Economy

‘New initiatives to help BRICS stay relevant’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 09, 2021

Members should strive to deliver more in the next 15 years: Modi

New initiatives recently undertaken by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations, in areas such as digital technology, customs cooperation, counter-terrorism and space, will not only benefit citizens, but also enable the institution to remain relevant in the coming years, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, BRICS members should ensure that they do not become self-satisfied, but strive to deliver more in the next 15 years, the Prime Minister said while delivering the opening remarks at the 13th BRICS Summit held virtually on Thursday

“This year, despite the challenges posed by Covid, more than 150 BRICS meetings and programmes were organised, out of which more than 20 were at the Ministerial level. Along with enhancing cooperation in traditional areas, we have also made efforts to further expand the BRICS agenda,” he said.

Modi thanked all members for extending full cooperation to India during its chairship of BRICS.

Brazil President Jair Bolsanaro; South African President Cyril Ramaphosa; Russian President Vladimir Putin; and Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the 13th BRICS Summit meeting being chaired by the Indian PM.

Achievements

In the context of efforts undertaken to expand the BRICS agenda, Modi pointed out that the bloc had achieved several ‘firsts’.

“Just recently the first-ever BRICS digital summit was held. This is an innovative step to increase health access with the help of technology. In November, our Water Resources Ministers will be meeting for the first time under the BRICS format. It is also the first time that BRICS has taken a collective position on strengthening and reforming multilateral systems,” he said.

Other firsts identified by the PM included adoption of the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan and reaching an agreement on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation between the countries’ space agencies.

‘To facilitate trade’

“With cooperation between our Customs departments, intra-BRICS trade will become easier. There has also been a consensus with regard to starting a virtual BRICS Vaccination Research and Development Centre. BRICS Alliance on green tourism is also another new initiative,” Modi recounted.

The BRICS platform has witnessed several achievements in the last-one-and-a-half decades, and has emerged as an influential voice for the emerging economies of the world.

BRICS has created strong institutions such as the New Development Bank; the Contingency Reserve Arrangement; and the Energy Research Cooperation Platform, he said.

“These are all very strong institutions. There is no doubt that there is much we can be proud of.

“However, it is also important that we do not become too self-satisfied and we must ensure that BRICS is even more result-oriented in the next 15 years,” he said.

Situation in Afghanistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin also addressed the BRICS summit and emphasised that the withdrawal of US and allies from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis, and it was unclear how it would affect regional and global security.

Published on September 09, 2021

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