BRICS to push value-added trade

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New Delhi | Published: June 28, 2018 11:59:56 PM

The summit is expected to focus on new areas that have been proposed by member countries during various interactions held in recent months.

Countries including Argentina, Indonesia, Egypt and Turkey have also received invitation for the BRICS-plus outreach

Development and inclusive economic growth, value-added trade among BRICS countries and promoting investment in productive sectors will top the agenda of discussions at the BRICS summit next month. The three-day event will be held in South Africa from July 25.

The summit is expected to focus on new areas that have been proposed by member countries during various interactions held in recent months. These include: a working group on peacekeeping, creation of a vaccine research centre, creation of the BRICS gender and women forum and BRICS strategic partnership towards the progress of the fourth industrial revolution.

According to media reports, South Africa is planning to reach out to other African nations for industrialisation and infrastructure development in the continent. Rwanda (chair of the African Union), Namibia (incoming chair of the Southern African Development Community) and Togo (chair of the economic community of West Africa) will take part. The head of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, president of African Development Bank and chiefs of six regional executive committees have also been invited.

Countries such as Argentina, Indonesia, Egypt and Turkey have also received invitation for the BRICS-plus Outreach.

Earlier this month, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, during her five-day trip to South Africa, attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) foreign ministers’ meeting in Pretoria. She, along with other members of the group, opposed the ‘new wave of protectionism’ and the systematic impact of unilateral measures that are incompatible with the WTO rules.

According to a statement released at the end of the meeting, “The ministers emphasised the importance of an open and inclusive world economy enabling all countries and people to share the benefits of globalisation. They underlined the firm commitment to free trade, and centrality of a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organisation.”
They reiterated that the WTO dispute settlement system is a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system as it is designed to enhance security and predictability in international trade,” the statement said.
They reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the IMF’s 15th general review of quotas, including a new quota formula, by the spring meetings in 2019. Emerging countries such as India, China, Brazil and Russia have been asking for increased voting rights in the IMF proportionate to their growing share in the world economy.

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