Brazil BRICS Summit – Noting the Outcomes (by Alexander Yakovenko, for Russia Today)
The 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, has highlighted the increasing role of emerging countries in international affairs and their ability to share strategic interests and approaches while reaching for their development goals. In my opinion, the top-10 outcomes of the event are:
1. The meeting started the second cycle of BRICS summits. This time it focused on sustainable solutions for inclusive growth. It confirmed common interests in broadening multidimensional co-operation, including mutual trade and investment. With combined GDP around 21% of global volume, 20% of global trade and 11% of accumulated investments, the five countries represent one of the largest markets in the world.
2. The summit highlighted once again that the BRICS countries play an increasingly significant role in international affairs, an example of which was the prevention of an outright military invasion of Syria, as well as the elimination of chemical weapons in that country.
3. The countries are united in their willingness to co-ordinate their positions and actions on issues of global development and the reform of the global financial and economic architecture, including the IMF. The G20 format offers the five countries a good framework for such co-operation.
4. Decision to create the New Development Bank (NDB) based in Shanghai will contribute to the efforts to eliminate infrastructure gaps and meet sustainable development needs of the BRICS countries and other emerging markets. With initial authorized capital of $100 bln, including $50 bln of equally shared initial subscribed capital, it will become one of the largest multilateral financial development institutions. Importantly, it will be open for other countries to join.
5. Creation of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, or currency reserve pool, initially sized at $100 bln, will help protect the BRICS countries against short-term liquidity pressures and international financial shocks. Together with the NDB these new instruments will contribute to further co-operation on macroeconomic policies.
6. Other documents, including the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation among BRICS Export Credit and Guarantees Agencies, as well as the Co-operation Agreement on Innovation within the BRICS Interbank Co-operation Mechanism, will offer new channels of support for trade and financial ties between the five countries.
7. The BRICS framework now includes more than 20 equally important co-operation formats, including the BRICS Business Council, the BRICS Banking Forum, the BRICS Exchanges Alliance and others, embracing such areas as information security, healthcare, agriculture, science and technology, and others.
8. Russia is actively engaged in the strengthening of the BRICS framework. Among its proposals are the draft Strategy for Multilateral Economic Co-operation and the Roadmap for Investment Co-operation. We are also proposing to establish the BRICS Energy Association, the Fuel Reserve Bank, the BRICS Energy Policy Institute and a training centre for experts in metals industries, as well as to widen co-operation in areas of culture and education.
9. Another important topic is the BRICS “outreach” format. Meetings with leaders of different regions add to the Summits’ agenda and make the work more relevant globally.
10. As Russia is taking over the position of the BRICS Chair, the next summit will be held in the city of Ufa in the Republic of Bashkortostan, in July 2015. We are looking forward to working ever more closely with our international partners.