Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 37.2017
2017.09.04 — 2017.09.10
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Egypt and BRICS (Египет и БРИКС) / Egypt, September, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_Egypt, China_Egypt

Egypt attended the meetings of the BRICS Summit with other promising emerging countries on the sidelines of the global gathering in China between 3-5 September. It is a key step in connecting with the five-country bloc that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose economies have grown remarkably over the past decade. Today, they are responsible for 50 per cent of global growth and their combined GDP is $17 trillion, while the capital of the group's bank in Shanghai is $100 billion and bloc members own 23 per cent of the global economy. Egypt's participation, after positive economic accomplishments in recent years that improved global predictions about the country's economy, must be reflected in investments and trade between Egyptian and BRICS members, as well as the world, in the coming phase.

BRICS countries are also home to 42 per cent of the world's population and seek to achieve economic, political and geopolitical integration among themselves, develop infrastructure and create an effective apparatus for cooperation during economic crises. Also, to find a way to grant and exchange loans with BRICS without economic impacts or instability in any of the member states. They also seek more favourable credit terms for Third World and developing countries, internationalising local currencies and trading amongst themselves using local currencies. China invited five countries, Mexico, Tajikistan, Thailand, Guinea and Egypt to the BRICS Summit for the first time in the bloc's history.

The participation of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in the dialogue between emerging and advanced markets is akin to participating in a crucial global dialogue at a time when the global community is encouraging Egypt to attract foreign investment. The outlook of the political administration in Egypt includes pivoting economically towards Asia and Africa. Some of the world's largest economies are found in Asia, such as China that today rivals the US as the largest economy in the world.

Egypt-China business and trade circles estimate Egypt's share in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for countries through which the Silk Road passes at $40 billion, since the road is a trade artery connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. Al-Sisi's talks at the BRICS Summit primarily focused on encouraging Chinese companies and other BRICS members to increase cooperation in all fields, while keeping in mind the participation of Chinese companies in many ongoing infrastructure projects in Egypt, including the new administrative capital, as well as key contributions in electricity, energy development and transportation projects. Egyptian-Chinese relations have gained momentum in recent year, crowned by signing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement in December 2014, and the Executive Programme to boost relations in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between 2016-2021.

BRICS members oppose protectionism and agree on maintaining a multilateral trade order. Protectionism is an economic policy limiting trade between countries by raising tariffs and capping imports, restrictive quotas and other constricting government regulations to slash imports and prevent foreigners from seizing local markets and companies. BRICS encourages other countries to do the same as well as to join the WTO, while urging the organisation to be more committed to less developed countries.

BRICS believes maintaining a multilateral world trade order and opposing protectionism serves the common interests of emerging and developing economies.

BRICS nations stride on for second 'golden decade' of cooperation (Страны БРИКС шагают во второе «золотое десятилетие» сотрудничества) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, expert_opinion
Author: Rabi Sankar Bosu

On Sept 5,the emerging-market bloc of BRICS concluded their 9th annual summit hosted by the beautiful city of Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian Province. Running from Sept 3 to 5 under the theme of "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future," the summit saw the signing of a joint declaration on Sept 4, four cooperation agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs). Accepting the mantle of the revolving BRICS presidency from India on Jan 1, China hosted the BRICS summit for the second time, after the 2011 summit in Sanya, Hainan.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRICS association, comprised of five major emerging economies — namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — with the aim of using its growing economic and political influence to challenge Western hegemony. The BRICS countries are home to more than two-fifths of the world's population with a combined gross domestic product of over US$16 trillion. Through ten years' development, the BRICS countries have become a new force in the world economy. The group upholds people's hope for stronger partnerships within and beyond the five BRICS countries.

Looking to the second "golden decade", the BRICS leaders stressed their resolve to act jointly for development in the Xiamen Declaration.

Enhancing BRICS cooperation

The Xiamen Declaration reviewed achievements made over the past 10 years, recalling increased development and multilateralism fostered by previous summits in Goa in India and Ufa in Russia, especially the fruitful progress of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the initiation of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), institutions that have ensured greater cooperation among BRICS countries.

Leaders of BRICS countries praised the achievements of the BRICS Business Council and the NDB. Officially opened in 2015, the Shanghai-headquartered bank has made headway on many projects, with the recent opening of its African regional center, the continuing work on its headquarters and overall progress in business operations. The council has also entered into an MoU with the NDB.

According to NDB President K.V. Kamath, the bank will expand its loan operations to the private sector next year. The NDB approved loans totaling $1.55 billion last year to seven programs for sustainable development and is expected to offer loans of $2.5 billion this year.

It is worth mentioning that China will offer 500 million yuan ($76.4 million) for a BRICS economic and technology cooperation plan, and another $4 million for projects at the NDB.

National Currencies

According to the declaration, leaders agreed to establish a bond fund in national currencies in order to contribute to capital sustainability in BRICS member states. They have also agreed to increase the use of national currencies, including in direct investment.

"We agree to promote the development of BRICS Local Currency Bond Markets and jointly establish a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, as a means of contribution to the capital sustainability of financing in BRICS countries, boosting the development of BRICS domestic and regional bond markets, including by increasing foreign private sector participation, and enhancing financial resilience of BRICS countries," the declaration's text read.

Boosting cooperation in other fields

The five nations also agreed to further boost cooperation in the fields of insurance and reinsurance, taxation reform, customs, and to explore the possibility of setting up a BRICS rating agency based on independent, market-oriented principles.

Sticking to economic cooperation

Addressing the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum on Sept 3, President Xi Jinping said, "Economic cooperation is the foundation of the BRICS mechanism." BRICS countries adopted Xi's views on economic cooperation in the joint declaration. Indeed, the five emerging economies have been the lodestar of world growth amid an increasingly austere economic environment.

Despite being confronted by global uncertainties, partially due to the policies of US President Donald Trump, Britain's divorce from the European Union and the ensuing economic downturn, the five countries have made remarkable progress in the past 10 years. BRICS countries' share in the global economy has increased from 12 percent ten years ago to 23 percent in 2016.

The BRICS leaders vowed to confront challenges to seek common development. Xi said that BRICS countries should work to let their economic cooperation have more substance. He proposed that the BRICS countries should advance structural reforms, innovate growth patterns and build up an open economy.

Opposing protectionism

BRICS countries have proved to have a leading role for global economic growth as well as a higher prestige in the world economy. With this newfound standing, BRICS leaders reaffirmed that they remained committed to an open and inclusive world economy and firmly opposed protectionism.

"We will continue to firmly oppose protectionism. We recommit to our existing pledge for both standstill and rollback of protectionist measures and we call upon other countries to join us in that commitment," the Xiamen Declaration reads.

It should be noted here that in January, as a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Xi offered a vigorous defence of globalization, and in July he again called on members of the G-20 nations to champion an open world economy.

Facing challenges together

Besides economic issues, the BRICS nations also expounded their stances on international and regional issues of common concern, focusing on terrorism, the liberation of Mosul and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the Xiamen Declaration, BRICS leaders condemned terrorism in all forms and said those "committing, organising or supporting" such acts must be held accountable. There are 17 references to terrorism in the 43-page Xiamen declaration.

"We reaffirm that those responsible for committing, organizing, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable," it said.

This is the first time the leaders of the BRICS member states included Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed with global terror groups Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Paragraph 48 of the declaration explicitly said, " concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani Network, Laskar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb-ut-Tahrir."

The BRICS grouping has strongly condemned deadly terrorist acts in Afghanistan and called for an immediate end to violence.

In the declaration, the leaders stressed that the fight against terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international law.

Concern over the Yemen situation

BRICS leaders also expressed their concern over the crisis in Yemen and called on all parties to cease hostilities and engage in UN-supported settlement negotiations.

Settling the Syrian crisis

The BRICS leaders called for reaching a permanent settlement to the Syrian crisis, stressing that a comprehensive political process is the only solution that will allow Syrians to preserve the sovereignty and independence of their country.

Solving the Israel-Palestine conflict

In the Xiamen Declaration, the BRICS leaders expressed their readiness to offer support to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so as to find a fair and permanent solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

"We reiterate the urgent need for a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to creating an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel," the joint declaration read.

Stronger partnership, brighter future

The three-day BRICS jamboree ended on Sept 5, reaching consensus on the international situation, global governance and cooperation among the five countries. Next year, South Africa will host the 10th BRICS summit. Undoubtedly, this year's summit deepens South-South cooperation. The gathering fostered the "BRICS Plus" pattern and built extensive partnerships as Xi pointed out. "The summit adopted the BRICS Leaders Xiamen Declaration which reaffirmed the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and mapped out a new blueprint for strengthening BRICS partnership and deepening practical cooperation in various areas," he said.

Let us hope the BRICS countries of the jaguar (Brazil), the bear (Russia), the elephant (India), the dragon (China) and the springbok (South Africa) will continue to work together in forging a new partnership that is fair, open, and innovative to benefit the welfare of humankind.

Rabi Sankar Bosu is secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club in West Bengal, India.

Modi suggests 10 'noble commitments' for global transformation (Моди предлагает 10 «благородных обязательств» для глобальной трансформации) / India, September, 2017
Keywords: Narendra_Modi, Xiamen_Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday again raised the issue of terrorism at a BRICS forum here while suggesting 10 commitments to be made by the five-member bloc for their role in global transformation.

Modi made the remarks at the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries in the course of the 9th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit here a day after thebloc named Pakistan-based terror groupsincluding the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in its joint declaration.

Suggesting the 10 commitments, he said:

* "Creating a safer world by organised and coordinated action on at least three issues: counter-terrorism, cyber security and disaster management." He also said that the bedrock of India's development agenda laid in the notion of "sabka saath, sabka vikaas" (collective effort, inclusive growth). Stating that India has mapped each of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to its own development programmes and scheme, he said: "Our programmes are geared to accomplish these priority goals in a time-bound manner.

"To cite just one example, our three-pronged approach of providing a bank account to the unbanked, providing a biometric identity to all, and using innovative mobile governance solutions, has enabled direct benefit transfers to almost 360 million people for the first time."

* The Prime Minister called for creating a greener world by taking concerted action on countering climate change, through initiatives such as the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.

* Another suggestion was for creating an enabled world by sharing and deploying suitable technologies to enhance efficiency, economy and effectiveness.

* Reiterating his vision for a digital economic and financial system, Mr. Modi called for creating an inclusive world "by economic mainstreaming of our people including in the banking and financial system".

* "Creating a digital world by bridging the digital divide within and outside our economies.

* "Creating a skilled world by giving future-ready skills to millions of our youth."

* Mr.Modi also called for creating a healthier world by cooperating in research and development to eradicate diseases, and enabling affordable health care for all.

* In creating an equitable world, he said the BRICS nations should provide equality of opportunity to all, particularly through gender equality.

* In terms of a connected world, he suggested enabling of free flow of goods, persons and services.

* He also called for creating a harmonious world "by promoting ideologies, practices, and heritage that are centred on peaceful coexistence and living in harmony with nature".

"Through these agenda points, and action on them, we will be contributing directly to the welfare of the global community in addition to welfare of our own people.

"And in this, India stands ready as a willing and committed partner to enhance cooperation and support each other's national efforts," Mr. Modi added.

Modi, Xi discuss border issue

Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday discussed their border row, a week after the resolution of thetwo-month-long military stand-off at Doklam.

PM addresses 9th BRICS Business Council Summit in Xiamen (Премьер-министр выступил на 9-ом саммите Бизнес Совета БРИКС в Сямэне) / India, September, 2017
Keywords: Narendra_Modi, BRICS_Business_Council, speech, high_level_meeting

Your Excellencies,

President of the New Development Bank

Members of the BRICS Business Council

I am pleased to participate in this meeting with the BRICS Business Council. The work you do in the Business Council plays a vital role in giving practical shape to the vision of BRICS partnership. The partnerships you have forged and the networks you have created are energizing the economic growth stories in each BRICS country. At this meeting last year in Goa, there was a suggestion on closer cooperation between the NDB and BRICS Business Council. I am happy to note that you are entering into an MOU with the NDB.

Excellencies and Friends,

India is changing fast into one of the most open economies in the world today. Foreign Direct Investment inflows are at an all-time high, rising by 40 per cent. India has moved up in the World Bank Index of Ease of Doing Business. Similarly, we have moved up 32 spots in last two years in the Global Competitiveness Index. The Goods and Services Tax that was introduced in July is India's biggest economic reform measure ever. In one stroke, a unified market of 1.3 billion people has been created. Programmes like Digital India, Start Up India and Make in India are changing the economic landscape of the country. They are assisting India turn into a knowledge based, skill supported and technology driven society.

Excellencies and Friends,

I am happy to note that the BRICS Business Council also has matching priorities of trade & investment facilitation, promoting skills development, infrastructure development, SME Development, e-commerce and digital economy. Many productive recommendations have come out of your deliberations. Your work towards establishment of a BRICS Rating Agency, energy cooperation, green finance, and digital economy is particularly noteworthy. Let me conclude by saying that as Governments, we will offer full support to your endeavours. And we also count on the BRICS Business Council to take us closer to our common objective of improving business and investment cooperation.
China's success can provide positive signal (Успех Китая может обеспечить положительный сигнал) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: expert_opinion

Economist who coined 'BRIC' acronym stresses importance of common policies with a shared interest

Editor's note: Ahead of the BRICS Summit, China Daily interviewed some experts who gave their views on the role and development of the emerging markets' group.

Economist Jim O'Neill, who created the "BRIC" acronym, said China primarily remains the most important economy in the world, leading the economic growth in the five BRICS countries to contribute more than 20 percent of the world's GDP.

"Even though its growth rates have fallen to around 6.5 to 7 percent, in nominal dollar terms, China is still adding the equivalent of a whole new Switzerland or Turkey every year to the world," O'Neill said in an interview with China Daily ahead of the summit of the group. "Or a new UK economy every three years."

It was the former Goldman Sachs chief economist who coined the term in 2001, grouping together four states - China, Brazil, Russia and India - as potential growth powerhouses of the future. Now the group also includes South Africa.

China's economy continued its steady expansion in the first half of the year, with GDP up by 6.9 percent to about 38.2 trillion yuan ($5.6 trillion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

O'Neill said China's development can be an example to other developing countries, especially in the area of attracting foreign direct investment.

"Most of the world's largest companies have played an important role in helping China's development, and it is to the government's credit," he said. "Other BRICS countries should take note."

O'Neill said Brazil's and Russia's emergence from recession is another key contributor to the global economy staying strong in 2017.

The recovery of these two, along with the eurozone, is probably the main reason why growth is stronger than for many years, said O'Neill, who forecasts global GDP growth in the first half of this year close to 4 percent.

He encourages China, Brazil, Russia and India to move beyond symbolism and agree on some common policies with a shared interest.

Although he said the BRICS group is less likely to achieve anything alone in terms of world governance due to the exclusion of the world's most important advanced countries, the former UK Treasury minister sees disease prevention as one potential area in which BRICS countries could take a collective position.

"I strongly encourage the BRICS leaders to be bolder in this area," O'Neill said. "It is surprising to me that they have not gone down this path. But if they did, it would be impressive and send a very large positive signal."

O'Neill, however, concedes it is not easy for the BRICS countries to coordinate between themselves to achieve stronger collective growth without ambitious plans for a free trade zone with no tariffs.

Economist Jim O'Neill says other developing countries should learn from China.

1 Starting in 2006, BRICS has entered a new era where protectionism seems to be wielding an increasingly strong influence in the global economy. What can BRICS do to help make the global economy more open and inclusive?

2 Made up of five emerging economies that contribute more than 20 percent of the world's GDP, what is BRICS' role in helping the global economy recover?

3 What can BRICS contribute to global governance to help make the international order more fair and the developing countries better represented?

4 The theme of the upcoming summit is "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future". In what fields can BRICS members strengthen their partnership, and how?

5 China is upgrading its economy into an innovation-and-efficiency-driven one. It is also working with other countries to develop the Belt and Road Initiative. What lessons do you think other developing countries can learn from China's development?

Christopher Bovis, professor of international business law, University of Hull, UK

1 Protectionism in international trade must be avoided. BRICS can positively influence the introduction of an international regulatory trade system which could strike a meaningful and workable balance between free trade and national concerns in order to alleviate the dangers of protectionism. The WTO is ready for meaningful reform and, if it is to continue as a fit-for-purpose international trade instrument, it must change in a positive manner to accommodate the dynamics of the world in the 21st century. BRICS can influence the reform of the WTO.

