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10th BRICS Summit

Context

10thBRICS summit was held at Johannesburg, South Africa between 25 and 27th July, 2018

About BRICS

  • BRICS countries come from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America and all are member of G-20
  • Together the nation account for 26.46% of world’s land area, 42.58% of world’s population, 13.24% of world bank voting power and 14.91% of IMF quota shares
  • Through BRICS, the countries can have multilateral relations in their local currencies. This helps all of them directly as the Forex is not depleted and their own currencies are strengthened.
  • They promote South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue. (South represents developing countries and North represents Developed)
  • According to IMF estimate BRICS countries generated 22.53% of worlds GDP and they contributed more than 50% of economic growth during the last 10 years.

10th BRICS Summit

  • Theme of 10th BRICS Summit:“BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.
  • 10th summit meeting was on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and every leader at summit recognizes his values, principles and dedication to the service of humanity
  • During 10th summit, BRICS-AFRICA Outreach also held

BRICS outreach to Africa

  • The BRICS outreach to Africa began at the last summit hosted by South Africa, in 2013.
  • Aim is to increase engagement and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, in particular emerging and developing countries, and relevant international and regional organizations
  • The Sub-theme for the BRICS-AFRICA Outreach: BRICS in Africa: Working towards the realization of the African Aspirations.

BRICS Plus

  • China has invited Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand as guest countries for the 9th BRICS summit
  • China clarified that the invitation is not an attempt to expand the group under its ‘BRICS Plus’ approach.
  • India had also invited BIMSTEC countries on sideline of BRICS summit at Goa

Key outcomes of 10th Summit

  1. On Global Order
  • Reaffirm their commitment to the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, democracy, inclusiveness and strengthened collaboration.
  • Recognize the regional initiatives in support of multilateral system and commitment towards representative multipolar international order
  1. On UN reform
  • Support the central role of the United Nations and respect for international law, promoting democracy and the rule of law.
  • They reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including Security Council. China and Russia reiterate the role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN
  1. On Sustainable Development and climate change
  • Support for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), in coordinating and reviewing global implementation of the 2030 Agenda
  • On climate change they showed their willingness to continue working constructively with other Parties to conclude Paris agreement its related negotiations at UNFCCC towards the 24th Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP24) to be held in Katowice, Poland in December 2018
  1. On Energy
  • Reaffirm the diversification of energy supply sources, including renewable and low carbon energy sources and market development
  • Agreed to establish the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform
  1. On Agriculture
  • Reaffirm and support the establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform (ARP) initiated by India in 2016
  1. Cooperation in biodiversity conservation
  2. On Blue Economy
  • Cooperation in strategic areas of maritime transport, shipbuilding, offshore oil and exploration, aquaculture, port development, research and technology, conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, marine and coastal tourismas well as coastal industrial zone development
  1. On Terrorism
  • Support adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations General Assembly
  • Emphasize the need for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism
  • It raise concern over conflicts in Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria and North Africa
  1. On Arms race in Outer Space
  • Reaffirmed that the prevention of arms race, including the placement of weapons in outer space would avert a great danger for international peace and security
  1. On Africa
  • Supports African Union’s commitment to the “Silencing of the Guns by 2020” and their efforts to strengthen the African Peace and Security
  • Support African Union’s Agenda 2063 for development and efforts to promote continental integration and development
  1. On Economy
  • Focus on the 4th Industrial Revolution and the establishment of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR)
  • The PartNIR aims at deepening BRICS cooperation in digitalisation, industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment, to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution.
  • Reaffirm the centrality of the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • Strengthen cooperation on convergence of accounting standards and auditing oversight of BRICS countries in the area of bond issuance and establishment of BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund
  • Signed Memorandum of Understanding on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Blockchain Technology in the Context of the Development of the Digital Economy
  1. Cooperation on IPR
  2. People to People Cooperation
  • People-centred approach to development
  • Cooperation in the field of sports, youth, films, culture, education and tourism
  1. A large number of bilateral meetings took place on the sidelines of summit.

Achievement of BRICS in 10 Years

  • There is a fair degree of cooperation on issues such as trade, infrastructure finance, urbanization and climate change
  • Institutionalization of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement

  • BRICS countries have become a significant constructive force in promoting multilateral global order, propelling international economic globalization and promoting cultural diversity
  • BRICS nations adhere to the principle of equality, negotiation, and pragmatic cooperation. The principle of equality is the foremost one
  • BRICS nations have successfully pushed for reforms to the Bretton Woods system, the World Bank and the IMF.
  • BRICS’s contribution to world’s GDP has increased from 12 percent to 23 percent and its trade volume has increased from 11 percent to 16 percent of the world total
  • People-to-people exchanges and education cooperation

Issues/Challenges

  • Changing power equations within BRICS. China’s dominance is a reality even as the grouping asserts the sovereign equality of all members.
  • Bilateral issues, as for example, recent military standoff between India and China on the Doklam plateau
  • There is only hollow promise by Russia and China over the UN reform and admission of India and Brazil in UNSC as permanent members
  • The economic structures and development trends of the BRICS countries are very similar which leads to economic competition and conflicts
  • NDB failed to act as an alternative to IMF and WB till now. NDB has dispersed loans totaling $5.1 billion — all to its members only
  • Delay to set up the BRICS credit rating agency that India favours

Way Ahead

  • Establish an arbitration mechanism to resolve economic conflicts that emerge among nation
  • NDB should disperse more loan to other developing countries of Asia and Africa
  • BRICS should also work towards creating a common currency and credit rating agency to reduce its dependence on dollar and western countries
  • Develop a framework to fight against protectionist trade policy adopted by US
  • Develop a mechanism to resolve bilateral issues
  • Adopt proactive measures to resolve rising inequality among member countries
  • The ultimate aim for the BRICS should be to take up a leadership role inreforming global financial and political institutions. This couldn’t be happen without enhanced engagement
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