Modi calls for greater trade, economic cooperation among BRICS nations

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi   -  PTI

Seeks support for India-South Africa proposal on TRIPS waiver to fight Covid

BRICS nations – which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – will play a significant role in the post-Covid economic recovery process and there is lot of scope to increase trade and economic cooperation between the five countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the virtual BRICS Summit hosted by Russia on Tuesday.

The PM also sought support from BRICS partners to push for reforms in the UN Security Council and other UN associated bodies and international organisations.

The meeting, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

The BRICS nations together account for 42 per cent of the world population and are also considered the main engines (of growth) for the world economy, the PM said. “Our institutions and systems such as the BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, New Development Bank, Contingent Reserve Arrangement and Customs Cooperation will also add to the effectiveness of our contribution to global recovery,” Modi said.

India hoped that all BRICS countries would support the proposal made by India and South Africa for temporary waiver of intellectual property agreement (TRIPS) at the WTO to ensure that medicines and vaccines are easily produced and distributed to combat the pandemic, the PM said.

Focus on digital health

He said that during its chairmanship of the BRICS in 2021, India will work towards increasing cooperation in the area of digital health and traditional medicines.

On India’s ‘Atmanirbhar India’ drive, Modi said it was a reform process based on the belief that a self-reliant and resilient India could be a ‘force multiplier’ in a post-Covid world economic order and can be a strong contributor to global value chains.

“We saw an example of this (self-reliance and resilience) during the pandemic when we helped hundreds of nations with medical supplies, and now we are looking at large-scale vaccine production,” he said.

The Indian PM made a case for reforms within international organisations such as the UN, the World Trade Oganisation and the IMF. “India has been committed to the UN. We have lost the highest number of personnel within the UN peacekeeping force. But today, many questions are being raised around the UN. India believes that reforms in the UN Security Council is very important and we seek support from BRICS in this regard. There should be reforms in other UN associated bodies,” he said.

On terrorism, Modi said that it is important that the countries supporting it are held accountable. “Terrorism is the biggest problem facing the world today. We have to ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are held accountable, and this problem is tackled in an organised manner,” he said.

Published on November 17, 2020

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