2 The recovery of the global economy requires a collective and coordinated approach to address industrial policies at national and regional levels. BRICS can play an instrumental role in instigating a responsive and responsible political and economic leadership. BRICS can help global recovery by instigating contemporary industrial policies which will aim at creating framework conditions under which improvement of national or regional competitiveness would compensate, where necessary, for market failure. Free trade and the aftermath of globalization generates positive externalities on the economy as a whole, increasing the growth potential and vibrancy of the economic fabric, fostering innovation and training as a result of increased demand for skills.

3 Under the auspices of a responsive and responsible political and economic leadership, BRICS should insist on the need to promote sustainable development. The focus of sustainable development should be the assessment of the traditional trade systems raised by developing countries for preferential treatment and the current concerns that such economies in the global trading environment may be vulnerable to marginalization and the problem of managing discrimination. The role of institutional actors such as the UN, the World Bank and the IMF in promoting economic development in developing countries needs to be reviewed.

4 The BRICS nations can strengthen their partnership by promoting the role of the private sector in catalyzing economic recovery and promoting growth. The private sector includes the finance industry, manufacturing industry and high-tech industry. The private sector can also play a pivotal role in delivering and managing infrastructure, assisting growth and sustainable economic performance.

5 We are currently witnessing the transition of Chinese investment strategy from traditional industries, energy and infrastructure, which have been served through sovereign funds, to services and high value interests which are served primarily through private capital. The modality of such transition is the role of private equity and of institutional investors. This appears to be one of the most prolific trends for the years to come and reveals the private sector influence on investment decisions and outcomes and also offers critical insights to developing countries.

Jon R. Taylor, professor of political science and director, Master of Public Policy and Administration Program, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas

1 The BRICS can help the global economy by leading by example, by taking a united stand against protectionism and by backing a multilateral trade system. The need to be aggressive in warning about the dangers of greater protectionism is particularly important in the aftermath of Brexit and the US presidential election. The growth of emerging countries, particularly the growth that we have seen in China, has clearly underscored the importance for growth to be both sustainable and inclusive.

2 The overall economic conditions of the developing world have improved dramatically, as exemplified by the BRICS - particularly China. China's role has been critical in both the global economic recovery and in championing the benefits of economic globalization. The BRICS role in the global economic recovery should aim at a political goal by supporting open markets and a philosophical goal of encouraging and enhancing South-South cooperation.

3 They can follow China's lead by pushing for win-win cooperation policies that are aimed at common development, maintaining open and accessible markets and trade, and policies that are aimed at poverty eradication and inclusive growth. Given that we appear to be at a potentially pivotal moment in the battle against global economic inequality, the BRICS can be champions of mutually beneficial cooperation. Thanks to close cooperation and coordination between China and the other BRICS nations, the BRICS contribute to safeguarding the interests of developing countries as a whole and improving the global governance system. China's "BRICS Plus" proposal shows promise by offering to build mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral partnerships through dialogue and consensus.

4 Several issues immediately come to mind: income inequality, climate change, energy, trade, e-commerce cooperation, cybersecurity, anti-terrorism, and increasing people-to-people exchanges. What is needed is an emphasis on maintaining economic momentum. While China is doing its part, the other BRICS nations are facing economic and political challenges. They would do well to follow China's lead on economic stabilization and supply-side structural reforms.

5 Developing countries can draw the following from China's development experience: Start small, focus on structural reforms first, invest heavily in a knowledge-based infrastructure, encourage policy and political cohesion, emphasize inclusive development, promote policy experimentation, remove impediments to economic reform and promote financial and market stability.

Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist, IHS Markit

1 Key examples of how BRICS nations can lead international trade and investment liberalization are China's active role in advancing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade negotiations among 16 Asia-Pacific nations, as well as its strategic plan to boost economic cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative. BRICS nations have also established the New Development Bank in 2014 to finance infrastructure development in developing countries worldwide. BRICS can champion new initiatives to boost South-South trade and investment flows.

2 The five BRICS nations currently account for approximately 23 percent of world GDP, making these nations an important part of the world economy. China, as the world's second-largest economy, has been the key driver for sustained global economic growth since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, accounting for around 40 percent of the total increase in world GDP since 2009. The BRICS, led by China, have also been a key driver for growth in world trade and investment flows over the past decade.

3 Ever since the end of World War II, global governance has been dominated by the developed countries. However, the world has changed tremendously since 1945, with many former European colonies having become sovereign developing nations, while the world share of GDP contributed by developing countries has approximately doubled within the last two decades. Consequently the old global governance architecture is no longer relevant and the BRICS need to lead the initiative to create a fairer system of global governance by working together to change existing governance structures in international bodies, as well as to create new international standards-setting bodies that have a modern governance structure with much stronger voting rights for developing countries.

4 The BRICS need to further strengthen their joint initiatives for boosting international trade and economic development. The BRICS countries can act as a core group to build policy frameworks and technological cooperation for a wide range of global South-South development initiatives. One of the greatest challenges facing developing countries is global climate change and meeting the Paris climate change agreement commitments.

5 China's economic development since 1978 has been remarkable, lifting it within just one generation from a poor nation based on subsistence agriculture into the world's second-largest economy that has reached upper middle income status and has become an advanced industrial economy. The Belt and Road Initiative is a great strategic vision through which China is helping many developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to accelerate their economic development through improving infrastructure connectivity. Over the long-term, China's successful experience of rapid economic development will allow it to help other developing countries in many areas of development.

Sikhumbuzo Zondi, research assistant at the Institute for Global Dialogue associated with the University of South Africa

1 In a global economy that is facing uncertainties, BRICS countries, in collaboration with major economies, should enhance macroeconomic policy coordination and work together to avoid negative spillovers to emerging economies. In addition, the BRICS formation should stress the importance of upholding a more inclusive, stable and open world economy through the creation of an enabling environment for the development of emerging markets and developing countries. To achieve this, they need to encourage human resource development and increasing people-to-people relations, so that all countries and peoples can equally share the benefits of globalization.

2 BRICS countries have been responsible for many initiatives to assist global economic recovery by establishing the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, amongst others. It has enabled BRICS members to obtain funds for development, provided new financing channels for other developing countries and realized financial exchanges, such as currency swaps among BRICS members that expand the capacity of their economies and currencies to withstand the impact of global economic turbulence.

3 BRICS plays a strategic role as a pacesetter for developing countries. Unity and cooperation among BRICS members enhances the rights of developing countries to have a voice and meaningfully participate in global political and economic decision-making. BRICS has become a vital platform for major developing countries to conduct exchanges and dialogues in the spheres of politics, economics, finance, development and culture. In the process, the BRICS formation has established a framework for an inclusive, multilayered and all-round cooperation. Overall, leaders of BRICS continue to meet regularly to discuss major global issues, so as to expand their international influence and provide strategic foundations for the greater participation of developing countries in global economic governance.

4 The BRICS countries should avail themselves of opportunities provided by international economic cooperation in the following areas: trade and investment, manufacturing and minerals processing, energy, agriculture, science, technology and innovation, financial cooperation, people-to-people connectivity, tourism, information and communications technologies.

5 Developing countries can take note of the fact that China's growth over the past 30 years has been driven in large part by the government's market reform policy. In addition, developing countries can learn that China succeeded in achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality, with the world's fastest rate of decline in both maternal and child mortality.

Zhao Huanyu, researcher of Ghent University's Institute for International Studies in Belgium

1 First and foremost, all the BRICS countries must strongly commit to resisting all forms of protectionism and disguised restrictions on trade. Moreover, they must seek a favorable environment for the development of other emerging markets and developing countries - hanging together with them to foster better macroeconomic policy coordination, support a rules-based, transparent, nondiscriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, implement existing WTO rules and commitments. Also, they must collaborate with advanced economies and the international community to fight poverty, social exclusion and inequality.

2 The key role for BRICS is to increase the supply capacity of global public goods - be a global economy stabilizer, booster, and accelerator. In an era of uncertainty, world peace and stability are prerequisites to a sustainable global economic recovery. Therefore, BRICS must be a "stabilizer" for committing to international law and maintaining the core status of the UN to advance the political solution of hot spot issues. Furthermore, to be a real "booster" is to be a learning and sharing platform - the BRICS Plus model of open economic cooperation.

3 BRICS needs to continue pushing forward reform of the Bretton Woods institutions to increase the voice and representation of developing markets in global economic governance - to urge the IMF to complete the 15th general review of quotas, expand and strengthen the role of special drawing rights and facilitate the World Bank voting share review. It needs to make better use of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement.

4 Given the complex, contested and connected world situation, BRICS nations can strengthen their partnership in many fields, including economy, finance, foreign policy, health, education, energy, climate change and agriculture.

5 For robust and sustainable development in the long run, China has been working hard on an innovation-and efficiency-driven economy by 1) pushing forward structural reform and implementing innovation-friendly policies; 2) supporting investment for science, technology, innovation and seeking possibilities of inter-BRICS investment instruments, such as the National Development Banks and other existing financing platforms; 3) supporting cross-border cooperation between science, technology and innovation talent, especially young scientists and young entrepreneurs, and fostering industry-academia-research synergy; 4) promoting exchanges and good practices under the rubric of the Belt and Road Initiative, enhancing mutual understanding, inclusive growth and socioeconomic progress driven by scientific, technological and social innovation for more countries and people.

Xi Jinping wants Brics to play more active role in global governance (Си Цзиньпин хочет, чтобы БРИКС играл более активную роль в глобальном управлении) / Singapore, September, 2017
Keywords: expert_opinion

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the five Brics countries need to speak with one voice to bring about an international order that is more just and equitable.

Speaking yesterday at the bloc's annual summit, Mr Xi noted that the Brics members' ever closer ties with the rest of the world require that "we five countries play a more active part in global governance".

He conceded that members have not fully tapped the potential of cooperation, and suggested more practical ways to work together.

The bloc gathers five of the world's major emerging economies from four continents - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Mr Xi said: "We need to speak with one voice and jointly present our solutions to issues concerning international peace and development."

He added: "This... will help safeguard our common interests."

He stressed the need to reform the global economic governance, "increase representation and voice of the emerging market and developing countries" and to inject new impetus into efforts to address the North-South development gap, and boost global growth.

The bloc, in its joint declaration yesterday, said it would work towards "enhancement of the voice and representation of Brics countries" as well as emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance and promoting an "open, inclusive and balanced economic globalisation".

Dr Raja Mohan, director of think-tank Carnegie India, said: "What the Brics does is to lend political legitimacy to China's aspirations for global economic leadership."

But Chinese analyst Wu Baiyi said Brics nations had come together because of a crisis in global governance. "One country can't give voice (to the need for change) alone, it does not have enough clout," he told reporters yesterday.

In what Indian media sees as a victory for its country, the declaration condemned terrorism and Pakistan-based terror groups, including those that have targeted India such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Chinese, at last year's summit in Goa, had refused to have this included.

This comes after the Xiamen summit was nearly marred by a stand-off between troops on the China-India border, which was called off just a week before the confab.

Dr Mohan said the stand-off might have helped China take a fresh look at India and its concerns, adding that growing uncertainty in China's ties with the United States may have encouraged Mr Xi and his team to be more accommodating of India.

Mr Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist of the consultancy IHS Markit, said a key focus of the summit would be whether China and India could rebuild bilateral ties. He said improved ties would drive progress among Brics states.

Mr Xi yesterday noted that Brics cooperation "still has more space" for growth. He said statistics showed that of the US$197 billion (S$267 billion) outbound investment made last year by the bloc's members, only 5.7 per cent took place among the five countries.

He also announced new funding for Brics - 500 million yuan (S$104 million) for an economic and technology cooperation plan, and another US$4 million for its New Development Bank. But these are seen as a far cry from the US$124 billion pledged by China in May for Mr Xi's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Noting the heavy BRI commitments, Mr Biswas said: "China may be taking a more cautious approach for the... summit by keeping new financial commitments relatively low."

Xi's speech positive, comprehensive, says observers (Речь Си положительная и всеобъемлющая, говорят наблюдатели) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: expert_opinion, Xiamen_summit
Author: Chen Liubing, Andrew Moody and Zhong Xi

President Xi Jinping's remarks at the ninth BRICS summit on Monday earned warm praise from experts, international delegates and media.

"BRICS cooperation meets common demands of our five nations for development and conforms to the historical trends," Xi said, underscoring their common pursuit of partnership and prosperous development despite their different national conditions.

"These have made it possible for us to transcend differences and disagreements and realize mutual benefits and win-win outcomes," he said.

Here is a collection of comments from attendees.

Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau Institute at King's College

Kerry Brown is professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau Institute at King's College, London. [Photo Nick J.B. Moore/For China Daily]

"It was originally just a collection of countries that made an appealing acronym. Now that China has shown renewed interest, there is the chance of involving other countries," said Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau Institute at King's College, London.

Brown, the author of a new book on China, China's World, also said BRICS was now a grouping that could lead the reform of global financial architecture, away from just the Washington-based Bretton Woods system of the International Monetary System that has prevailed since the end of World War II. President Xi Jinping called for a more "just and equitable" international order in his address.

"It (BRICS) is part of a diversification of the international financial infrastructure and has given people the opportunity to think about how other partners beyond the traditional ones can play a role. So from that point of view, it is a very useful idea," Brown said.

Naina Lal Kidwai, a former president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Naina Lal Kidwai, one of five BRICS business council members attending the summit from India, welcomed President Xi Jinping's support for green development and achieving the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

She said one of the priorities has to be building sustainable infrastructure that does not repeat the mistakes of developed countries and avoids destroying the environment.

"Two thirds of the infrastructure now needed is going to be in the global south, not just in the BRICS countries but other emerging markets as well. India alone needs $1 trillion of investment in the next five years," she said.

"There is an opportunity to build the right spaces for ourselves and not replicate what the rest of the world did and not see all the congestion and the pollution we have seen in the past."

Kidwai, also previously group general manager of HSBC Bank in India, has a particular focus on developing green financing models that will lead to higher environmental standards.

"The rules and regulations for this are still very much a work in progress within the BRICS countries but we seem to be pushing on an open door," she said.

"We must move toward a system where the actual certification of a project being green is not merely constrained to something that is obviously renewable but needs to include projects that are energy efficient and benefit the environment in other ways," she said.

Shchepin Konstantin, Russia, China Radio International

We are very happy to learn that China is going to spend 500 million yuan in promoting trade, technical investment, and cooperation between the BRICS countries, which is indeed very important.

We need to talk about cooperation among the BRICS nations as there's a huge potential. President Xi said BRICS countries only invested 5.7 percent in each other in 2016, which is a small amount. When we talk about China-Russia investment cooperation, the momentum is positive. Investments from China into Russia are moving forward at a fast pace. I know President Xi is going to deliver several speeches during the summit and he has already sent a lot of positive signals, not only to the BRICS countries, but also to the world.

Atul Aneja, Associate Editor, The Hindu (India's national newspaper)

I think President Xi gave the future direction of the BRICS in all these fields. It is a very comprehensive speech in discovering the economic side, the security side, etc. He also decided to set up a fund of $4 million for the New Development Bank (NDB).

I think the most important thing he is saying is that it is time for emerging economies to take the lead of globalization. Emerging markets and developing countries will be involved in economic globalization, which is different from the past, which is more inclusive. It is for everyone and not only to benefit a small group of elites. This is a good message from him.

Ikaneng Archibald Tshepo, a reporter from South African Broadcasting Corporation

"It was a great speech. President Xi emphasized the importance of economic cooperation. The world economy is not doing very well currently, and we hope to have a closer economic relationship with China and India. Next year South Africa is going to hold the BRICS Summit, and we hope it will be as successful as this one," said Ikaneng Archibald Tshepo, a reporter from South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Xi: China supports South Africa's hosting BRICS Summit in 2018 (Си: Китай поддерживает проведение в 2018 году саммита стран БРИКС в Южной Африке) / South Africa, September, 2017
Keywords: China_SA, Xiamen_summit, Johannesburg_summit
South Africa

As South Africa will take over the presidency of BRICS next year, China will coordinate closely with South Africa, President Xi Jinping told his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on Monday.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Xiamen of Fujian province. They will also attend a dialogue between emerging market countries and developing countries.

Both countries should strengthen their coordination among international and regional groupings such as the BRICS, the Group of 20, the United Nations and the African Union, Xi said.

Zuma said he appreciates China's excellent preparations for the BRICS Summit this year, and South Africa is ready for mutual support with China to ensure the success of each other's hosting the BRICS Summit.

Speaking on bilateral ties, Xi noted that in recent years, the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership has maintained a strong momentum of development and the relationship is in its best shape of all time.

China is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with South Africa, constantly enrich the connotation of the comprehensive strategic partnership with more cooperation outcomes, and achieve common development and progress, Xi said.

Currently, China and South Africa have made positive progress in all respects of their friendly cooperation, and their pragmatic cooperation has been carried out smoothly, Xi said.

