6th BRICS summit in Brazil (Fortaleza and Brasilia, 15-16 July 2014): Russian vision
Over five years of its existence, the BRICS community comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa has evolved from a political project into an essential factor of global politics and economy.
Today BRICS accounts for 27 per cent of global GDP, 18 per cent of global trade, 45 per cent of world population and a third of Earth’s land mass.
BRICS is one of the pillars of the emerging multipolar world. Our countries share a wide range of strategic interests.
We are all seeking to reform the global financial system that does not reflect the economic realities of the 21st century. Most importantly, BRICS countries and other emerging economies are significantly underrepresented in this system. As a result, decisions adopted by key international financial institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, tend to be one-sided.
Another long-term common interest of the BRICS states is their desire to enhance the rule of law and the leading role of the UN in international relations, thus preventing the imposition of unilateral and at times even military scenarios of problem settlement on sovereign states.
BRICS partners are also interested in making best use of the complementary nature of our economies in order to boost social and economic development and enhance competitiveness in the global markets. With a market of nearly three billion consumers, the potential is huge.
Finally, BRICS countries are facing a common social and economic challenge – that of modernisation. Sharing best practices and joint projects will contribute to successfully settling arising problems, ranging from a new quality of urbanisation policy to higher standards of public healthcare.
It is the combination of these and many other common interests that makes BRICS a viable and dynamic community of states. The number of formats for cooperation is steadily growing. Today they total 23 – from summits to meetings of sectoral working groups on healthcare, agriculture, ITC, research and development. The “civic dimension” of BRICS is also expanding – there is a Twinned Cities’ and Local Government Cooperation Forum, as well as a consortium of expert centres.
Crucially, business is getting increasingly involved in BRICS cooperation. In 2013 the BRICS Business Council comprising 25 leading entrepreneurs from the five countries was established and has been successfully operating ever since. Business fora are attracting everr more participants from the business community and serve as a good platform for sharing experience of operating in the BRICS markets and as a “business project fair”. The Bank Forum and a mechanism for development banks cooperation are in place. The BRICS Exchanges Alliance has already been in operation for two years enabling cross-listing of shares of over seven thousand companies with a total capitalisation of about eight trillion dollars.
As a sign of growing attractiveness of BRICS to the rest of the world, a number of big emerging economies and developing countries are showing interest in establishing strategic partnerships with BRICS. Within the Group of Twenty there is the so-called Like-Minded Group comprising BRICS countries, Mexico, Indonesia and Argentina. They coordinate their approaches to a number of major financial and economic issues addressed within the G-20.
On 15-16 July 2014 the 6th BRICS summit will take place in Fortaleza and Brasilia, Brazil. It will be held under the motto “Inclusive growth: sustainable solutions”. The agenda includes enhancing political cooperation among the partners, ways of settling regional crises and conflict situations, analysis of the global financial and economic situation and measures to promote common interests within leading international financial organisations, as well as establishment of the New Development Bank and the Pool of BRICS Currency Reserves.
16 July will see another meeting of the leaders in the outreach format, this time with heads of a number of South American states.
The political agenda covers global governance with a focus on strengthening the central role of the UN and its institutions, strict compliance with norms and principles of international law, preventing attempts by certain states to impose on the international community the policy of toppling undesired regimes and promoting unilateral solutions to conflict situations.
Consolidation of efforts by the BRICS states to combat global threats and challenges will also get special attention. These include, in particular, combating terrorism, illicit drugs trafficking, non-proliferation and enhancing global information security.
Furthermore, ways to settle the situation in Syria, Afghanistan, the Sahel-Sahara Region (Guinea Bissau, Mali and the Central African Republic) as well as the Middle East will be addressed.
On a separate note, the Russian side will present the partners with its view on the situation in Ukraine.
The general theme of the BRICS summit in Brazil mentioned above is truly strategic as it is addressed both to individuals, societies and governments. Today, financial authorities and central banks of the five countries are working hard to finalise constituent documents of the BRICS financial institutions – the New Development Bank and the Pool of BRICS Currency Reserves. Their joint resources may total some 200 billion US dollars. Thus, a foundation will be laid for truly large-scale joint actions of the BRICS partners to the benefit of sustainable social and economic development of our countries.
The Bank to be established will become one of the largest multilateral development banks in the world. Its stated capital will amount to 100 billion US dollars.
The Pool with the volumes of possible swap operations of up to 100 billion US dollars will serve as effective protection of national currencies of our states from volatility of financial markets. If necessary, it will help the BRICS states to deal with a lack of short-term liquidity, enhance global financial stability and complement existing international mechanisms. The very existence of the Pool will serve as a stabilising factor in the monetary affairs of our countries.
Russia believes that under current circumstances and given the situation in the global markets, strengthening economic ties between the BRICS states acquires a significant role. This will make it possible to use the advantages offered by the complementary nature of BRICS economies and withstand unfavourable global market developments.
In this context the Russian side deems it important to consider its proposal for a BRICS Strategy of Multilateral Economic Cooperation. Moreover, we intend to propose adopting a more specific Roadmap on Trade and Economic and Investment Cooperation involving a number of projects in various fields.
Some of these projects will be unveiled at the summit. They include large-scale initiatives in the fields of energy, global space navigation, as well as cooperation in the areas of mining and metallurgy.
The Russian side will also call for the launch of cultural cooperation within BRICS and for the conclusion of a respective agreement.
Dialogue on promoting global development could be another area of BRICS cooperation enabling experience exchange, closer coordination of positions in the UN and specialised agencies in the field of donor assistance, as well as exploration of ways to implement multilateral projects in certain developing countries. Participation of BRICS partners in the Russian programme on reducing child mortality in the poorest countries of the world could become an example of practical implementation of this initiative.
The upcoming Russian BRICS Presidency in 2015-2016 will focus above all on gradual transformation of this community from a discussion forum and instrument for coordinating policies on a limited number of issues into a full-scale mechanism for strategic and day-to-day cooperation on key issues of global politics and economy and its establishment as an integral part of the global governance system.