Putting up a strong defence of BRICS, Chinese President Xi Jinping said today that the five- member bloc of emerging economies has not “faded its colour” in the first 10 years of its existence and is headed for a “new golden decade”.
“BRICS countries are a community of shared interests and future,” Xi told the foreign ministers of the bloc when they called on him today to discuss new ideas to revitalise the organisation. “The BRICS cooperation mechanism has traversed 10 years. I do not think it has faded at all in colour and going forward we are going to have (a) new golden decade,” he said, urging the countries to give full play to the win-win spirit and jointly contribute to the development of the organisation.
The ministers, who met Xi, include Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) V K Singh, Sergey Lavarov of Russia, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa and Alosio Nunes Ferreira of Brazil.
China will host summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa) at Xiamen city in September. The ministers meeting, the first such conference of the bloc, was called by China to discuss future course of action.
Earlier while putting up a solid defence of progress achieved by BRICS, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also spoke of BRICS Plus at a press meet but did not elaborate. “China is ready to shoulder the important mission of opening up of the second decade of BRICS cooperation. China is ready for discussion on BRICS Plus cooperation pattern and forms,” he said as Beijing took over this year’s rotating Presidency of the group from India. At the Goa summit, India invited heads of the members of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) excluding Pakistan from the region.
China was expected to outline its proposals for the BRICS summit, specially the countries it plans to invite on its sidelines of the summit. Answering a question on doubts being expressed over BRICS future, Wang said “there are some questioning voices. I think this shows the international community is paying attention to BRICS although there are different voices”. “BRICS cooperation is an eye catching one in today’s arena,” he said, adding that “whether or not BRICS is fading or not playing important role, China believes that the important attitude is seeing is believing”.
According to IMF statistics, during the first 10 years, the total economic volume of the BRICS accounts for 23 per cent of global total instead of the past 12 per cent, Wang said, adding that the BRICS countries contributed to over 50 per cent of global economic growth. “All countries should recognise this fact, that is BRICS countries are making greater and greater contribution to global economic development,” he said.
The world economy is still sluggish and many economies are facing difficulties and BRICS countries are no exception. “But if we make a comparison horizontally, we can see BRICS economies are showing strong momentum strong vitality and broad prospects,” Wang said. The BRICS cooperation has already developed full fledged framework involving dialogue cooperation covering various fields. Besides the annual summits, it has over a dozen ministerial mechanisms involving multiple areas including meetings of National Security Advisors to discuss security matters and the foreign minister mechanism launched today.
“We also have CEO meeting and counsel of think-tanks. We have also set up a joint working group on terrorism and joint working group on cyber space affairs and have parliamentary interactions,” Wang said, adding that the group can also uphold the legitimate rights of developing countries.