In the next stage, China is willing to work with South Africa to jointly fulfill the Belt and Road Initiative and the outcome of the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa cooperation, deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields, and bring their ties to a higher level, Xi said.

The two sides should continue their reciprocal understanding of, and support for, each other's core interests and major concerns, and foster their high-level political mutual trust, Xi said.

The two countries should advance their cooperation in areas such as marine economy and production capacity, and reinforce cooperation in areas including culture, science and technology, health, tourism, youth, women and media.

As next year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa, both countries should make their cultural exchanges and celebrations a success, Xi said.

Zuma said the bilateral cooperation mechanism has been fruitful, and the two sides have achieved positive outcomes in exchanges and cooperation regarding economy and trade, investment, infrastructure and culture.

South Africa and China have maintained close communication and coordination in multilateral affairs, Zuma noted.

On Africa, Xi said China supports Africa's efforts to strengthen the building of its independent peacekeeping capability.

No matter how the international situation changes, China's commitment to achieving win-win cooperation and common development with Africa is unwavering, and China's support for the cause of peace and development in Africa is unwavering, Xi said.

China is willing to work with African countries on the further implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said.
Xi, Putin agree to enhance strategic coordination, appropriately deal with DPRK nuclear test (Си и Путин согласны укреплять стратегическую координацию, надлежащим образом заниматься ядерным испытанием КНДР) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Russia_China, high_level_meeting, Xiamen_summit, Vladimir_Putin, Xi_Jinping

XIAMEN - Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday, calling for enhancing mutual support and strategic coordination.

The two leaders also agreed to appropriately deal with the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Putin is in the Southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian province, to attend the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries scheduled for Sept 3-5.

The two sides should consolidate the high-level mutual political trust, firmly strengthen mutual support and enhance strategic coordination, Xi said.

The role of bilateral cooperation mechanisms should be well played to advance projects in key areas including energy, aerospace and aviation, as well as nuclear power.

He urged advancing the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union.

Mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples should be promoted through closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges and those at local levels, he said.

Xi also called on enhancing military cooperation as well as coordination on multilateral arenas.

China is willing to join hands with Russia to raise the bilateral relations to a higher level, promoting respective development and jointly safeguarding regional and world peace and stability, he said.

On BRICS cooperation, Xi said it is in line with the interests of the BRICS countries and the expectation of international community, especially the emerging market and developing countries, to enhance the group's cooperation and enable the BRICS countries to play a more important role in international affairs.

The BRICS countries should consolidate solidarity and cooperation to send out positive signals to the world, chart the course and define the priorities for cooperation based on the overall situation, strengthen coordination to enhance international influence, and improve mechanisms of BRICS cooperation, said Xi.

China is willing to work with Russia and other BRICS countries to achieve fruitful results at the Xiamen summit and implement the outcomes effectively so that the BRICS can usher in a second "golden decade" of cooperation.

Xi Jinping: BRICS countries end domination of the West (Си Цзиньпин: Страны БРИКС прекращают господство Запада) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: China_BRICS, BRICS_world, Xi_Jinping, expert_opinion
Author: Said Gafurov

Chinese leader Xi Jinping delivered a landmark speech within the scope of the BRICS business forum, in which he challenged the dominance of the West in global economy. Judging from his speech, China intends to build a new global chain of values with partners by re-balancing economic globalisation.

According to Xi Jinping, Western powers have been ruling the world order for too long, but this page has been turned and it is developing countries that come to the forefront. The growth rate of developed economies this year will make up 2% and 1.9% next year, a report from the July IMF World Economic Outlook said. Similar indicators for emerging markets and developing countries make up 4.6% and 4.8% respectively. As we can see, the latter will be developing twice as fast - this trend has been observed for several consecutive years and many approach it as a normal phenomenon.

In September 2006, Foreign Ministers of China, Russia, India and Brazil held their first meeting on the sidelines of the meeting of the UN General Assembly and launched official cooperation of BRICS countries. For ten years, interaction between them has been deepening further and further, and it is BRICS members that make an important contribution to stimulating the growth of the world economy, improving global management and promoting the democratisation of international relations.

The combined economy of five BRICS countrieshas grown by 179%, and the share in world economy has exceeded 50%. It took the countries only ten years to become one of the strongest drivers of world economy. More importantly, Xi Jinping noted, the above-mentioned figures designate considerable improvement in the lives of billions of residents of countries outside the Western world. The progress of emerging markets and developing countries in the modern world are impressive against the background of "chaos" and "retreat" of Western countries.

The Chinese leader asks how BRICS members can handle the new historical reality, let development embrace broader territories and increase the participation of countries with emerging markets in global governance. He offers an answer to this question, which may seem a surprising one to many.

According to Xi Jinping, BRICS countries should promote the "BRICS plus" format. In Xiamen, a dialogue between emerging markets and developing countries is to be held, when leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand and their counterparts from BRICS countries will discuss cooperation in global development. "BRICS attaches great importance to cooperation with other emerging and developing countries and has formed an effective dialogue mechanism with them," the Chinese leader said. Countries with developing economies seek to enlarge the "pie" of world economy, "without touching someone else's cheese," which is one of the deepest manifestations of the spirit of the BRICS countries.

The Chinese leader believes that the creation of BRICS+ will create a stable, open, inclusive and favorable development environment for emerging markets and developing countries and will also help such countries jump into the fast train of China's development by increasing the share of their responsibility and the right to vote.

"One arrow is easy to break," Xi Jinping quoted the Chinese proverb, "but if you take ten arrows, it's not so easy to break them."

Although BRICS countries go against the wind to some extent, the "golden bricks" will never lose their value, and the general trend of the development of the group will not change.

Full text of President Xi's remarks at plenary session of BRICS Xiamen Summit (Полный текст выступления Президента Си на пленарном заседании Саммита БРИКС в Сямэнь) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Xi_jinping, Xiamen_summit, speech

Stronger BRICS Partnership for a Brighter Future

Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People's Republic of China
At the Plenary Session of the BRICS Xiamen Summit
Xiamen, 4 September 2017

Your Excellency President Jacob Zuma,
Your Excellency President Michel Temer,
Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,
Your Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

I am delighted to meet with my colleagues again. I wish to begin by extending, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, a warm welcome to you all. Welcome to the BRICS Xiamen Summit. With the focus on the theme of the summit: "Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future", I look forward to working with you to take stock of BRICS cooperation, map out a blueprint for its future development and set sail on a new journey of cooperation.

BRICS cooperation has traversed a glorious journey of one decade. Though separated by mountains and oceans, our five countries have been closely bound by a shared commitment to win-win cooperation.

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "A partnership forged with the right approach defies geographical distance; it is thicker than glue and stronger than metal and stone." We owe the rapid development of BRICS cooperation to our adoption of a right approach. Guided by this approach, we have respected and supported each other in following the path of development suited to our respective national conditions; we have pushed forward economic, political and people-to-people cooperation in an open, inclusive and win-win spirit; and we have worked in unison with other emerging market and developing countries to uphold international justice and equity and foster a sound external environment.

Past progress shows that BRICS cooperation has met our common need for development and is in keeping with the trend of history. Though we have different national conditions, we share the commitment to pursuing development and prosperity through partnership. This has enabled us to rise above differences and seek win-win results.

As the world undergoes profound and complex changes, BRICS cooperation has become more important. Our people expect us to jointly boost development and improve their well-being. The international community expects us to make contribution to world peace and common development. We must redouble our efforts to comprehensively deepen BRICS partnership and usher in the second "Golden Decade" of BRICS cooperation.

First, we need to seek practical results in our economic cooperation. Results-oriented cooperation is the foundation of BRICS cooperation, and significant progress has been made in this regard. However, we have yet to fully tap the potential of BRICS cooperation. Statistics show that of the 197 billion US dollars of outbound investment we made in 2016, only 5.7% took place among our five countries. This means BRICS cooperation still has broad space.

We need to stay focused on promoting results-oriented economic cooperation, and expand converging interests in trade and investment, currency and finance, connectivity, sustainable development, innovation and industrial cooperation. This year, we have formulated the BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap, the Outlines for BRICS Investment Facilitation, the BRICS E-Commerce Cooperation Initiative, the BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation and the Action Plan for Deepening Industrial Cooperation Among BRICS Countries. We have launched the African Regional Center of the New Development Bank (NDB), decided to set up the BRICS Model E-Port Network and reached extensive agreement on taxation, e-commerce, local currency bond, public-private partnership, and the network of financial institutions and services. Our practical cooperation has become more institutionalized and substantive, and delivered more tangible results.

I wish to announce here that China will launch the Economic and Technical Cooperation Plan for BRICS Countries with 500 million yuan for the first term to facilitate policy exchange and practical cooperation in the economic and trade fields. China will contribute four million US dollars to the NDB Project Preparation Facility to support the business operation and long-term development of the bank. China will work with all parties to follow through on the outcomes and consensus achieved in the past, and make good use of existing mechanisms. Together, we must seize the historic opportunities of the new industrial revolution, explore new areas and models of practical cooperation, and enhance our links to ensure sustained and steady progress of the BRICS cooperation mechanism.

Second, we need to strengthen the complementarity of our development strategies. Despite our differences in national conditions, our five countries are in a similar stage of development and share the same development goals. We all face an arduous task in growing the economy. Strengthening the complementarity of our development strategies will help bring out our comparative strengths in resources, market and labor force, and release the growth potential of the five countries and the creativity of our three billion people, opening up huge space for development.

We need to plan well at the macro level and take concrete actions in key areas. Acting in the spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we need to identify those areas where our development policies and priorities converge, and continue to work toward the goal of connectivity in trade and investment, currency and finance, and infrastructure. With a focus on structural reform and sustainable development, we need to expand our converging interests and share experience on innovation, entrepreneurship, industrial development and production capacity to boost our respective economic development. It is important to strike a balance between the speed of growth and the quality and efficiency of growth. By implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, we have the opportunity to achieve balanced economic, social and environmental progress, and bring about interconnected and inclusive development.

Third, we need to make the international order more just and equitable. Our ever closer ties with the rest of the world require that we play a more active part in global governance. Without our participation, many pressing global challenges cannot be effectively resolved. We should speak with one voice and jointly present our solutions to issues concerning international peace and development. This meets the expectation of the international community, and will help safeguard our common interests.

We should remain committed to multilateralism and the basic norms governing international relations, work for a new type of international relations, and foster a peaceful and stable environment for the development of all countries. We need to make economic globalization open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, build an open world economy, support the multilateral trading regime and oppose protectionism. We need to advance the reform of global economic governance, increase the representation and voice of emerging market and developing countries, and inject new impetus into the efforts to address the development gap between the North and South and boost global growth.

Fourth, we need to promote people-to-people exchanges. Amity between the people holds the key to sound state-to-state relations. Only with intensive care can the tree of friendship and cooperation grow luxuriant. Enhancing the exchanges among our peoples and seeing the spirit of partnership embraced by all is a worthy cause that deserves our enduring commitment. A job well done in this regard will keep BRICS cooperation vibrant.

We are pleased to note that the important consensus reached at the leadership level on closer people-to-people exchanges is being translated into reality. This year, people-to-people exchanges among our five countries have been in full swing, marked by the diverse activities of the BRICS Games, the BRICS Film Festival, the BRICS Culture Festival and the High-level Meeting on Traditional Medicine. We hope that through our joint efforts, these activities will take place regularly and be institutionalized. We need to expand our outreach to get the public more involved and encourage more lively exchanges of diverse cultures.

Dear Colleagues,

The past decade has seen the unremitting efforts of BRICS countries in pursuing development and deepening partnership. It is but a beginning in the history of BRICS cooperation. As I said in my letters to you early this year, looking ahead, BRICS cooperation is set to achieve greater development and play an even bigger role in international affairs. Let us set sail from Xiamen and join hands to usher in the second "Golden Decade" of BRICS cooperation and deliver greater benefits to the people of our five countries and around the world.

Thank you.

Full text of President Xi's remarks at press conference of BRICS Xiamen Summit (Полный текст выступления Президента Си на пресс-конференции саммита БРИКС Сямэнь) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, Xi_Jinping, speech

XIAMEN -- Following is the full text of remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at a press conference of BRICS Xiamen Summit on Tuesday:

Remarks at the Press Conference of the BRICS Xiamen Summit

H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China

Xiamen, 5 September 2017

Friends from the media, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon! It gives me great pleasure to meet with you and give you an overview of the BRICS Summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries.

The BRICS Xiamen Summit was concluded successfully yesterday. Under the theme "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future", leaders of our five countries had in-depth exchanges of views and reached broad consensus on the current international situation, global governance and BRICS cooperation. The summit adopted the BRICS Leaders Xiamen Declaration, which reaffirmed the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, reviewed the successful experience of BRICS cooperation over the past decade, and mapped out a new blueprint for strengthening BRICS partnership and deepening practical cooperation across the board.

During the summit, the Chinese side hosted the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries. The leaders of BRICS countries, Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan and Guinea attended the Dialogue at our invitation. Under the theme "Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development", leaders discussed ways of enhancing international development cooperation and agreed to forge broad-based development partnership and speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the common development of all countries.

When BRICS cooperation started a decade ago amid profound changes in the international landscape, it received a lot of attention from the international community. Having stood the test of major challenges including the global financial crisis, the BRICS countries have embarked on a new path of promoting solidarity and win-win cooperation among emerging market and developing countries. Leaders are determined to take the Xiamen Summit as a new starting point, renew the commitment and work even harder for a closer, broader and more comprehensive strategic partnership and for another "Golden Decade" of BRICS cooperation.

We BRICS leaders believe that the world today is undergoing profound and complex changes. While the world economic outlook is improving, all sorts of global challenges continue to emerge. As nations with major influence, the BRICS countries must step up communication and coordination on important issues and work for a more just and equitable international order. We must play a constructive role and uphold the basic norms governing international relations and international fairness and justice. We must work together to address global challenges, promote open, inclusive and balanced economic globalization that is beneficial to all, speed up global economic governance reform, increase the representation and voice of emerging market and developing countries, and create an enabling external environment for the development of all countries.

We BRICS leaders believe that practical cooperation is the root of BRICS cooperation. A tree will only flourish when its root goes deep. We will, in line with the principle of mutual benefit, step up macro policy coordination, synergize development strategies and deepen all-round cooperation in areas such as economy, trade, finance, industry and sustainable development so as to bring about interconnected development. This year, BRICS practical cooperation has made new headway and gained even greater importance. We have developed cooperation roadmaps in areas such as trade facilitation, trade in services, currency swaps, local currency settlement and public and private partnership, set up the African Regional Center of the New Development Bank, and put together the BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan. Thanks to our efforts over the past year, we have made new strides toward greater connectivity in trade, investment, currency and finance, and infrastructure. We all stress the need to place more emphasis on innovation, seize the historic opportunities offered by the new round of industrial revolution and improve economic structure at a faster pace so as to secure more resilient, sustainable and quality growth for all.

We BRICS leaders believe that it is in our common interests to deepen political and security cooperation and enhance mutual strategic trust. This is also what the international community expects us to do. Since the start of this year, we have had in-depth exchanges of views and reached important consensus on such issues as the international situation, global governance, international and regional hotspots, and national security and development. The meeting of high representatives for security issues and the first stand-alone foreign ministers meeting we held this year have injected fresh impetus to closer political and security cooperation. We have instituted regular consultations among our permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna to coordinate positions on major issues of common interest. We are making steady progress in our cooperation on counter terrorism, cyber security, peacekeeping, and the Middle East. All these efforts have raised the profile of BRICS. We support efforts to continue the good momentum of political and security cooperation, and we will play our part and contribute more to world peace and stability.

We BRICS leaders believe that the long history and splendid culture of our respective countries are our valued assets and must be cherished. This year has seen flourishing people-to-people exchanges and cooperation among our five countries. Colorful events like the BRICS Games, film festival, cultural festival, high-level meeting on traditional medicine have proved popular with our people. We are advancing cooperation between our legislatures, political parties, think tanks, young people and local authorities to create platforms for people with different background to participate in BRICS cooperation. We support efforts to institutionalize people-to-people exchanges, as they will contribute to greater mutual understanding and friendship and base the idea of partnership on more solid public support.

At the summit, we BRICS leaders share the view that as BRICS cooperation enters its second decade, institution building has to move forward in keeping with the changing times if we are to secure strong support for deeper and more substantive cooperation across the board. We support a stronger mandate for our sherpas and expect them to take stock of the follow-ups to every summit at regular intervals and explore new ways and paths of BRICS cooperation in order to bring our five countries closer together. As a matter of fact, this year we have already made new progress in BRICS institution building. I have mentioned the first stand-alone foreign ministers meeting and the regular consultations among our UN permanent representatives. In addition to these two examples, we have also set up cooperation platforms such as a Model E-Port Network, a working group on e-commerce, and alliances of museums, art museums and national galleries and libraries. These new mechanisms will lend strong support to our efforts to deepen political, economic and cultural cooperation.

