The 9th BRICS Summit will be held in Xiamen, Fujian Province in September 2017 under China’s Chairmanship.
The BRICS cooperation process was first launched in 2006. Ten years of hard efforts have resulted in ten years of progress. Over the past decade, BRICS cooperation has gone to greater depth and substance, yielding fruitful and laudable outcomes. Now, BRICS provides an important cooperation platform for emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS cooperation meets the objective needs of world economic development, conforms to the trend of the evolution of international paradigm, and serves the common interests of the international community.
The year of 2017 ushers in the second decade of BRICS cooperation. China stands ready to join hands with the other members to uphold the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, comprehensively deliver on the outcomes of the previous Summits, build a closer partnership, deepen practical cooperation in all fields, effectively address global challenges, and make bigger contribution to world economic growth, global governance and democracy in international relations.
In today’s world, emerging markets and developing countries, with sound momentum and prospects for development, are a pivotal force in global development. At the same time, they are faced with a myriad of complex challenges and “headwind” in development. The lack of steam in world economic recovery, the interplay of traditional and non-traditional security risks as well as the anti-globalization and protectionism tendency are especially sources of concern. Against this backdrop, it is all the more important for BRICS to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, uphold common interests and shoulder the due share of responsibilities as major countries.
I. Theme of the Xiamen Summit
On 1 January 2017 when China officially took over the BRICS Chairmanship, President Xi Jinping sent letters to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Michel Temer of Brazil and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, briefing them on how China plans to promote BRICS cooperation under its Chairmanship. He pointed out that China looks forward to working with the other members to take stock of the decade-long BRICS cooperation and draw a blueprint for future development at the Xiamen Summit under the theme of “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.
Thanks to a decade of development, BRICS partnership has taken deep roots and represents the shared aspirations of all members. The strengthening of BRICS strategic partnership was highlighted both in the 2015 Ufa Declaration and the 2016 Goa Declaration. Building on this, China looks forward to earnestly implementing the leaders’ consensus and working with all the other members for an enhanced BRICS Partnership. More specifically, we aim for:
- A partnership that upholds world peace. BRICS countries should advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, act in coordination and render each other support. It is important to uphold international fairness and justice and call for peaceful and political settlement of disputes through dialogue and negotiation.
- A partnership that promotes common development. BRICS countries should strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, press ahead with structural reforms, adopt innovative growth models and foster an open world economy. Efforts should continue to be made to hold high the banner of development and facilitate market inter-linkages, financial integration and infrastructure connectivity among BRICS countries.
- A partnership that carries forward diversity of civilizations. BRICS countries should support all-dimensional friendly exchanges and people-to-people contacts carried out by all walks of life to bringing people closer, and enhance mutual understanding and traditional friendships between BRICS peoples to garner more popular support for BRICS cooperation.
- A partnership dedicated to improved global economic governance. BRICS countries should continue to push forward the reform of global economic governance so as to make it reflect the historical trend of the rise of emerging markets and developing countries and provide these countries with bigger voice and representation in international affairs.
China believes that, with a deepened partnership, BRICS countries will comprehensively strengthen practical cooperation in all areas, improve people’s well-being and open up a brighter future for the common development of the five countries.With a deepened partnership, BRICS countries will take South-South cooperation to a new high, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open up a brighter future for economic development and social progress of all developing countries. With a deepened partnership, BRICS countries will enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, promote a fairer and more equitable international order and open up a brighter future for the global cause of peace and development.
As the BRICS Chair for 2017, China will maintain close coordination and cooperation with all the other members during the preparations for the Xiamen Summit so as to jointly ensure its success and write a new chapter for BRICS cooperation.
II. Cooperation Priorities in 2017
In his letter to his BRICS counterparts dated 1 January 2017, President Xi Jinping pointed out that the Xiamen Summit is expected to make progress in following four areas: 1) deepen BRICS cooperation for common development; 2) enhance global governance to jointly meet challenges; 3) carry out people-to-people exchanges to support BRICS cooperation; and 4) make institutional improvements and build broader partnerships.
DEEPEN BRICS COOPERATION FOR COMMON DEVELOPMENT
Strengthen Economic Partnership
BRICS countries are all members of the Group of 20. With vast territories and big populations, BRICS countries carry much weight in the world economic paradigm. Over the past decade, BRICS economic aggregate has soared from 12% of the global total to 23%, and its share in international trade increased from 11% to 16%. Together, BRICS countries have formulated the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, which draws up systematic plans for deepening economic cooperation and fostering integrated trade and investment markets. The inception of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) represents a good effort to promote global economic governance and development of emerging markets and developing countries. Given the persistence of complex and grim world economic situation, BRICS countries face both development opportunities and challenges. Against this backdrop, BRICS needs to implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, step up macroeconomic policy coordination and dovetail development strategies.
