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Friday, October 14, 2016

“Our People are Pivotal Partners”: Indian Prime Minister Modi on BRICS

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to welcome leaders from the BRICS countries to the western Indian state of Goa tomorrow. Modi, in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday, said the BRICS were “pivotal partners”.

“I am optimistic that the BRICS Summit will strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation and advance our common agenda for development, peace, stability and reform. It is anchored in the belief that our people are pivotal partners in our effort to craft responsive, collective and inclusive solutions,” Modi said.

The discussions during the 8th annual leaders summit are expected to cover a slate of issues weighing heavily on the BRICS bloc: cooling global growth, rising protectionism, unrest in several parts of the world including the Middle East.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley warned on Thursday against the dangers of protectionist tendencies in developed economies spreading to other parts of the world and hurting global growth.

In the latest update of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said that a drop in U.S. growth for 2016 due to a weak first-half performance would be offset by strengthening in Japan, Germany, Russia, India and some other emerging markets.

Indian Prime Minister Modi on Friday said the BRICS “will launch new initiatives in Goa even as we mark the successful operationalization of initiatives like the BRICS New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement”.

The launch of the New Development Bank is a milestone for the group.

The new lender sold 3 billion yuan ($449 million) of yuan-denominated, green bonds in China’s interbank market in July this year.

Recent growth figures cement India and China’s position as the bright spots among major emerging markets.

A drop in commodity prices, a sharp hike in trade barriers and a flare-up in geopolitical tensions have hit efforts to bolster sluggish global growth. On Friday, Indian leader Modi said he anticipates “useful conversations with my fellow leaders from China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia on addressing pressing international and regional challenges that stand in the way of our goals”. Intra-BRICS trade grew to $297 billion in 2014.

The Indian Prime Minister will host the BRICS leaders: Brazil’s Michel Temer, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma in the coastal Indian state of Goa on Oct 15-16.

Discussions in Goa will center around greater economic cooperation, trade and investment ties, and enhancing support for the fight against terrorism.

The five leaders will also take stock of the recommendations of a working group that has studied the feasibility of setting up a new BRICS credit-rating company in an effort to break the dominance of the big three developed-nation firms: Fitch, S&P and Moody’s. Developing nations have long complained that they receive harsher assessments than their developed counterparts.

New Delhi has also invited BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sir Lanka and Thailand) leaders — including Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi — for a parallel “outreach” summit.

India had hosted the BRICS Summit in 2012 during which the then leaders had reached agreement on pressing ahead with plans to create a new Bank to foster south-south cooperation.

It was the BRICS insistence on expanding voting rights for developing countries in the IMFthat finally put Brazil, China, India and Russia among the IMF’s top 10 shareholders and give emerging markets more influence at the global lender.

Source: The BRICS Post