Next year, South Africa will take over the BRICS chairmanship and host the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. We believe next year's summit will produce rich results. China is ready to work with other parties to give full support to South Africa in convening the summit and keep moving BRICS cooperation forward together.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a fine tradition for BRICS to conduct dialogue and cooperation with other emerging market and developing countries. Under the current circumstances, such dialogue and cooperation have become all the more important. The Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries hosted by China has sent a strong message for closer South-South cooperation and global development cooperation. Leaders attending the Dialogue agree that emerging market and developing countries, who enjoy good growth momentum, are well placed to play a bigger role when it comes to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and improving global economic governance. We need to deepen South-South cooperation, create a "BRICS Plus" cooperation approach, reach out extensively to other countries to forge development partnerships and establish an open and diverse network of development partners. Together, we can blaze a sustainable path featuring innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development and inject more positive energy to global growth and shared prosperity.

To conclude, let me take this opportunity to thank other BRICS leaders and friends from the business, think tank, cultural and sports communities for your strong support for China's BRICS chairmanship. My thanks also go to the friends from the media who have been working really hard. I believe that with the concerted efforts of our five countries and people from different sectors, there will be bright prospects for our cooperation and for the development of BRICS countries.

Thank you.

Talks with President of China Xi Jinping (Переговоры с президентом Китая Си Цзиньпин) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Russia_China, Xiamen_summit, Vladimir_Putin, high_level_meeting

Vladimir Putin had talks with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping in Xiamen.

The two leaders discussed, in particular, current issues of Russia-China cooperation, including the implementation of bilateral agreements, as well as a number of international issues.

The talks were held ahead of the Russian President's participation in the BRICS Summit and the meeting of the BRICS Business Council.

On the sidelines of the summit, Vladimir Putin will also meet with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of the South African Republic Jacob Zuma and invited guests, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha and President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Russian President's visit to China will last until September 5.

* * *

Beginning of talks with President of China Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): My very good friend, Mr Putin, I am very pleased to receive you in Xiamen (you and I met just recently). I am glad to meet with our other Russian friends as well. This is our fourth meeting since the beginning of this year. I cordially welcome you to the BRICS summit in Xiamen.

This past July my visit to Russia was quite successful. We had a lengthy and comprehensive exchange of opinions and a detailed conversation on our bilateral relations; we discussed the dynamics and issues on the international and regional agendas.

I am pleased that our ministries and departments are working on the comprehensive implementation of the agreements you and I reached and our two countries are constantly making progress in their multi-faceted cooperation.

This time, we chose Xiamen purposefully – Xiamen University, with its nearly 100-year history, is located in close proximity. The university has a monument to Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov.

Interestingly, the monument is located just opposite the monument to the great Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is obvious that people in this city value the cultural exchange between China and Russia. I know a famous poem by Lermontov called "The Sail," which praises a persistent struggle and a strong will.

We are in the southern part of the Fujian province, where they speak the well-known Minnan dialect, which is very close to the Taiwanese dialect. The Minnan culture always values hard work and fighting the good fight. As a local saying goes, 'Hard work brings victory."

I hope that our countries will make persistent efforts to advance our relations and our "ship of relations" will embark on a new voyage full sails ahead. It is important that we make every effort to develop our two countries and make a joint contribution toward securing peace and stability in the region and the world.

I wish you a pleasant and memorable visit to the city of Xiamen. I am confident that the city of Xiamen will be the site of a new start to the next "golden" decade of BRICS.

Thank you for your attention.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,

First of all, we appreciate that you have organised this BRICS leaders' meeting in such a wonderful place, the city of Xiamen. As I know, you have worked in this city and province for a long time, and today we – and I personally – can see the apparent results of this work. The city looks wonderful – I have never visited this region before – and it gives the impression of a place that is flourishing.

I would like to wish much success to the BRICS summit. I know that our Chinese friends have taken active and substantial efforts to prepare for it. We, on our part, will do everything possible for the summit to be carried out at the highest level possible.

Indeed, this is out fourth meeting this year and in this connection, I would like to note that during your visit to Russia on July 3–4 we had very substantial talks in Moscow on the whole scope of our relations.

I am very glad to have the opportunity, both on the sidelines of today's events and as part of the working visit organised ahead of the BRICS summit, to exchange opinions on the work being carried out to implement the plans we outlined during your visit to the Russian Federation.

Meeting with Vice Premier of the Chinese State Council Wang Yang (Встреча с вице-премьером Госсовета КНР Ван Яном) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Vladimir_Putin, Russia_China, high_level_meeting, speech

Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China State Council Wang Yang in Vladivostok.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade Wang Yang, friends and colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Vladivostok. You know that I have held extensive talks with the President of China, Comrade Xi Jinping, who is a big friend of Russia. I would like to again congratulate our Chinese friends on the success of this BRICS summit.

I would like to say that you personally are doing a great deal to promote Russian-Chinese ties. In this context, I will sign an executive order to award you the Order of Friendship. You will receive the order during your meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

I know that you have a packed agenda. You have been to one city today, and tomorrow you will travel to another city, Khabarovsk. You have come here from a trip to Volgograd, and in Khabarovsk you will chair a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on the development of relations between the Russian Far East and Northeast China.

I would like to say that nearly 200 Chinese companies were presented at the Eastern Economic Forum last year. Contracts worth nearly 2 trillion rubles, or more precisely 1.9 trillion rubles, were signed then. Total Chinese investments made in the Russian Far East in the past two years exceed $3 billion. This is evidence of our efforts to implement the agreements we reached with the President of China.

I am confident that we will be able to do a great deal at this year's forum as well. We know that many of our Chinese friends, business people, have come to the forum. We hope that the volume of contracts we sign this year will be even larger than last year.

Your work has produced a solid practical result.

Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China State Council Wang Yang (retranslated):Mr President,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your high opinion of the BRICS summit in Xiamen.

I also want to thank you for awarding me the Order of Friendship. It is a great honour for me, and I am ready to make even greater, maximum efforts to promote Chinese-Russian relations.

I also want to say that this is the second time you are receiving the Chinese delegation and me personally in the beautiful city of Vladivostok. I think that this is not just a protocol issue; it speaks to your great attention, the strengthening of the traditional friendship between our countries, as well as the efforts to intensify bilateral contacts.

Vladimir Putin: I remember that you attended the first forum in 2015. We met there.

Wang Yang: Yes. This is my third visit to Vladivostok.

Over the past three years, the implementation of the Far East development strategy has changed Vladivostok. I think that the changes in Vladivostok are a microcosm of all the changes in Russia. I want to note that in recent years, under your leadership, Russia has dealt with the sluggish growth of the world economy, and, despite the sanctions of the West, has maintained stability and solidarity in society. The Russian economy began to gradually, steadily recover. Key economic indicators improved. As a good neighbour, a reliable partner and a good friend, the Chinese side is sincerely glad for your success.

The Ambassador told me that during the BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a new assessment of bilateral relations. He said that Chinese-Russian relations are not just relations, but comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation, as well as friendship. For me, too, this is very positive, good news.

I think that as your friend, I can resolve other issues for you, leaving more time for you to relax. (Laughter.)

You know well the programme of my stay in Russia. Indeed, I held a meeting with Mr Rogozin yesterday, and tomorrow I am ready to take part in the work of the China-Russia business dialogue together with Mr Trutnev. The day after tomorrow, all of us will go to Khabarovsk to hold the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission. Such a high intensity and frequency of contacts is indicative of more active interaction between our countries. The main objective of my visit to Russia is to implement the agreements reached at the level of the heads of state.

I would like to tell you that Mr Rogozin, Mr Trutnev and I have established not only close working contacts; we are old, good friends.

Now let me say a few more words about the progress we made after our meeting in 2015. At that time, an initiative to strengthen cooperation in maritime affairs was put forward. I would like to let you know that last year, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences undertook two joint expeditions to the Bering Sea, that is, in the Arctic area.

On September 20 of this year, the aforementioned organisations will hold a joint seminar on maritime research in Vladivostok. During the upcoming seminar, the First Institute of the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration will sign an agreement with the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences on establishing the Centre for the Study of Maritime and Climatic Conditions. These are the results of work in the area of maritime research.

I can assure you that it was not for nothing that you awarded me the Order of Friendship. (Laughter.) I did my bit to promote cooperation.

Thank you very much for the time accorded to me.

Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping's assessments of the level and nature of our relations are absolutely objective and correspond to realities. But it is you and your Russian and Chinese colleagues who are creating the real substance behind all this in the course of your work. I would like to thank you for this again and wish you success.

Meeting with Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-o-cha (Встреча с премьер-министром Таиланда Прайутом Чан-о-ча) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Vladimir_Putin, Prayuth_Chan-o-cha, Russia_Thailand, Xiamen_Summit,

The discussion covered various aspects of bilateral cooperation, in particular, the prospects for increasing trade and economic contacts and the development of humanitarian ties.

* * *

Beginning of the meeting with Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-o-cha

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues,

Please accept my warmest greetings. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with you on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.

This year, we mark the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations: exactly 120 years ago, during his royal visit to St Petersburg, King Rama V agreed to establish diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand.

In all these years, Russian-Thai relations have never been overshadowed by any negative events. Today, our relations are largely based on economic ties of course, and here we have good prospects.

While last year we observed a decline, there was significant growth in the first half of 2017. There is also a growing interest in Thai culture here in Russia, and the number of Russian tourists in Thailand is increasing.

Mr Prime Minister, I am very happy that we have a very good relationship, and we meet on a regular basis.

Prayut Chan-o-Cha (retranslated) : Thank you for coming. Today, I am pleased to meet with you again following our meeting in Sochi last year. Our relationship is a priority every year.

I know you are very busy. I welcome Russia's influence on the international market. Again, I would like to invite you to Thailand, maybe next year, after the presidential elections.

As we pointed out, we need to achieve the goal of increasing our trade to $10 billion in 2020. I know that Russia imported more rubber and rice this year than last year, but the volume of trade is still low. I would like to see Russia [as a country] importing more such goods.

Please expedite [the work] of interested agencies (ministries) to send specialists to Thailand to look into Thai manufacturers.

Meeting with BRICS Business Council members (Встреча с членами Бизнес-Совета БРИКС) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_Business_Council, Xiamen_summit, high_level_meeting, Vladimir_Putin

Together with the other BRICS leaders, Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting with members of the BRICS Business Council.

The BRICS Business Council is the main mechanism for developing business cooperation between the BRICS countries. It is made up of five representatives from each country. In 2016–2018, Russia is represented in the Council by President of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank Sergei Gorkov, General Director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriyev, General Director of State Corporation Rostec Sergei Chemezov, and President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergei Katyrin.

The BRICS Business Council's purpose is to identify problem areas and difficulties holding back the growth of economic, trade, business and investment ties between the BRICS countries and formulate proposals and recommendations for their solution. The Council drafts an annual activity report, which it presents to the BRICS leaders during the traditional annual meetings with the Business Council on the sidelines of the group's summits.

Following the meeting, the BRICS leaders witnessed the signing of a package of documents on cooperation within the group.

The event saw the signing of the BRICS Action Plan on Trade and Economic Cooperation and the BRICS Investment Cooperation Plan for 2017–2020.

Also signed were the Strategic Programme for BRICS Customs Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding between the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Direct dialogue between the leaders of the BRICS five with the business community is essential for the opportunity it gives us to discuss in substance important economic cooperation matters. We have already achieved visible results in this area. Over the years since the group's establishment, trade between the BRICS countries has increased by more than 50 percent and came to $235 billion in 2016. For your information, I can say that Russia's trade with its BRICS group partners came to $79 billion.

Our countries have a major task before us now, that of taking joint efforts to give a new boost to developing mutual exchanges not only in trade but also in investment, finance, science and technology.

I would like to note the pro-active contribution the Business Council has made to implementing the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy adopted at the summit in Ufa during Russia's Presidency in 2015.

It is good to see that the business community maintains active contacts with the governments in the five countries on removing barriers of various kinds that hamper our economic and investment cooperation and on simplifying trade and interbank cooperation. Undoubtedly, the signing of the cooperation agreement between the Business Council and the New Development Bank will mark a practical step forward in strengthening the business community's role within the BRICS group. I hope that the Business Council will take part in developing the bank's loan portfolio and preparing mutually advantageous projects for implementation in our countries.

Also important for business is the decision to establish at the New Development Bank a Fund for Technical Assistance in Project Preparation. The Bank is working in Russia together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund on financing construction of small hydroelectric power stations for a total value of $100 million.

The decision has been taken to finance another three important initiatives. One is a project to develop Russia's judicial system by building new courtrooms and introducing advanced information technology. Another project is to build roads around Ufa, where the BRICS summit took place two years ago, and then there is a programme to modernise water systems in towns along the Volga River.

Russian Railways plans to sign an agreement with the Bank on financing the construction of a high-speed railway line between Moscow and Kazan, which will become an integral part of the greater Eurasian transport corridor.

We are expanding our interregional business cooperation within the BRICS group. Today, on the sidelines of this forum, a presentation of the Russian regions' investment opportunities took place.

I would also like to draw the Business Council's attention to the issue of developing the digital economy – another important area of cooperation between the BRICS countries. My colleague from South Africa spoke about this. Digitalisation is one of the drivers of global growth today and plays a big part in increasing labour productivity and improving people's living standards.

New technological solutions should help us to find markets in the BRICS countries not only for large companies but also for small and medium business. In this respect, Russia proposed to its partners that we establish cooperation between national internet resources in small business and organise information exchange on goods and services on offer and on reliable suppliers and partners. No one knows better than businesses that to create a comfortable business environment, we need to ensure fair competition.

I believe that the Business Council will support another Russian initiative too, that of drafting common BRICS rules for cooperation on preventing restrictive business practices and trans-border violations of competition rules.

We also hope for business support in the practical implementation of Russia's idea to launch a public-private dialogue within BRICS on Women and the Economy. The first meeting in this format took place with success on the sidelines of the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation International Women's Congress in July this year in Russia. We are now examining the matter of establishing a BRICS women's business association for professional contacts between female entrepreneurs.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that I am certain that through joint efforts between business and the state authorities, we can make fuller and more effective use of the opportunities the BRICS group offers and find new sources for dynamic development in the interests of our countries and peoples.

Thank you for your attention.

Meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states (Встреча лидеров БРИКС с руководителями делегаций из приглашенных государств) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, high_level_meeting, Vladimir_Putin

Vladimir Putin attended a meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states, including the heads of state and government of Egypt, Tajikistan, Mexico, Guinea and Thailand.

The meeting participants discussed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and prospects for further developing their partner relations.

Before the meeting, the BRICS leaders and delegation heads form invited states had a joint photo session.

The meeting concluded the official agenda of the BRICS Summit in Xiamen. The next meeting of the group's heads of state and government will be held in South Africa in 2018.

* * *

Speech at the meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Chairperson, colleagues,

I would like to begin, just as the other heads of BRICS states did, by greeting the heads of state and government from Egypt, Guinea, Tajikistan, Thailand and Mexico, who are attending our meeting today.

It has become a good tradition to hold outreach meetings on the sidelines of BRICS summits. They help our countries develop cooperation with various agencies and regional organisations.

During our previous summits, we had fruitful meetings with leaders from the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

This year we invited leaders from several emerging market countries to the Xiamen summit. These countries are our natural allies and promising business partners, therefore it is logical that BRICS is developing close socioeconomic cooperation with them and has expressed readiness to allign our positions on the international stage.

Colleagues, Russia has been working actively to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as it has been said today.

We cooperate with international organisations within the UN network to jointly implement projects that are aimed, in particular, at attaining food security, modernising the industrial and transport infrastructure and resolving environmental issues.

Thus, in 2016, Russia allocated $1.16 billion towards the Sustainable Development Goals. We have written off over $20 billion of African countries' debts through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

Russia provides support to the World Food Programme and is the fifth largest contributor to the UNIDO Industrial Development Fund.

I would like to point out that Russia's position of principle is that assistance to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals must not be conditioned by any political requirements or terms, as this would have a negative impact on the efforts to achieve the main goals, namely eradicate poverty and serious imbalances in the development of regions and states, as well as provide debt relief to the developing countries.

Development goals are directly linked to one more serious international issue, namely, global climate change. I would like to remind you that Russia has implemented all of its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Between 1991 and 2012, we have not just prevented the growth of greenhouse emissions but have reduced them by 40 billion tonnes.

We have been working consistently to prepare the ratification of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. Russia's extensive contribution will largely compensate for the growth of emissions in other countries and regions.

