India has proposed that resources of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) should be used for strengthening social infrastructure in addition to promoting industry.

“India expressed the desire to expand the horizon of the BRICS NDB and resources be utilised for strengthening of social infrastructure besides promotion of industrial sector…They (BRICS nations) expressed their intention to collaborate with the NDB,” according to a statement issued by the Commerce & Industry Ministry following the fifth meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers on Wednesday.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal chaired the meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers attended by his counterparts from member countries including Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.

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The theme chosen by India was ‘Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’. In a joint declaration, the Ministers recognised the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in trade and industry.

‘Trade environment’

“They reiterated their commitment to make efforts to foster open, fair, and non-discriminatory trade environment, ensure greater participation in global value chains, promote digital inclusion, assess the implications, and encourage the progressive, safe, equitable, and sustainable use of disruptive technologies for advancing growth,” the release said.

The Ministers appreciated the need for adopting emerging new technologies in a fast changing world and recognised this as an important tool for modernisation and transformation of industry and promotion of inclusive economic growth, thus helping BRICS economies to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

They agreed on the need to build human resources in line with the changing requirements accelerated by the emerging technology to promote training and skills development of the related workforce and businesses through workshops, seminars, and exchange programmes.

The meeting concluded with the BRICS Industry Ministers reaffirming their commitment to work together as a group, share best practices and learn from weaknesses, and move ahead in a positive and constructive manner to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.