out of poverty and reducing international inequalities.The BRICS nations are leaders within their own regions and surrounded by a cluster of smaller neighbours. This also provides significant opportunities for the smaller neighbours to benefit from external growth and development.

Way Forward

  • Since its inception, BRICS has played a vital role both in practical as well as ideational terms in reforming the global financial system as well as in the norm setting processes with in world politics.
  • Looking ahead to the next decade, the BRICS countries, as an emerging international actor representing emerging and developing countries, will need to participate in global governance on the international stage with new cooperation structures and concepts.
  • BRICS is marching towards the next "golden decade," and science, technology and innovation are among the most important areas of cooperation. In order to achieve more success, it is necessary to take the following measures:
  • First of all, BRICS needs to identify the most important areas for cooperation. As science, technology and innovation cover many aspects related to the fourth industrial revolution as well as to a nation's economy, society and even military, it is better for BRICS to promote cooperation in the critical areas such as computer chips, fifth generation (5G) wireless technology and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Secondly, in the process of cooperation, the principle of mutual consultation, contribution and shared benefits should be upheld. Only by adhering to this principle can BRICS nations make good use of their comparative advantages to keep up the momentum of cooperation and eliminate the barriers for technology transfers among themselves.
  • Thirdly, the financial issue needs to be dealt with in a proper way. R&D in the fields of science, technology and innovation is capital-intensive and requires significant funding. Therefore, the New Development Bank should set up an R&D fund to provide financial support for scientific and technological innovation cooperation among the BRICS countries.
  • Last but not least, BRICS should adopt an inclusive and open attitude towards other emerging economies. On the one hand, R&D is a trans-border activity; while on the other, many emerging economies outside of BRICS have progressed to a very high level in the fields of science, technology and innovation. So it is also essential for BRICS to start cooperating with non-BRICS countries.