I would like to add that Russia has started drafting a long-term low-emission development strategy and plan on climate change mitigation, as per the Paris Agreement.

Colleagues, in conclusion I would like to express confidence that our meeting today will promote a better understanding and respect for the interests of each other and will help boost our multifaceted cooperation and dialogue between our nations.

Thank you for your attention.

BRICS Summit (Саммит БРИКС) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, speech, Vladimir_Putin

Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of the BRICS leaders that was held within the framework of the two-day BRICS summit in Xiamen, China.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of China Xi Jinping, President of Brazil Michel Temer, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President of South Africa Jacob Zuma met in a restricted format before their delegations joined the consultations.

The discussion focused on the global economy and global economic management, international and regional conflicts, national security and development issues.

The BRICS Leaders' Xiamen Declaration was adopted following the meeting.

* * *

Speech at the BRICS leaders' meeting inthe extended format

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends,

To begin with, just like the other participants in this meeting, I would like to express gratitude to President Xi Jinping for bringing us together at this wonderful place where he had worked for many years to contribute to the development of this city and region. I believe that all of us have enjoyed visiting yet another wonderful province in China, which has been developing so rapidly and looks so wonderful.

Relations between the BRICS countries have developed to the point of comprehensive partnership over the past few years. We have been working together to find answers to the biggest threats and challenges to peace and stability. Our countries come together to address vital socioeconomic issues, or more precisely, to modernise national industries, develop high technologies, promote competition and improve the living standards of our people.

It is gratifying that these issues have added to the priorities of China's chairmanship this year. I would like to thank our Chinese friends for their hard work to diversify and build up practical cooperation between the BRICS countries and for their commitment to the principles of continuity and sustainability in the work of all BRICS agencies. I am convinced that the implementation of the initiatives put forth by our Chinese colleagues will contribute to the further development of cooperation within BRICS.

Colleagues, one of the key items on the agenda of today's meeting has to do with adding momentum to the operations of the New Development Bank (NDB). A number of major investment projects have been prepared for the NDB, and three of them will shortly be launched in the Russian Federation.

These projects consist of initiatives designed to improve the judiciary, build a motorway near Ufa, which by the way hosted the BRICS Summit two years ago, as well as modernise water systems in cities along the Volga River.

I believe in the importance of this year's decision to establish a technical assistance fund for preparing projects within the NDB. The NDB's immediate tasks include obtaining an international credit rating, which will enable it to issue securities in the five participating countries. In addition, there is also a need to move forward with lending in the national currencies of the BRICS countries.

Efforts to promote the BRICS contingent reserve arrangement and step up sharing of macroeconomic information have also gained considerable momentum, which is also important. We need to fast-track agreements to establish a BRICS bond fund and promote the integration of our capital markets.

We are grateful to our Chinese colleagues for preparing a detailed report on the progress achieved by our countries in implementing the BRICS economic partnership strategy that was adopted during Russia's BRICS Presidency in 2015. It is time to adapt the strategy to today's economic realities and set new and ambitious goals.

We believe that these efforts should be aimed at promoting barrier-free online trade, as has already been mentioned by our colleagues, supporting SMEs, and enhancing the efficiency of public-private partnerships.

The five BRICS countries should also step up their energy dialogue. To this effect, Russia proposes creating a BRICS platform for energy research, which could help promote industry, analytical, academic exchanges, and data sharing.

It would also be advisable to develop joint measures for ensuring fair competition across the BRICS space. We hope that our partners will also support Russia's initiatives on female entrepreneurship.

Our countries could be effective in working together on space exploration. For example, we could agree on creating a remote sensing satellite system in order to monitor climate change, protect the environment and provide natural disaster response.

Cooperation between the BRICS countries in healthcare is certainly useful. We need to create a firm legal framework within BRICS on international information security and consider the possibility of launching cooperation between our media, including the creation of a BRICS television network to promote objective coverage of our activities.

We should continue to strengthen our cultural ties and redouble efforts to implement the agreement on cooperation in culture and sports, as Mr Zuma has said. This agreement was signed on the sidelines of our summit in Ufa.

I am pleased that a Russian film won the Best Director Award at the BRICS film festival. This is a film about the heroism of our people during the Great Patriotic War, during World War II.

We will be happy to see performers from the BRICS countries at popular international music contests that are held in Russia.

Another major achievement of our five countries is the creation of the BRICS Network University, which unites over 50 leading universities from our countries.

President Xi Jinping has pointed out positive trends in the South African economy. In conclusion, I would like to say in this connection that Russia is deepening cooperation with its BRICS partners alongside its efforts to overcome an economic crisis.

Our economy has resumed growth. It is not as impressive as in India or China, yet we are satisfied to report economic growth of over 2 percent.

We have brought down inflation to a record low of 3.5 percent, and expect the inflation rate to be 3.7–3.8 percent by the end of the year.

Investment in fixed assets, both internal and external investment, has increased by some 4 percent. We can also report the growth of our trade, which reached 25 percent in the first half of the year, excluding the oil and gas sector.

The unemployment level is at a historical low of some 5 percent. The Central Bank's gold and currency reserves are growing. Industrial production has reported a sustainable growth of 2.6 percent, and the growth rate is even higher in the agriculture industry.

Colleagues, I believe that our joint work, which is designed to integrate our economic efforts towards not only economic growth but also the wellbeing of our people, is a vital factor of our common development and should encourage us to further strengthen our cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin's news conference following BRICS Summit (Пресс-конференция Владимира Путина после саммита БРИКС) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Vladimir_Putin, Xiamen_summit, press_conference

Vladimir Putin answered Russian journalists' questions following his visit to China to take part in the BRICS Summit.

Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the BRICS Summit and his talks with foreign leaders on the Summit's sidelines, and shared his perspective on pressing international issues.

* * *

Transcript of the news conference for Russian journalists

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Let us start with your questions, please.

Question: The BRICS Summit has just closed. As we all know, BRICS countries account for 31 percent of the global GDP.

Could you share your perspective on the future of this association in the follow-up to the discussions at the Summit? What are its main outcomes and what are Russia's priorities regarding BRICS?

Vladimir Putin: Let me remind you that BRICS emerged at Russia's initiative back in 2005 when we first brought to the same table representatives of the People's Republic of China, India and Russia. This is how three countries started working together, and later expanded to five countries.

There is no doubt that BRICS has great prospects. At its core is the convergence of interests in a number of areas, not some kind of ideological principles.

This primarily has to do with economic structure and our common commitment to make the global economy more fair and noble, so to speak.

Overall, we succeeded in coordinating our positions on a number of major, fundamental issues over the past years.

You may have noticed that BRICS countries regularly meet not only at specialised summits like the one here in the People's Republic of China, but also on the sidelines of various international events before the start of those events. For example, BRICS leaders regularly meet ahead of G20 meetings.

Please note that the new Development Bank has been established and is already functioning. You must have also noted (I mentioned this at the expanded meeting and at the Business Council meeting) that Russia is already receiving funding for three projects.

One has to do with water purification systems in the Volga basin, another with the development of Russia's judicial system, primarily new buildings, facilities and the informatisation of the judicial system of Russia. There are other interesting projects, not as large perhaps, but still important for our country.

These are just the first steps. The pool of reserve currencies is beginning to work. We promote contacts between business leaders. The Business Council grows more active, and Russian initiatives are gaining support among others.

You may have heard about women's entrepreneurship as well. In my opinion, this is an important thing – the right thing. Almost all countries make efforts to support women's entrepreneurship.

There are other important, interesting and promising undertakings. I am confident that this association will work effectively in the future.

The Chinese Presidency has managed to preserve all that has been built up so far, including our joint work in Russia, in Ufa, and create new impulses.

This was a successful summit, including the involvement of the 'outreach' countries' leaders – those states that represent emerging markets from various regions of the world.

I would like to congratulate our Chinese friends on the absolute success of this major international event.

Question: Mr President, you have had an extensive bilateral agenda on the sidelines of the summit. You met with the President of Egypt, with many other leaders.

Can you please tell us more about the meetings? For example, have you discussed the restoration of air transportation with the President of Egypt? Have you accepted his invitation to visit Egypt and participate in the signing of the nuclear power plant contract?

Also, you have had two telephone conversations, with the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of South Korea. Can you please give us more details?

Vladimir Putin: If I talk in detail about all these meetings and telephone conversations, we will not have enough time. You have seen these bilateral meetings.

This visit began with a bilateral meeting with the Chairman of the People's Republic of China – basically, that was part of a separate working visit.

As for the BRICS countries, I had meetings with the Prime Minister of India and the President of South Africa. Those primarily dealt with bilateral relations. With each of these countries, we have an extensive agenda, including very diverse economic ties.

Regarding the countries invited to this year's BRICS summit within the outreach format, a meeting was held with Thailand's Prime Minister. This is a fast-growing economy and we are expanding our economic interaction with this country. As you may know, we have doubled the purchase of natural rubber and increased the purchase of vegetables and fruit by 30–40 percent. We are interested in supplying our products, including high technology ones, to Thailand's markets. That is what we discussed.

As for Mexico, we have our interest there too, direct interests of our companies. Lukoil, for instance, is going to implement four projects in the Gulf of Mexico, three of them with French partners, and one on its own.

We are also doing well on the Mexican market selling the Superjet-100 aircraft.

Speaking of Egypt, you know about our far-reaching historical ties and relations. The relations between Russia and Egypt are on the rise. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi extended an invitation to visit his country, and I will be happy to do so at the right time.

Speaking of air transportation services, we would like to resume flights to Egypt in full. But we agreed that the work of our relevant special services and transport agencies responsible for flight safety should continue, and we must be absolutely sure that the safety of our citizens is guaranteed.

We see that our Egyptian friends are doing their best to ensure this safety. Relevant agencies are interacting with each other and working out some issues. I expect us to solve this task shortly.

Regarding telephone conversations, both of them – with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the President of the Republic of Korea – were focused on North Korea's nuclear tests.

We have agreed to continue discussing this matter when we meet in person. Tomorrow, both the South Korean President and the Japanese Prime Minister will arrive in Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum, and we will talk about this more.

Yes, please

Question: One of the top news stories these days is the US decision to shut down several Russian diplomatic facilities, which in essence amounts to another instance of seizing diplomatic property.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has used the words "seizure" and "searches". You have not said anything on this matter so far. Will you comment on it now? Will Russia respond to all this? If so, what response would it be?

Vladimir Putin: The thing is that we have agreed with our partners that Russia and the United States should have parity in terms of personnel or diplomats in their missions in each other's country. I believe there were 1,300 American diplomats working in Russia and 455 Russian diplomats in the United States. We have balanced the figure.

I would like you to take note of the fact that this figure, 455 Russian diplomats working in the United States, also includes (provisionally) the 155 Russians working at the United Nations. Strictly speaking, they are not diplomats accredited at the US Department of State but diplomats working at an international organisation.

When the United States wanted the UN to be headquartered in New York, it pledged to properly ensure its operation. So strictly speaking, the number of American diplomats in Moscow should be not 455 but 155 fewer, if we are talking about parity.

So, we reserve the right to take a new decision on the number of American diplomats in Moscow. We will not do this immediately but will see how things develop.

The Americans had the right to reduce the number of our diplomatic offices. It is another matter altogether that they have done this in way that was absolutely uncivil. This does not do reflect well on our American partners.

It is difficult to talk to people who confuse Austria and Australia. But there is nothing we can do about this; this is the level of political culture among part of the American establishment.

As for the American people, America is truly a great nation if the Americans can put up with so many politically uncivilised people.

Question: Mr President, you have already mentioned that you touched upon the issue of the DPRK when you spoke to the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of South Korea…

Vladimir Putin: Excuse me, but, with regard to the buildings and structures, this is unprecedented. As a graduate of the St Petersburg University law department, I, or any other lawyer for that matter, can tell you that property rights consist of three elements: the right to own, use, and dispose of such property.

The United States stripped Russia of the right to use our property, which is a clear violation of Russia's property rights. So, to begin with, I will ask our Foreign Ministry to file a lawsuit. We will see how effectively the much-lauded American judicial system works.

Question: Returning to the DPRK, what is your position? It looks like neither talks (the diplomatic process), nor threats, nor sanctions work. How can the DPRK situation be resolved?

Vladimir Putin: This is the simplest question today.

I discussed this with my colleagues in private, but I do not think there is any need to conceal anything here. I will repeat what I said in private and official conversations, and, in fact, what everyone should be aware of and anyone with common sense should understand.

Everyone remembers well what happened to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Hussein abandoned the production of weapons of mass destruction. Nonetheless, under the pretext of searching for these weapons, Saddam Hussein himself and his family were killed during the well-known military operation.

Even children died back then. His grandson, I believe, was shot to death. The country was destroyed, and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Listen, everyone is aware of it and everyone remembers it. North Koreans are also aware of it and remember it. Do you think that following the adoption of some sanctions, North Korea will abandon its course on creating weapons of mass destruction?

Russia condemns these exercises on the part of North Korea. We believe they are provocative in nature. However, we cannot forget about what I just said about Iraq, and what happened later in Libya. Certainly, the North Koreans will not forget it.

Sanctions of any kind are useless and ineffective in this case. As I said to one of my colleagues yesterday, they will eat grass, but they will not abandon this programme unless they feel safe.

What can ensure security? The restoration of international law. We need to advance towards dialogue between all parties concerned. It is important for all participants in this process, including North Korea, not to have any thoughts about the threat of being destroyed; on the contrary, all sides to the conflict should cooperate.

In this environment, in this situation, whipping up military hysteria is absolutely pointless; it is a dead end. Besides, North Korea has not only medium-range missiles and nuclear weapons, we know they have that, but they also have long-range artillery and multiple rocket launchers with a range of up to 60 kilometres.

It is pointless to use missile defence systems against these weapons. There are no weapons in the world that can counteract long-range artillery or multiple rocket launchers. And they can be located in such a way that they are virtually impossible to find.

In this context, military hysteria will do no good, but may lead to a global, planet-wide disaster and enormous casualties.

Diplomacy is the only way to solve the North Korean nuclear problem.

Question: My question is also related to North Korea. The US has declared that it wants to toughen sanctions and urged Russia to join them. How can such statements be evaluated given the renowned sanctions law where Russia is put on the same list as North Korea and Iran?

Vladimir Putin: True, it does not make sense to put us on the list alongside North Korea and then ask us to help with sanctions against it. But it is being done by people who confuse Austria and Australia and then ask their President to persuade Russia to toughen sanctions.

But that is not the point, we are not going to pout, hold a grudge or laugh at anyone. Our position on this issue, as well as on all other issues, is based on principles.

The point is not that we have been put on the same list with North Korea, which is absolutely absurd. I already said why I think (and our Foreign Ministry spoke about that too) that sanctions have reached their limit and are completely ineffective.

There is also the humanitarian side to this issue. No matter which option we choose to influence North Korea, its leaders will not change their policy, whereas the suffering of millions could increase many times over.

Regarding Russia, there is nothing to say here. Absolutely nothing, because our trade is almost zero. I asked the Energy Minister, who told me that we only send them 40,000 tonnes of oil and petrochemicals per quarter.

As a reminder, Russia exports over 400 million tonnes of oil and petrochemicals to the global market, so 40,000 tonnes a quarter is as good as nothing. Moreover, none of our large vertically integrated companies exports anything to North Korea. This is the first thing I wanted to say.

The second issue concerns the North Korean workforce. Indeed, we have some 30,000 North Korean workers in Russia. Is this a lot? No, this is perishably few. Should we leave these people without a means of subsistence? Besides, the Russian Far East needs more hands. Therefore, there is nothing to talk about. As the Foreign Ministry has said, the usefulness of sanctions has been exhausted.

Of course, we are willing to discuss details, but we need to consider them first. We will work on this. We are cooperating with all those involved in this process. Actually, Russia co-authored a relevant resolution, at least it became a co-author during the debates on this resolution, which has been adopted and came into force. We are complying with this resolution in full.

Question: I have a question about eastern Ukraine. Kiev has recently started promoting the idea of deploying UN peacekeepers there. Poroshenko speaks about this often, and there is even a plan according to which the idea should be taken to the UN General Assembly, which opens soon, if Russia blocks it at the Security Council. What do you think about this idea? Is it practicable, would it help?

Vladimir Putin: This is impossible to do via the General Assembly, because UN peacekeepers cannot function other than pursuant to Security Council resolutions. But that is not the point.

You are saying that someone wants to push something through. In fact, I do not see anything wrong with that. I have already said many times that I support the idea of arming the OSCE mission, but the OSCE itself refuses to arm its field personnel, since it has neither the relevant people nor the experience of such work.

