BRICS summit

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 10:55

Vladimir Putin took part in the eighth BRICS summit. The meeting started in narrow format and then continued with participation of the BRICS countries’ delegations.

On the summit’s agenda were plans to strengthen the BRICS strategic partnership as a key international organisation and develop multifaceted cooperation through the group.

The summit participants also discussed fighting international terrorism and reaching a settlement in Syria, bolstering global economic and financial stability, and improving the global governance system.

In followup of the summit, the BRICS leaders adopted a number of documents, including the Goa Declaration and the Action Plan for its implementation.

Among the documents adopted are the Provision on the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee, the Memorandum of Understanding between BRICS Diplomatic Academies, and the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform.

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Speech at BRICS summit expanded meeting

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister Modi, colleagues, friends,

This BRICS summit, as always, is taking place in a constructive and businesslike spirit. Credit for this goes to Prime Minister Modi, who has created an atmosphere that is at once informal and at the same time very constructive and conducive to work. This might seem just a detail, but in reality it creates the conditions needed for good and productive contact that brings us concrete results.

The BRICS countries share close positions on current global and regional issues, call for resolute action to fight terrorism, and joint efforts to counter other serious threats and challenges in today’s world.

We believe that international conflicts should be resolved exclusively through political and diplomatic means and we reject all forms of pressure using force and infringement of other countries’ sovereignty.

Some very important agreements have been prepared for today’s meeting. The Goa Declaration and the Action Plan for its implementation, which we will approve today, are comprehensive documents that set out the key tasks for the coming year and beyond. We also value greatly the fact that the Indian presidency has ensured continuity and has taken into account the initiatives that Russia put forward in Ufa a year ago.

I note that the BRICS countries’ role in the global economy continues to grow. In 2007, we accounted for less than 24 percent of global GDP, but this year, we account now for more than 31 percent. The five BRICS countries are active participants in developing multilateral decisions and agreements that will accelerate global growth and trade and help to resolve the unemployment issue.

The BRICS countries work together fruitfully within the World Trade Organisation and the G20 and share common positions on global development and reforming the global financial and economic architecture.

The New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement have begun their practical work. The Development Bank has already approved the first five investment projects in the clean energy sector, one project in each member country. We hope that the bank will actively develop project financing in the BRICS countries’ national currencies.

One of the key tasks now is to adopt a development strategy for the bank. We must decide on the geographical and sectoral priorities and then start drafting the criteria for new members’ accession to the bank and set the main parameters for its investment portfolio.

The launch of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement gives our countries opportunities to better protect our currencies from financial market fluctuations. Starting from February, the BRICS countries’ central banks have opened special correspondent accounts in our national currencies.

At this time of intensifying international competition, we call on our partners to step up trade and investment cooperation between the BRICS countries. This will enable us to make use of the advantages we gain from the mutually complementary nature of our economies and will reduce each country’s vulnerability to unfavourable changes in the global economic situation.

I remind you that at the Ufa summit a year ago, our countries adopted the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy through to 2020. We hope that the roadmap for BRICS investment cooperation and the action plan for its implementation will be ready for adoption very soon and we will be able to start the strategy’s practical implementation.

We think that our countries could pursue more effective industrial and technology cooperation. We need to move to a practical plane the initiatives to establish a BRICS foundry industry union, build a centre for processing and storing electronic data, and develop professional training. It is important to continue work on the proposal to establish a BRICS energy agency. We support India’s proposal to launch an internet resource for small and medium-sized businesses in the BRICS countries.

We see great potential for developing cooperation in the e-commerce sector. This is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world today. We therefore need to develop a unified approach to regulating activities in this sector and creating an environment for barrier-free online commerce between our countries.

We see good prospects too for cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space. To give just one example, if we unite the observation data from our remote Earth surface probe satellites, the BRICS countries could make a great contribution to resolving problems facing humanity today, such as global climate change, natural disasters, and protecting the environment.

We think it would be useful to speed up efforts to harmonise customs procedures, including exchanging experience on introducing a one-stop-shop approach for foreign economic actors, working together to unify anti-monopoly regulations, and move towards closer production norms and technical standards.

I note the active and practical contribution the BRICS Business Council is making to our work.

I think we need to bolster cooperation between our countries in the healthcare sector, with the aim of exchanging experience on preventing and stopping the spread of dangerous infectious diseases such as Ebola in Africa and the risks associated with Zika in a number of Latin American countries.

Moscow will host the High-Level Global Conference on Tuberculosis in November 2017. It will examine measures to fight this and other dangerous epidemics. We invite all of the BRICS countries to take part.

Our humanitarian cooperation is picking up the pace now. India has proposed a number of initiatives in the area and they have our support.

Russia’s initiative, the BRICS Network University, has begun its practical work, with 56 universities in our different countries joining the project over this first year of work. I am sure that the university will be an important tool for carrying out multilateral education, science and innovation projects.

Let me conclude by saying that we are ready to continue our close cooperation with our BRICS partners. I want to express sincere thanks to India’s prime minister, Mr Modi, for the enormous work our Indian friends have put in to preparing and organising this summit.

Thank you very much.

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