Promote International Cooperation on Development
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a guideline for international development cooperation. Representing the interests of emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS needs to hold high the banner of development, lead by example in the implementation of the Agenda, and consolidate the momentum of international development cooperation.
STRENGTHEN GLBOAL GOVERNANCE TO JOINTLY MEET CHALLENGES
Maintain International Peace and Stability
Political and security cooperation is an important pillar for BRICS. Through such mechanisms as the Meeting of National Security Advisers and the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations, BRICS countries have maintained regular exchange of views and coordinated positions on major international and regional issues of common interest. Working groups on counter terrorism and on security in the use of ICT have been established. Building on past achievements, BRICS countries need to further enhance strategic mutual trust, intensify communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, speak with one voice on hotspot issues and play a constructive role in preserving international and regional peace and stability and upholding fairness and justice in international affairs.
Foster an Open World Economy
Economic globalization stands at a crossroads. The international community is to make the crucial choice between remaining open and going for isolation. The multilateral trading system lacks progress and economic cooperation becomes more regionally fragmented. Global trade and investment remains sluggish and less effective in spurring growth. Under such circumstances, BRICS needs to work together for an open world economy. It is important to firmly uphold the role of the multilateral trading system as the main channel, keep pushing forward the WTO Doha Round negotiations, oppose all forms of protectionism and particularism and ensure that all countries enjoy equal rights and opportunities and follow the same set of rules in development.
Improve International Financial and Monetary Systems
With the implementation of the 2010 IMF reform, an important step has been taken in the global economic governance reform. BRICS needs to continue pushing forward the reform of the Bretton Woods institutions to increase the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance. It is important to urge the IMF to complete the 15th general review of quotas on time, and expand and strengthen the role of SDR. Efforts should also be made to push forward the World Bank voting share review. At the same time, BRICS should make better use of the role of the NDB with a view to supporting the development of BRICS and other emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS should also encourage the CRA to step up macroeconomic research and enhance its operability.
Strengthen Coordination and Cooperation in Multilateral Mechanisms
As responsible members of the international community, BRICS countries are firm followers of multilateralism. The five countries need to enhance communication and coordination in the G20, UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO and other major international organizations and cooperation frameworks to improve global economic governance and promote a more equitable, reasonable and efficient international order.
CARRY OUT PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGES TO SUPPORT BRICS COOPERATION
Engage in Cultural Exchanges and Mutual Learning
Culture carries the spirit and blood of a country and a nation and should therefore be passed down and enriched through mutual learning. BRICS countries all enjoy profound cultural tradition and distinct cultural identity, and are all outstanding representatives of the diverse human civilizations. Enhanced cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation among BRICS countries will go a long way in deepening the traditional friendships and mutual understanding between BRICS peoples and promoting the exchanges and development of all civilizations. In the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, diversity and mutual learning, BRICS countries should introduce more mechanisms for cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, work together to implement the Agreement Between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture signed in 2015, and on that basis formulate an action plan. Efforts should be supported to carry out rich and colorful cooperation and activities in such fields as culture, art, sports, media, think tank and traditional medicines, which will attract more diverse participants, benefit more people, and make BRICS cooperation more attractive and appealing.
Enhance Educational Cooperation
BRICS future belongs to the younger generation. BRICS countries, going through similar stages of development and enjoying high complementarity in education, should enhance educational cooperation through the BRICS University League, Network University and other channels, to jointly nurture innovation-minded people with international perspectives.
Promote Development of Sports
Sports is an important hallmark of social development and human progress. BRICS countries all attach great importance to sports and actively participate in international sports affairs. Cooperation in this area needs to be further enhanced with a view to promoting common development in sports and deepen friendships between their peoples.
MAKE INSTITUTIONAL IMPROVEMENTS AND BUILD BROADER PARTNERSHIPS
Improve Cooperation Mechanisms to Provide Guarantee for Cooperation in Various Fields
Institutional development for BRICS cooperation has started from scratch and made great headway over the past 10 years. Thanks to a decade of hard work, an all-dimensional and multi-layered cooperation architecture pivoted by the Summit, buttressed by the Meeting of National Security Advisers, Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations and other Ministerial Meetings and enriched by practical cooperation in dozens of fields has been developed. Going forward, BRICS needs to strengthen institutional development, set norms for cooperation mechanisms at all levels and improve continuity and consistency of cooperation so as to make BRICS cooperation more efficient, practical and fruitful.
Build Broader Partnerships
Enhanced cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries is the calling of the times. BRICS has a fine tradition of carrying out dialogue and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries for common development. It is important for BRICS to further expand its friend circle, and intensify communication and exchanges with other emerging markets and developing countries under the principle of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation to provide more positive energy for global economic growth and common development of all countries.