In this context, I believe that the presence of UN peacekeepers, not even peacekeepers, but those who provide security for the OSCE mission, is quite appropriate and I do not see anything wrong with that; on the contrary, I believe that this would help resolve the situation in southeastern Ukraine. Of course, we can talk only about ensuring the security of the OSCE staff. This is my first point.

The second point is that, in this regard, these forces should be located on the demarcation line only and on no other territories.

Thirdly, this issue should be resolved only after disengaging the parties and removing the heavy equipment. This cannot be resolved without direct contact with representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic.

I believe that if all this is done, it would definitely benefit resolving the situation in southeastern Ukraine. We will consider this as instructions to the Foreign Ministry to submit a relevant resolution to the Security Council.

Question: Continuing the theme of Ukraine. Recently, more reports have been coming from Washington regarding discussions to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. How serious do you think this is? If, indeed, such a decision is made, what consequences might it have?

Vladimir Putin: It is the sovereign decision of the United States whom to sell arms to or whom to supply them to free of charge. They decide what countries will be recipients of such aid. We are unable to influence this process in any way. However, there are general international rules and approaches: the supply of weapons to a conflict zone is not conducive to peace, but only aggravates the situation.

If this happens in this situation, the action, or the decision, will not change the situation fundamentally. It will not affect the situation in any way for that matter. But the number of victims could, of course, increase. I want to underscore this to make it clear for everyone: nothing will change. The number of victims may increase, which is unfortunate.

There is one more thing that those who have such ideas should pay attention to: the self-proclaimed republics have enough weapons, including those seized from the opposing side, nationalist battalions, and so on.

If American weapons start coming to the conflict zone, it is difficult to say how the proclaimed republics would react to it. They may dispatch their weapons to other conflict zones that are sensitive to those who create problems for them.

Question: Good afternoon, Mr President. The Syrian army, with the support of the Russian Air Force, has nearly succeeded in pushing ISIS militants out of the city of Deir ez-Zor. Does the new stage on the Syrian map mean now that the ISIS threat in that country has passed and will not return and that the most difficult times for Syrians are over? And what should the Syrians do in the near future?

Vladimir Putin: As for terrorism in general, it is a complex global problem. It concerns not only Syria, but also many other countries in the region, and not only that region. The main problem in this regard is that the radical groups are reenergised constantly due to poverty and a low level of education, which are a breeding ground for radicalism and terrorism.

That is why we meet at events such as BRICS and G20 summits to address these global challenges by eliminating the root causes of the threat of growing terrorism and radicalism.

As for Syria and military operations, yes, the situation there has turned around for government troops. You know that the territory controlled by the government troops has increased several-fold in the past year and a half or two, and this process is gaining momentum.

Can we say that we have done away with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups forever? It is probably too early to say so, but it is obvious that the situation is changing drastically in Syria.

I hope that our partners will bring the operation in Iraq to an end. Deir ez-Zor is, in fact, a military rather than a political stronghold of the radical opposition – radical in the worst sense of the word, ISIS opposition.

Once the operation in Deir ez-Zor is completed, it will mean that the terrorists have been dealt a very serious defeat, and the government forces and Assad's government have gained undeniable advantages.

It will be necessary to take the next step in strengthening the ceasefire regime, strengthening the de-escalation zones and establishing a political process. Alongside the political process, it will be necessary to restore the economy and the social sphere. That is an enormous job, and without the help of the international community, it will be difficult for the Syrian authorities to tackle these challenges.

By the way, we also spoke about this during the talks at this summit, on the sidelines and at bilateral meetings. Practically all my colleagues agree with this and are ready to contribute to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Question: Over to Russia, if you please. You have not yet given an assessment of the situation concerning film director Serebrennikov…

Vladimir Putin: We have many directors; I cannot do it for each one.

Question: He is now under house arrest.

Public opinion has split: some say that everyone is equal in the eyes of the investigation; others, on the contrary, see this as pressure on culture and mention Mikhalkov, another director that receives government funding but faces no charges. In this regard, it would be interesting to know your opinion of the situation.

Vladimir Putin: Look, in culture, just like in other areas, the expenditure of public funds is constantly monitored by law enforcement agencies. As far as I remember, maybe things have already changed, the deputy director of the Hermitage museum is under investigation, and so is the Deputy Minister of Culture. So what, now everyone needs to be released because they work in culture? This would seem strange.

Serebrennikov received state funding. This suggests he did not face any censorship, or pressure, anything, I mean, the government would have simply not given him money, and that would be that, if they wanted to limit his creativity. What does creative activity have to do with this anyway?

Yes, I know, attitudes differ to various people's work; Serebrennikov's work is no exception. This is simply a matter of taste: some like it, others do not. But if the government finances something, it means the attitude is at least neutral, and the funding helps the artist create, work, that is all.

The only thing the investigation wants to know is that budget funds are disposed of legitimately. This is a lot of money. If you look at the funding, it is some 300 million from the federal government, and around 700 million from the Moscow government over a period of two or three years, a total close to one billion. This is a lot of money.

And if we look at our other directors, our cultural workers, like Mikhalkov whom they mention, if the investigative bodies, the supervising bodies find that the recipient of funds is violating the existing legislation, they will face the same kind of investigation and prosecution.

As for Mikhalkov, there have not been any complaints yet, despite the fact that the monitoring agencies are working to track down all the funds received from the treasury by all cultural projects. There are regular inspections. If they spot anything to incriminate Mikhalkov, he will be inspected. So far, this is simply not the case though.

As for Serebrennikov, the authorities have no problems with him except one: compliance with the law in the use of government money. That is all. Even though he is under house arrest, this does not yet mean he is guilty.

Whether he is guilty or not only the court can decide. I hope that the investigative bodies will work quickly and finish their work as soon as possible. What will happen next – we will see.

Question: Good afternoon, Mr President. In May of this year, also in China, I asked you if the time was right to announce if you would run for President next year. You said "No" then. Four months have passed. Is the time right now to say "Yes"?

Vladimir Putin: Look, I have said this many times and I can say it again – what I will say now is very important.

As soon as an election campaign begins in Russia, everyone stops working. I have first-hand experience with this. Everyone starts thinking about what would happen after the elections, which jobs would go to whom, and so on.

People must do their job now, without relaxing attention to the job at hand even for a minute. Therefore, I am sure that those who plan to take part in the next presidential election in Russia will announce their decision within the time stipulated by the law.

Question: Since we are in China, I would like to ask about China's mega project, the new Silk Road, at least its railway component, because it has a motorway and marine components as well.

All countries, in Europe and even across the ocean, would like to join this project. It is unclear how the route will be laid, where the railway line will leave China, and whether it will run across Russia, across Azerbaijan and Turkey, or across Belarus. Most importantly, it looks as if our Chinese partners are not eager to build the line across Russia.

Vladimir Putin: No, you are wrong. Both Russian and Chinese agencies and companies concerned, as well as partners from other countries, are analysing this matter.

You have said that the project also includes the motorway and marine components, which is true. Look, the road across Kazakhstan is almost finished. We need to accelerate our part of the work. Also, a road is being built from China.

As for railway routes, there are several options for China, and it can choose the route via Kazakhstan and then go southeast towards Iran, or possibly continue it across Russia.

As you know, China plans to contribute to the construction of a fast train line from Moscow to Kazan. We discussed the possibility of building a high-speed passenger and freight railway line across Russia during the Chinese President's previous visit to Russia.

If we implement this project, trains will be able to move along this route at some 200 kilometres per hour. Freight trains will be a bit slower, but cargos will be delivered from Asia, or more precisely China, to, say, Germany within three of four days.

These projects are very interesting and promising, but we need to work on them some more. There is nothing in this that should be kept secret from the general public, but we do need additional expert analysis and feasibility studies.

As you may know, we are actively discussing the possibility of cooperation on the Northern Sea Route. This is fully in keeping with our common programmes; there are no contradictions whatsoever. We are also considering and implementing several other routes, for example, the North-South route.

The Prime Minister of India and I have announced that the first container loads from Mumbai have reached St Petersburg via Iran and Azerbaijan, and returned. We test all options in practice. We are working on them on a daily basis. We will see which is more effective during the preliminary trial runs and will choose the best options.

Question: I would like to follow-up on the question on relations with the US, by way of clarification, whether you have grown disappointed with Donald Trump since his election as US President, and since you talked with him. The relations have been spiralling, as our side is saying.

Also, do you take into account, as the Foreign Ministry spokesperson has recently pointed out, that not all US heads of state stay the full term they were elected to be in office for? In your analysis have you considered the possibility of Trump being impeached, and what is your approach to relations with the US?

Can I ask one question that has to do with domestic affairs as well but is also related to foreign policy? The situation concerning the conflict in Myanmar has given rise to a debate between the federal government and Ramzan Kadyrov who said that if he is not satisfied with Russia's position on Myanmar, he would be against Russia.

In your opinion, does a senior official have the right to express a position at odds with the federal government on foreign policy matters, or should this senior official leave?

Vladimir Putin: I will start with the last question.

Regarding Myanmar, I think that after our bilateral meeting with the President of Egypt the press service was supposed to issue a statement on Russia's shared position with Egypt on the ongoing developments there. We oppose any kind of violence and call on the government of that country to take the situation under its control.

As for the opinion expressed by citizens of Russia on Russian foreign policy, any person has the right to his or her personal opinion regardless of the position he or she holds.

This applies to the heads of regions as well. Let me assure you that this should not be viewed as a rebellion of any kind by the Chechen leadership. Everything is fine, no need to worry.

Now, about the President of the United States. I think that it would be inappropriate for us to discuss how the situation in the US could play out on the domestic front. This is none of our business, and something the United States has to deal with on its own.

As for whether I am disappointed or not, your question is very naïve. After all, he is not my bride, and I am not his bride or fiancé. We hold public offices, and each country has its own interests. Trump is guided in his activities by his country's national interests, and I am guided by my country's interests.

I do hope that we will be able, as the current President of the United States said, to find compromises in resolving bilateral and international issues so that they can be settled in the interests of the American and Russian people, and in the interests of many other countries, taking into account the special responsibility for international security that lies on our two countries.

Question: Excuse me, I have yet another question about the presidential election. It is not about your candidacy but about other potential candidates. It is rumoured that there might be a female candidate.

Vladimir Putin: Never heard about this.

Question: Some say it could be Ksenia Sobchak.

Vladimir Putin: Good luck to her.

Question: It is a fact that her father has done a great deal for you and that you are grateful to him for what he did. What would you say if Ksenia ran for president? Or do you think that there are better female candidates, such as [Elvira] Nabiullina or [Tatyana] Golikova?

Vladimir Putin: It is not for me to decide who would be a better President for the Russian people. The choice is ultimately made through elections. But the law allows anyone to stand for office if done in accordance with and within the framework of the law. Ksenia Sobchak is no exception to this rule.

I have always respected her father, and I still respect him. I believe that he was an outstanding figure in modern Russian history. This is no exaggeration. I am being completely honest about this. He was also a perfectly decent person who played a big role in my life.

But such personal considerations carry no weight when it comes to presidential elections. Everything will depend on Ksenia's platform, if she decides to run, and on how she will organise her election campaign. Her success or defeat will depend on this.

As for her plans to run for president, I have never heard about them. I am sure that there can be, and definitely will be, other candidates.

Question: There is a large and high profile case underway in Russia, Rosneft versus Sistema. Rosneft claims that Sistema has as good as stolen assets and money by withdrawing them from Bashneft. Do you support this view?

Has either company, the defendant or the plaintiff, turned to you for a consultation on this matter? Do you think their dispute can be settled out of court? Those who represent Sistema say that this conflict is worsening the investment climate in Russia. We would like to hear your opinion.

Vladimir Putin: I have held discussions on this issue both with Rosneft and with Sistema CEOs – Sechin and Yevtushenkov. I heard what they had to say on this matter.

I think it would be inappropriate for me to indicate my position on this matter publicly, but I do hope that it will be settled out of court. I believe that this would benefit both companies and the Russian economy as a whole.

I cannot be perfectly sure what turn this case will take because I have never issued any direct instructions and believe that it would be counterproductive to do so.

All the best and thank you.

See also

BRICS Summit September 4, 2017

Meeting with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma (Встреча с Президентом ЮАР Джейкобом Зума) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Russia_SA, Xiamen_summit, Vladimir_Putin, Jacob_Zuma, speech

Vladimir Putin had a meeting with President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen.

Bilateral relations and their prospects, particularly in trade and the economy, were the subject of discussion.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,

It is a great pleasure to meet with you on the sidelines of this summit in China.

It is well known that we have good, multifaceted relations that have developed over many years and with deep roots in the past.

We have spoken of late of the need to spread our good political and humanitarian ties to the economic sector. Sadly, the downward trend in our bilateral trade continues for now, though the pace has slowed down. The negative trend has weakened, but we have not yet fully overcome its effects.

I am pleased to have the chance to discuss these matters with you. We work actively together in all areas. We signed today an agreement on joint work on information security and we cooperate in a consolidated fashion in international organisations, particularly on the issue of continued efforts to enhance the UN's activities and organisation.

It is a great pleasure to see you and to have this opportunity to exchange views on the steps we need to take to develop our relations.

President of South Africa Jacob Zuma: Thank you very much, Your Excellency Mr President, indeed it is good to meet once again on the sidelines of the group of BRICS. It is always wonderful to meet and have time to talk about a variety of issues.

It is also true, I agree with you, that our relations date back many years, and we have had this relationship, very strong, all the time. Of course, with time it is always important to strengthen the relations, so that they are even more stronger.

It is also true that whilst we are cooperating on a number of issues, but there has been a situation globally that interfered with the flow of our relations. I think the time has come that we pick up also and do more in the relationships, in terms of what we do together.

One of the issues that was delayed is your visit to South Africa, because I have issued an invitation. I am sure that I am going to revive that and I am sure that we look into it again afresh with the kind of new situation.

Vladimir Putin: We will do that indeed, thank you very much.

Jacob Zuma: Thank you very much indeed. I am very happy. We will have more time to discuss a number of issues. Just happy to see you and your delegation again on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting.

Vladimir Putin: We will certainly do this. Thank you very much.

Jacob Zuma: (transcript in English)

Meeting with President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto (Встреча с Президентом Мексики Энрике Пена Нието) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, high_level_meeting, Russia_Mexico, speech

Vladimir Putin met with President of the United Mexican States Enrique Pena Nieto.

The two presidents discussed the current state and future of bilateral trade, economic, investment, and energy relations, as well as opportunities for stepping up humanitarian contact and cooperating on foreign policy matters, including within various international organisations and on pressing regional issues.

The Russian delegation at the meeting included Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.

* * *

Beginning of the meeting with President of the United Mexican States Enrique Pena Nieto

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, it is a great pleasure to meet with you on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit.

In December 2017, we will mark 127years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, which goes to show that our countries share deep-rooted ties. In addition, the declaration on relations between our countries marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Total trade turnover is quite modest at about $2 billion. Last year, it increased by 7.5 percent, and was up 38 percent in the first six months of 2017.

Of course, we need to revitalise the Intergovernmental Commission that should provide a new impetus for stepping up our economic ties.

We started the discussion on our relations during yesterday's dinner. I am glad that we now have the opportunity to continue this dialogue.

President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto (retranslated): Mr President,

It is a great pleasure for me to be able to have a bilateral meeting with you in the follow-up to the numerous informal meetings we have had at various events. I am glad that this tradition carries on.

I would like to note that our countries do share long-standing relations, and despite the geographical distance, we have been able to develop our relations in the spirit of friendship and good-heartedness.

You were absolutely correct when you said that our trade has so far failed to match the immense potential our countries have and should use for promoting investment.

If you allow me, I would like to highlight areas where we could engage in proactive cooperation. We are carrying out structural reforms, primarily in the energy sector, and we have private investment, and private companies that are active in the market.


Meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Встреча с премьер-министром Индии Нарендра Моди) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Russia_India, Vladimir_Putin, Xiamen_summit, speech, high_level_meeting

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen.

Current topics and prospects for the development of relations between the two countries were discussed.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, friends,

Once again, please accept my sincere greetings.

Relations between Russia and India have deep historical roots. Today, we describe them as privileged, strategic relations. They are more than 70 years old and this year we have celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties.

I remember your visit to Russia quite recently as part of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum and then we worked well together. I have to say that the results, including those of our joint work, are certainly positive. We maintain permanent relations between both our foreign ministries and our governments and we are actively promoting military-technical cooperation.

While last year we observed a certain decline in our trade relations – minus 1.6 percent, in the first six months of this year, we observe considerable growth – almost 22 percent, 21.9 percent. It goes without saying that we should preserve this positive trend.

I would like to thank you for India's invariable high-level participation in the Eastern Economic Forum. We will expect your representatives, your delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Vladivostok in several days from now.

