Ufa (Russia), July 9:
Assuring BRICS leaders that the Contingency Reserve Arrangement would become a reality soon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy to be adopted by the summit here later on Thursday will be a major milestone for the five-nation grouping.
“The BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy to be adopted today (Thursday) will be an important milestone in the development of BRICS,” Modi said, addressing the BRICS Business Council meeting, with the presidents of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa also in attendance.
“The Contingency Reserve Arrangement will soon become a reality, which will help in stabilising the BRICS economies,” the prime minister said.
The BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy is aimed at creating a framework for easier trade between the BRICS developing markets.
It is the first comprehensive document of its kind and introduces entirely new areas of cooperation such as physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity.
“For the first time our countries managed to negotiate and finalise the comprehensive document – the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership – that touches upon the responsibility of different ministers and requires high-level coordination,” Modi said.
The Contingency Reserve Arrangement to facilitate intra-group trade in members’ local currencies assumes even more importance in the context of the Greek bailout crisis that along with China’s stock market plunge has revived the spectre of weaker economic growth.
Modi proposed that BRICS nations host an annual trade fair, adding that India would be happy to host the first such event.
“I will propose an annual BRICS trade fair. India will be happy to host the first BRICS trade fair,” Modi said in his remarks at the BRICS Business Council meeting at the seventh BRICS Summit.
Speaking in Hindi, he stressed that the five nations should create synergies seeing each other’s advantages, adding that cooperation would also give a boost to skill development.
He said the BRICS New Development Bank has become a reality and has an Indian as its head in M.V. Kamath.
Customs arrangement among the BRICS nations would be a major step in boosting trade, he added.
The five BRICS countries represent almost three billion people, or approximately 40 percent of the world population and have a combined GDP of $16.039 trillion, or 20 percent of the gross world product.
Russia’s Bashkortostan republic is hosting the seventh BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in capital Ufa where around 10,000 visitors are expected during the two back-to-back summits.
The BRICS summit is set to formalise the $100 billion BRICS New Development Bank and a currency reserve pool worth another $100 billion. (IANS)