South Africa hosted the fifth BRICS Summit from 26 to 28 March 2013 at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC). This will complete the first cycle of BRICS summits.
The central area of discussion was under the overarching theme, BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation.
Subsequent to the discussions that took place at the Business Forum Meeting, the industry leaders from the business communities of the five countries namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agreed on the following points:
• BRICS and Africa will forge a closer partnership for development integration and industrialisation.
• BRICS countries will actively support infrastructure development and industrialisation on the African continent in order to contribute to its development and to expand trade links between Africa and BRICS.
• The global economic situation, though improving, continues to remain uncertain with the Euro-crisis a major concern. The recovery seen in the US and the continued steps taken by the Euro Zone countries to address the sovereign debt crisis are worth noting. The task ahead is to build on these developments and BRICS countries remain committed to the cause of promoting sustainable growth.
• Greater economic cooperation amongst BRICS countries is imperative. This can help in addressing some of the domestic challenges each of us face as well as prove beneficial for global economic growth.
• China and Brazil have agreed to establish a currency swap line worth around 30 billion dollar in their respective currencies, which they say is designed to protect against future global financial crises.
Key recommendations of the Summit
• The BRICS Nations fully support the efforts of their respective governments at the G20 that has emerged as the premiere forum to address critical global economic and financial issues. We shall work collectively to carry forward the work agenda set by the G20 leaders for promoting stronger, sustainable and more equitable growth.
• They reiterate that the world economic order is changing and that the process of developing economic policy agenda at the global level should reflect this. While there is a realization even amongst the developed countries about the increasing economic weight of emerging economies, this is not fully reflected in the governance model of global institutions such as the IMF and World Bank. We shall continue to work alongside our governments to gradually usher in governance reforms at multi-lateral institutions.
• The BRICS nation urges their respective governments to deepen their consultative engagements on economic policies to bring about stability and certainty in global financial markets.
• The BRICS nations encourage their respective governments to take steps to deepen economic engagement amongst the BRICS countries. The establishment of the BRICS Business Council is, therefore, supported as a practical measure that will deepen economic engagement amongst BRICS countries. Trade and investment are the two pillars of economic engagement amongst BRICS countries. We should look to continue enhancing intra-BRICS trade to achieve at least US$ 500 billion by 2015 as per agreement from previous Business Forum in India. It is essential to improve the quality of trade by focusing on more value added trade in all the three sectors namely manufacturing, services and agriculture. Likewise, we should capitalise on opportunities in sectors such as but not limited to agriculture and agro-processing, energy, sustainable development, infrastructure, mining beneficiation, pharmaceutical and information and communication technology. There is agreement that support for industrialisation projects on the African continent will contribute to the expansion of trade and investment links between BRICS and Africa.
• The Countries are encouraged by the discussions that are taking place amongst our respective governments towards greater cooperation in the financial sector. The possibility of setting up of a development bank and investment fund and promoting trade within this group in local currencies are particularly encouraging and progress in finalising these.
New areas of cooperation to be explored
• BRICS Public Diplomacy Forum.
• BRICS Anti-Corruption Cooperation.
• BRICS State Owned Companies / State Owned Enterprises.
• National Agencies Responsible for Drug Control.
• BRICS virtual secretariat.
• BRICS Youth Policy Dialogue
• Sports and Mega Sporting Events.
About BRICS Summit
• BRICS is an acronym for the powerful grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The first BRIC Summit took place in Yekateringburg, Russia, where the elected leaders of the four countries formally declared the membership of the BRIC economic bloc. South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, resulting in BRICS.
• The BRICS mechanism aims to achieve peace, security, development and cooperation. It also seeks to contribute significantly to the development of humanity and establish a more equitable and fair world.