I am happy to have the opportunity to discuss all current matters and prospective tasks on the sidelines of today's event.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (retranslated): Your Excellency,

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet again today.

We recently met on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Besides, we had an opportunity to meet in St. Petersburg. I will always remember that meeting, your hospitality, and the level at which I was received. I liked the business-like atmosphere very much. I saw how we could work together to raise the level of our relations and how we could work under your guidance, discuss the economic situation in the world and bring it to a new level. Let me congratulate you on the forum's high level of organisation.

We meet at different levels, of course, and we also hold frequent and fruitful meetings and exchanges of high-level visits, during which we discuss different subjects in detail.

Overall, our talks yield results and we discuss everything in a substantive way.


Informal meeting of BRICS leaders (Неформальная встреча лидеров БРИКС) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, high_level_meeting, Vladimir_Putin, speech

BRICS leaders discussed the cooperation within the association and the agenda of the upcoming G20 summit.

* * *

Speech at informal meeting of heads of state and government of BRICS countries

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Modi, Mr Xi Jinping, President Zuma, President Michel Temer,

I would like to start with our common strategy. We know that on the basis of the Strategy forBRICS Economic Partnershipadopted at the last year's BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, new large-scale joint projects are being prepared for launch, primarily in technology, industrial cooperation, energy, and agribusiness.

We intend to expand contacts in other areas as well – in science, education, culture, on issues of social policy, healthcare and sport.

We support cooperation between our parliaments, regions, trade unions, youth organisations and civil societies.

Colleagues, we can see that contradictions in the world are indeed escalating. The rise of inequality between rich and poor nations is growing, the struggle for resources, for access to consumer markets, for control of transport arteries is becoming more intense. This is the backgrounds for the growing potential for conflict, as hotbeds of tension continue to multiply.

My Brazilian colleague has just mentioned the long crisis that has engulfed the Middle East and North Africa. Civil wars instigated from abroad, the disintegration of government structures in Iraq, Libya (which President Zuma spoke about with concern) and Yemen, have turned this region into a place of chaos and a foothold for international terrorism which troubles all of us, causing an uncontrollable wave of migration.

The expansion of ISIS and extremists of all stripes united under its banners has become a real security challenge for our countries as well, including Russia and its southern borders.

The most dangerous situation is in Syria, which has already been discussed here. This is why we responded to the request of the legitimate, let me stress, the legitimate government of that country for assistance in the fight against terrorist groups.

The Russian Aerospace Forces have dealt a heavy blow to the terrorists and their infrastructure, and have preserved Syrian statehood, which I think is absolutely vital.

Together with other partners we managed to enforce a ceasefire in some regions of Syria and to launch inter-Syrian talks, because ultimately this sort of conflict can only be resolved by political means. We are confident that terrorist threats can only be countered by uniting the efforts of all interested nations.

In general, the international community needs to work together to solve other complex problems, including those facing the global economy, as Mr Modi said, and Mr Xi Jinping as well.

Unfortunately, the world economy has still not overcome the effects of 2008–2009 financial crisis, and global growth is still uneven and very fragile. According to forecasts, growth is unlikely to reach the pre-crisis level before 2019. Among the limiting factors is the volatility on foreign exchange and commodity markets, the lack of coordination of monetary policies, and the high debt levels in developed economies.

In this regard, we support the priorities of China's G20 presidency, aimed at stimulating the global economy – especially through the introduction of modern technologies.

We welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping's intensive work to prepare this G20 Summit and its substantive package of final documents. It is encouraging that many of them build upon the G20 agreements made in the course of our joint work in St Petersburg, Russia.

It is important to strengthen our countries' positions in the global financial system. I would like to congratulate our Chinese partners on the Special Drawing Right basket being expanded to include the Chinese yuan from October 1, 2016.

The BRICS states have already increased their total share in the IMF capital to 14.89 percent, very close to the blocking threshold of 15 percent. And they certainly need to continue in this direction, advancing the reform of the IMF.

We need to make the BRICS Pool contingent of foreign exchange reserves and the New Development Bank fully operational (here I totally agree with my colleagues), to adopt the bank's strategy, to provide loans in local currencies, and to begin financing specific projects.

We are greatly concerned about the WTO situation, which was also mentioned here. That organisation is losing credibility, losing its status as the only universal negotiating platform for the development of global trade rules due to the stagnation of the Doha Round. As a result, various private associations, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, are gaining momentum; they seek to replace the WTO rather than complement it.

We see this as a response by some of our partners to difficulties they encountered in the course of WTO negotiations. But this is not the best way to solve problems. The best way is to negotiate and reach a compromise.

Russia calls for the harmonisation of regional economic formats, based on the WTO rules and principles, the principles of transparency and respect for each other's interests.

It is in this spirit that we are shaping the Eurasian Economic Union's activities and negotiating the linkage of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China's Silk Road Economic Belt.

I am certain that in the future, all of the above will create a grand Eurasian partnership that is open to cooperation with all interested states and integration alliances.

We hope to discuss in more detail the prospects for our group's development at the upcoming October 15–16 summit in Goa, India. On that note, we wish Mr Modi and all our Indian friends success in preparing that event.

Thank you.

Xi Jinping Attends Dialogue Between Leaders of BRICS Countries and BRICS Business Council and Opening Ceremony of the BRICS Cultural Festival and Photo Exhibition (Си Цзиньпин посещает диалог между лидерами стран БРИКС и бизнес-советом БРИКС и церемонией открытия Культурного фестиваля и фотовыставки БРИКС) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Xi_Jinping, Xiamen_summit, high_level_meeting, cultural_festival, business_council
Author: Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi

On September 4, 2017, President Xi Jinping attended and addressed the Dialogue between Leaders of BRICS Countries and the BRICS Business Council in Xiamen. President Michel Temer of Brazil, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa attended the dialogue.

After listening to the work report presented by the representatives of the Business Council and the New Development Bank (NDB), Xi Jinping pointed out that it is pleased to see the fact that the Business Council and the NDB have made significant achievements. The Business Council has carried out a lot of works in the fields of e-commerce, technical development, standard setting, the experience sharing in digital economy and other aspects, receiving sound results. The NDB has pressed ahead the implementation of new projects steadily, with the recent opening of its African regional center, work beginning on its headquarters, and constant progress in business operations and mechanisms construction. At present, there are both opportunities and challenges in enhancing practical economic cooperation among BRICS countries, with the significance and urgency rising. The results made by the Business Council and the NDB demonstrated the vitality and potential of BRICS cooperation. I extend congratulations to the two institutions for their works.

Xi Jinping stressed that during the summit, the BRICS leaders have unanimously agreed to forge the next "golden decade" and elevate BRICS cooperation to new highs. It is hoped that the Business Council and the NDB to make use of the opportunity, aim higher and work harder to achieve a greater development.

First, promote BRICS countries to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. We need to give play to respective advantages and lead business and financial circles to transform the leaders' common ground into concrete action, implement Strategy for the BRICS Economic Partnership and tighten interest bond, so as to achieve common development.

Second, help BRICS countries to realize economic development. We need to follow the latest technological and industrial revolutions, try at first to open up space for the economic development of BRICS countries, and inject new imputes into it. We should comply with the general situation of economic globalization and deepen cooperation with enterprises from other countries, in a bid to drive common development of emerging market economies and developing countries.

Third, boost people-to-people bonds among BRICS countries. During the process of advancing practical cooperation, we should not only pursue economic benefits, but focus on social benefits, so as to make BRICS cooperation benefit peoples and consolidate the public opinion foundation.

At last, Xi Jinping pointed out that on the occasion of ushering in a new decade of BRICS cooperation, I wish the Business Council and the NDB could unite all efforts to make new contributions to a better future of BRICS cooperation.

Other BRICS leaders also spoke highly of works made by the Business Council and the NDB in their speeches, and believed that the two institutions will enhance BRICS cooperation and make greater contributions to the development of BRICS countries.

In the end, representatives of the Business Council of all BRICS countries presented the BRICS Business Council Annual Report to respective leaders.

After the dialogue, leaders of BRICS countries witnessed the signing of four cooperation documents, namely BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation, BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation, Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation, and Memorandum of Understanding between the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation.

About 300 people, including members of the BRICS Business Council, representatives from business circle and NDB President attended the dialogue.

On the same day, leaders of BRICS countries jointly attended the opening ceremony of the BRICS Cultural Festival and Photo Exhibition. Xi Jinping and the leaders of other BRICS countries pressed the seal on respective seal pillars, and the images of BRICS countries' Chinese seal-cutting names were simultaneously displayed on the screen in front of them. All leaders jointly initiated the opening ceremony of the BRICS Cultural Festival. Later on, leaders of the five countries visited the BRICS Cultural Festival and Photo Exhibition, and watched the trailer of "Where Has Time Gone", the first film co-produced by BRICS countries.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended above activities.
BRICS: Will the Future be Brighter? (БРИКС: будет ли будущее ярче?) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, expert_opinion
Author: Georgy Toloraya, Valeria Gorbacheva

The ninth BRICS Summit held on September 3–5, 2017, in Xiamen and chaired by China goes under the theme «BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future».

The second round of the chairmanship is on, and a decade of successful cooperation development within BRICS in such key areas of interaction as policy and security, economy, trade and investment, agriculture, science and innovation, education, health, culture, etc. has passed. The first summit of the heads of state from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) was held on the initiative of Russia in 2009 in Yekaterinburg. The format was considered successful, and summit meetings became annual. In 2011, the most economically developed state of Africa, South Africa, became an official member of the association at the summit in Sanya (PRC) with the aim of strengthening South-South cooperation, thus giving a finalized look to the informal dialogue of the five developing countries under the name «BRICS». The main task of the association is not economic integration, but reformatting international relations in order to increase the influence of the emerging countries — new centers of power. However, one might argue that the development of BRICS is going smoothly, concerning not only the positioning of the BRICS in the world, but also the relations among the member states themselves.

What will China's Chairmanship in BRICS Bring?

The summit is unusual, because, firstly, it emphasizes China's new role in the world and, secondly, it is held at a time when security agenda comes to the forefront.
China's tasks and approaches to building a new world order are fully in line with Russia's interests. In particular, the main objectives are the maintenance of peace and stability in international relations, the improvement of global governance of the global economy, the complementary development of the BRICS countries, and the increase in humanitarian exchanges. Numerous new branches of cooperation are being activated, such as interaction between regions, interaction in the field of international information security, tourism, energy, etc. Particular attention is paid to strengthening the role of BRICS in the context of interaction at the level of major international organizations (UN and WTO) and platforms (G20). According to Sergey Ryabkov, Russian Sherpa in BRICS, all in all, participation in such format as BRICS creates a multiplier effect and allows to expand countries' capabilities in solving not only external but also internal issues and tasks in a number of fields — from strengthening and ensuring security both on the borders and on a global scale to creating favorable investment climate in order to implement strategically important infrastructure projects.

The summit is unusual, because, firstly, it emphasizes China's new role in the world and, secondly, it is held at a time when security agenda comes to the forefront. The summit will provide a good opportunity for the leaders of the major emerging powers to discuss most pressing issues.

The meeting of BRICS Ministers of Industry on July 29, 2017, in Hangzhou ended in signing the Action Plan to deepen industrial cooperation between the states of the association. The plan states seven basic directions for further development of industrial cooperation within the BRICS framework. In addition to standardization and cooperation development within the framework of the BRICS-UNIDO Consolidated Industry and Technology Platform, the document also sets out such goals and directions for development as increasing industrial cooperation between countries (creation of an «industrial technology exchange network»); improvement in coordination processes and comparison of the adopted industrial policies and development strategies; promotion of cooperation in the field of industrial infrastructure development; greater cooperation in the field of innovation and technology, as well as providing assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, which should give an additional impetus to strengthening the interaction among the BRICS countries in the era of Industry 4.0.

The work of BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is particularly significant in this way, and in 2017 it has adopted a development strategy that determines how the NDB is going to fulfill its mandate in the following five years. The main objective, based on the progress achieved since July 2015 when it was launched, is to make NDB a reliable provider of services to enhance cooperation development and a financial intermediary, who would protect the assets of investors and shareholders. NDB has already approved the first project on the territory of Russian Federation estimated USD 100 million: construction of a small hydroelectric power station in Karelia with a design capacity of 50 MW.

What is the main purpose not only of the Summit, but also of China's chairmanship in BRICS?

The most important innovation in the development of BRICS is, of course, China's idea to include extra-regional players in the dialogue in the «BRICS+» and «BRICS++» format. This was announced at the beginning of 2017 by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. And this is China's great contribution to the development of BRICS as a global format that deals not only with the affairs of the «five» itself, but also with solving global issues involving the largest and most influential countries. Recalling that BRICS so far, since the summit in Durban (South Africa) in 2013, has had a habit of inviting countries of the region in the outreach format where the chair-state had the greatest weight and respect. For South Africa, these are African countries, for Latin America — UNASUR countries, for Russia — CIS and SCO countries, etc.

China proposed a revolutionary idea — to create some permanent «circle of friends» of BRICS, observers or dialogue partners who would interact with the association on an ongoing basis. And these should be not the countries of the region, but representatives of other regions. In 2017, Mexico was invited to the BRICS summit as a representative of Latin American region, Guinea would represent the African Union, Egypt would represent North Africa, Tajikistan became the representative of the Eurasian space, and Thailand — of South-East Asia. It is unknown, whether these countries will become permanent partners. However, the process was launched.

From China's point of view, BRICS is a valuable platform for the development of South-South cooperation within the developing world. Although Russia is historically a country of the North, it doesn't deny this idea of BRICS. We hope that this experiment will be successful too, because BRICS+ and BRICS++ concepts are not limited to a one-time dialogue, but imply formation of a mechanism for permanent institutional interaction of partner states with the main BRICS members in the following years, both in general political format, and in sector-specific areas of cooperation.

It should be recognized that, given the economic situation — like the slowdown in economic growth in many BRICS countries and even its downturns, as well as political factors such as deteriorating situation in Brazil and South Africa, the growing tension between Russia and the leading Western countries, BRICS is being seriously challenged.

Primarily, BRICS carries political content in order to enhance the role of the five countries in global governance and to be not only rule-takers, but also rule-makers in global governance.
Firstly, the formation of BRICS caused opposition both in Western countries and among supporters of the «universal model of development» and Westernization in the countries within the union. There is an ongoing information war against BRICS; India, leading in terms of economic growth, is constantly being contrasted to Russia and China, different from India in values and political ambitions.

Secondly, BRICS critics claim that the association lost its momentum and therefore is no longer relevant. However, this is not the case: the fading of interest in this format is not observed in any of the partner countries. Primarily, BRICS carries political content in order to enhance the role of the five countries in global governance and to be not only rule-takers, but also rule-makers in global governance. It is precisely in the face of difficulties that BRICS countries need mutual support, as never before, to jointly achieve goals that they are not able to realize on their own.

Thirdly, there is certain tension among BRICS countries, especially between China and India, which, of course, puts the unity of BRICS to test. Although BRICS factor is not the only thing that can keep India and China from deploying a full-scale conflict, it is the association of BRICS that can play the role of a mechanism for resolving such disputes and prevent new conflicts after meeting of the leaders in Xiamen. Certain contradictions between Russia and India are associated with the support of Pakistan and a number of issues in the area of military and technical cooperation.

The interests of resource producing countries and consumer countries also rarely coincide. In this regard, there is a number of contradictions with both Brazil and South Africa. The countries are at different stages of development and have different economic strategies, not to mention different political systems. However, despite these differences, the states have common interests that they want to implement together. BRICS platform is a good format for peaceful interaction, that creates an atmosphere of mutual attraction and communication, the diplomatic atmosphere that is so important for resolution of long-running conflicts.

Economy and especially finance are the basis for BRICS progress. Though the role of political factor, political superstructure (the «sails» on a large ship of the world economy) is critical. Comparing the global economy to a large ship, it is important that the sails on this ship look in the same direction. Unfortunately, now these sails are perpendicular to each other because of political differences among the partner countries, which causes economic slowdown.

It seems that in order to solve these complex tasks the unification of BRICS should strengthen its institutionalization. There is a need for coordination both at technical level through creation of a secretariat and at the level of practical organizations, departments, companies, and businesses that are engaged in BRICS markets. For example, it is important to create a single BRICS payment system, a wider application of national currencies in transactions. What might help is the creation of an intergovernmental committee within BRICS at the level of deputy prime-ministers that would unite bilateral committees of these countries and conduct coordinated activities to guide the economic processes taking place in BRICS.
The BRICS strike back (БРИКС наносит ответный удар) / Russia, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, Xiamen_declaration, expert_opinion
Author: Pepe Escobar

The wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, issued in conjunction with the just wrapped-up annual BRICS summit, shows that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, although facing internal challenges of their own, may be about to step up their collective game, big time.

And they won't be intimidated/derailed by the crumbling unipolar order.

Xiamen made it clear the BRICS are all-out engaged to "redress North-South development imbalances," with Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasizing the necessity of a more just international order, echoing President Putin's calls for a "fair multipolar world," and "against protectionism and new barriers to global trade."

Xi, the host at Xiamen, where he was once mayor, went out of his way to stress, "we five countries [should] play a more active part in global governance."

One of the key planks of what is a concerted geopolitical/geoeconomic drive will start to be implemented via an upcoming BRICS-wide customs union. It's all about connectivity – in trade, commerce, and finance. And that also dictates investment and business openings rolling in sync, as well as a sharper role for development funds and the BRICS's own New Development Bank (NDB).

Enter, thus, multiple South-South "dialogues," like those proposed in Xiamen with Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Guinea, and Tajikistan.

The dialogues, which will inevitably evolve into business and investment deals, are at the core of 'BRICS Plus'; the overarching concept, proposed last March by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for expanding South-South partnership/cooperation.

What this will mean, in the immediate future, is an even further, complex interpolation of BRICS Plus with the already converging New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

All these economic/political vectors are advancing in sync. The SCO may be essentially focused on security, countering jihadism or even solving border disputes, but it has also been developing the economic cooperation front. India and Pakistan have become SCO full members this year. Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey are observers, and will soon become full members. Egypt and post-war Syria want in. The SCO's geopolitical reach is fast becoming pan-Eurasian.

And that's reflected, for instance, in the Xiamen Declaration proposing an "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace and national reconciliation process, "including the Moscow Format of consultations" and the "Heart of Asia-Istanbul process."

This means, essentially, the BRICS supporting not a surge of Pentagon troops but an all-Asian (and not Western) Afghan peace process brokered by the SCO, of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member.

And this course of action once again graphically shows how the core of the BRICS is and will continue to be, what I call "RC": the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Triple Win!

It was RC, not by accident, that suggested the only possible solution for the Korean Peninsula stand off, that is "double freezing," put forward by the Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministry in early July. Pyongyang ceases all missile launches and nuclear tests, Washington/Seoul cease their monster military exercises. Needless to say, the 'War Party' in Washington, as well as Trump's generals, vetoed the idea.

But just as the BRICS wrapped it all up in Xiamen, the action started at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok; once again, all about economic convergence, focusing on Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam and crucially, both Koreas.

Enter RC, once again, as peace negotiators, able to practice diplomacy with both Pyongyang and Seoul at an international forum. RC – with Russia in the forefront – solved the Syrian tragedy. While RC has a plan for both Afghanistan and North Korea, the unipolars only have sanctions and bombs.

I have sketched elsewhere other aspects of BRICS, such as the current internal politico-economic tragedy in Brazil, as well as outsiders India-Japan pushing to counteract the BRICS/BRI/SCO convergence via an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC).

But the holy of the holies – and it's never enough to stress it - is what I call the Triple Win triad of the future: oil-yuan-gold. This is one of the prime outcomes of a strategy the BRICS have been discussing, behind closed doors, at their summits since the previous decade – when Lula was still Brazil's president: how to bypass the US dollar.

President Putin has hinted at "the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies" – code for US dollar unipolarity. Beijing now is stepping up the game via a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

That might as well represent the burial ritual for the US sanctions dementia. It's a categorical imperative for Eurasia integration to be able to bypass any manifestations of this disease by trading energy in yuan or in their own, local, currencies.

In parallel, something RC, via the Central Bank of Russia and the People's Bank of China, have been developing all these years - ruble-yuan swaps - will spread out to other BRICS/BRI/SCO members. The concept of trading in their own currencies will reach, of course, all number of aspiring BRICS Plus members.

The late Zbig 'Grand Chessboard' Brzezinski Doctrine – preventing, by all means, the emergence of a peer competitor - has long ago been pronounced dead. What we see instead is the emergence not only of a peer competitor, but an alliance of peer competitors (RC), with a geo-economic pull all across the Global South.

More than enough for any unipolar brain to go nuclear.
Bloc Party Blues: Why Brazil Might Leave BRICS (Блюз части блока: Почему Бразилия может выйти из БРИКС) / Brazil, September, 2017
Keywords: Brazil_BRICS, expert_opinion,
Author: Alejandro Sanchez

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will hold its ninth summit September 3–5 in Xiamen, China. Naturally, the international community will be eager to know about any new initiatives and agreements, particularly between China and Russia. The BRICS meeting, however, occurs at a time of increased challenges for Brazil, and it is debatable how much the country can continue to contribute to the bloc.

The South American giant impeached then-President Dilma Rousseff in August 2016, making Vice President Michel Temer head of state until the October 2018 elections. This means that President Temer will have been in office for around two years, with one left in his presidency. This is hardly sufficient time to formulate a concrete long-term foreign policy.

To complicate the situation further, President Temer was charged in June with corruption regarding alleged bribes from JBS, a meatpacking company. Then, in early August, he narrowly survived a new challenge: the Chamber of Deputies voted 263–227 against having the Supreme Court commence a trial against him. On the economic front, Brazil is still attempting to overcome a years-long recession crisis; the Financial Times reported on August 24 that Brazil's economy has "shrunk by 7.4 per cent in the past two years and the government is wrestling with ballooned budget deficits."

In other words, President Temer will not travel to Xiamen with a quiet home front.

As for Brazil's relations with its fellow BRICS members, the situation is currently mixed, with both positives and negatives developments. For example, President Temer visited Moscow in June to meet President Vladimir Putin with the goal of increasing bilateral trade between the two nations. Brazil-Russia trade reached $4.3 billion in 2016. Meanwhile, China is Brazil'smajor trading partner, therefore it remains a priority for Brasilia to continue its close relationship with Beijing and perhaps seek investment opportunities via the BRICS-led New Development Bank, headquartered in Shanghai.

As for Brazil's relations with India and South Africa, the idea of South-South cooperation has stalled. This is particularly true for India, as there have been hardly any new initiatives in Brasilia-New Delhi relations recently, apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Fortaleza, Brazil, for the BRICS 2014 summit, and some defense-related initiatives (like the IBSAMAR exercises, the last of which occurred in 2016). If anything, India's main priority regarding Latin America nowadays is Mexico, not Brazil.

Brazil-South Africa relations are slightly better than with India. For example, this past May, Brazilian foreign-affairs minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho visited several African nations, including fellow BRICS member South Africa, to jumpstart relations. Moreover, the 2016 free-trade agreement between the Southern African Customs Union and the Market of the Southern Cone, of which South Africa and Brazil are members, will likely increase commercial ties between the two countries.

The ninth BRICS summit arrives at a difficult time for Brazil. Its turbulent domestic politics and economic situation are not conducive to establishing a robust foreign-policy strategy. As for relations with fellow BRICS members, Brasilia is focused on increasing commercial ties in order to help jumpstart its economy. Hence, we can expect President Temer's meetings with President Putin, President Jacob Zuma and President Xi Jinping to revolve around trade issues; a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Modi is required by protocol, although there have been no indications so far about an interest to increase Brasilia-New Delhi ties.

Since last year's summit in Goa, India, there has been speculation about Brazil opting to leave BRICS. While it is unlikely that President Temer will make such a statement in Xiamen, Brazil's current internal state may require a debate over how continued membership to BRICS would help Brazil, if at all.

W. Alejandro Sanchez is an analyst that focuses on geopolitical and defense related affairs, with a focus on the Western Hemisphere. His analyses have appeared in numerous refereed journals including Small Wars and Insurgencies, Defence Studies, the Journal of Slavic Military Studies, European Security, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and Perspectivas.
BRICS countries urge UN reform, cooperation on terrorism (Страны БРИКС выступают с призывом к реформе ООН, сотрудничеству в борьбе с терроризмом) / USA, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, expert_opinion, BRICS_world, terrorism
Author: Louise Watt

XIAMEN, China — The BRICS group of five major emerging economies called Monday for reform of the United Nations and tougher measures against terrorist groups, while denouncing North Korea's latest nuclear test at a summit in China that seeks to enlarge the organization's presence on the world stage.

The nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa— agreed in a joint declaration to strengthen cooperation against a range of organizations it described as terrorist, including some based in Pakistan, in a diplomatic victory for New Delhi.

The five also pledged their opposition to protectionism, a theme increasingly taken up by host Chinese President Xi Jinping as anti-globalization sentiment in the West poses a threat to China's vast export markets.

In the 43-page declaration, Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma said they would work together to improve global economic governance to foster "a more just and equitable international order."

They also strongly condemned North Korea's sixth — and most powerful — nuclear test that took place Sunday and has overshowed the two-day BRICS summit in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen that China is using as a showcase for its growing international status.

Preeti Saran, an official with India's Ministry of External Affairs, said each leader had referred to North Korea's nuclear test when they spoke during their meeting.

The declaration said the five emphasized that the issue should only be settled through "peaceful means and direct dialogue of all the parties concerned."

They called for "comprehensive reform" of the U.N. and the U.N. Security Council "with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges."

No proposals on specific reforms were offered.

China, the world's second largest economy, wants BRICS to play a more important role in international affairs. But some observers suggest the group's influence is waning given the ongoing political and economic rivalry between China and India and the economic woes faced by Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

In addressing terrorism, the declaration named organizations including the Pakistan-based militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Islamic State group and al-Qaida.

Saran said it was the first time there had been a specific listing of alleged terrorist groups in a BRICS document, calling that "a very important development."

China, a key ally of Pakistan, has repeatedly blocked India's attempts to have the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Masood Azhar, put on a U.N. Security Council terror blacklist. India has accused archrival Pakistan of harboring and training militants to launch attacks on its soil.

China is a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council and has been seen as using that clout to gain an edge in its political and economic rivalry with India. The nuclear-armed Asian giants recently ended a 10-week border standoff high in the Himalayas that re-awakened memories of their 1962 frontier war, paving the way for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the BRICS summit in China.

Saran denied any connection between China's agreement to list the Pakistan-based organizations and the withdrawal of Indian troops from the contested Himalayan area last week.

"This is a multilateral forum with five sovereign countries. There is no linkage to any other development," she said.

At earlier BRICS summits, China balked at India raising Pakistan-sponsored terrorism allegations and defended its ally's role in countering terrorism, said Sreeram Chaulia, dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs near New Delhi.

The inclusion of the two Pakistan-based groups in the declaration shows that "India has finally succeeded in persuading all BRICS members that Islamist fundamentalists pose a universal threat," Chaulia said.

That came despite comments by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday that China did not consider Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts to be an "appropriate topic" at the summit.

Saran said Modi and Putin discussed oil and gas cooperation and how to promote trade and investment between their two nations. Xi and Modi are expected to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the summit tomorrow.

The declaration also expressed concern about the Haqqani network that is active in Afghanistan, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, accused by Beijing of fomenting unrest in China's northeastern region of Xinjiang.

The declaration said nations should unite to fight terrorist groups in accordance with the principles of international law, but emphasized the importance of not interfering in the sovereign affairs of individual states.

Xi announced in his opening address Monday that China would set aside 500 million yuan ($76 million) for economic and technological cooperation and exchanges among BRICS countries, and $4 million to support the BRICS' New Development Bank.

The figure was much smaller than the 780 billion yuan ($120 billion) that Xi pledged at a summit in May for his own signature initiative, the "One Belt, One Road" project to boost connections between China, Europe and Africa.
President Zuma concludes his successful visit to China for the 9th BRICS Summit (Президент Зума завершает свой успешный визит в Китай на Девятый саммит БРИКС) / South Africa, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, Official_visit, Jacob_Zuma
South Africa

President Jacob Zuma has concluded a successful Working Visit to Xiamen in the People's Republic of China, where he attended the 9th BRICS Summit with other BRICS Leaders. The 9th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Summit took place from 3-5 September 2017 under the theme: "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future".

The President returned to South Africa this morning, 06 September 2017.

During the Summit, the BRICS Leaders discussed issues of mutual concern aimed at achieving development, economic growth and prosperity, as well as peace and security which brought them together in the past ten years. The leaders acknowledged that they have traversed a remarkable journey together on their respective development paths tailored to their national circumstances, devoted to growing their economies and improving people's livelihoods. The BRICS Leaders also committed to building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions to the world economic challenges, including poverty and unemployment.

The BRICS leaders met with the BRICS Business Council where efforts and contribution of the BRICS Business Council and Business Forum to strengthening economic cooperation in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, financial services, e-commerce, alignment of technical standards and skills development were discussed. "This year we had the biggest business delegation which indicates the amount of interest BRICS has aroused," said the President.

They reaffirmed their commitment to BRICS industrial cooperation, including on industrial capacities and policies, new industrial infrastructure and standards, as well as small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs), in order to jointly seize the opportunities brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution and expedite respective industrialization processes. In this regard, they agreed to explore the establishment of BRICS Institute of Future networks.

The BRICS leaders agreed to promote the development of BRICS Local Currency Bond Markets and jointly establish a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, as a means of contribution to the capital sustainability of financing in BRICS countries, boosting the development of BRICS domestic and regional bond markets, including by increasing foreign private sector participation, and enhancing financial resilience of BRICS countries.

In terms of global security, the BRICS Leaders noted the challenges and threats faced by the international community and committed to enhance communication and cooperation in international fora on issues concerning international peace and security. "That is why we have considered urgent that the BRICS Security Cluster of Ministers meet to discuss these current threats to our security and that of the globe," said the President.

President Zuma and leaders noted with satisfaction the Launch of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank (NDB) on 17th of August 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The launch was welcomed and lauded as a major milestone for Africa as a whole, as it underlines BRICS' commitment to the development of the African continent and emerging markets. "The launching of the Bank, in Johannesburg recently is indeed momentous. The idea of having our own BRICS Bank is historical and a game changer, because it will handle matters of finance in a friendly way to the developing world. The bank will first work with member countries and with time, will extend to the rest of Africa and other countries. The Umzimvubu Water Project and the Moloto Corridor are just two examples of the projects the New Development Bank will work on immediately. We are also glad that the Bank has gained acceptance globally," said President Zuma

On the side-lines of the BRICS Summit, President Zuma held bilateral meetings with BRICS leaders, namely, H.E President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China; H.E President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as well as President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who attended the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries.

President Zuma also met with President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, whose country shares a border with China and also formed part of the Emerging Markets and Developing Countries. President Rahmon invited President Zuma for a State Visit to Tajikistan, to further strengthen bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

In continuation of a BRICS tradition of Outreach that began during the Durban Summit, BRICS Leaders held a Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the building of broad partnerships for development.

The Dialogue was held under the theme of "Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development" in promotion of BRICS Plus cooperation. "Our being members of BRICS represents not only ourselves as South Africa but also the African continent. We are therefore glad to have introduced BRICS- Outreach aspect of the programme wherein we invite the African Union Commission Chairperson, Leaders of NEPAD structures and regions to participate for the well-being and development of Africa. BRICS is becoming the hope of the Globe and is chatting a way forward for a better future for developing countries," said the President.

The 9th BRICS Summit concluded with the adoption of the Xiamen Declaration and Action Plan, which highlighted the strong foundation that BRICS has made in terms of establishing institutional mechanisms for tangible cooperation.

South Africa is the incoming Chair of BRICS and will host the tenth BRICS Summit in 2018. "We look forward to hosting the BRICS Leaders' Summit in South Africa to take further our programme of development and prosperity for our countries. We have taken from China in this Summit, their incredible sense of organisation, the discipline as well as clear programmes and intended outcomes. We will build on these as South Africa next year," President Zuma added.

President Zuma was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Mr Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Finance; Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security; Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development; Ms Mmamalolo Kubayi, Minister of Energy; Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation, and Mr G Magwanishe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.

Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or

Issued by the Presidency
China Tries To Make A Friend Of India At BRICS Meeting, But Is It Too Late? (Китай пытается подружиться с Индией на саммите БРИКС, но не слишком ли поздно для этого?) / USA, September, 2017
Keywords: India_China, China_world, expert_opinion
Author: Douglas Bulloch

A little over a week ago China and India were carefully walking back from a near three-month standoff in the Himalayas during which both sides had spoken of war. At the time I suspected that Chinese President Xi Jinping was concerned about the potential loss of face occasioned by the prospective absence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the BRICS summit this week in Xiamen.

Now that the meeting has taken place, however, it seems I underestimated the urgency of ensuring Modi attended, and how peripheral Doklam must be to China's wider strategic vision.

In fairness, China may have simply misjudged the Doklam incident. For all the talk of China's salami-slicing territorial expansion, the original decision to build the road that India objected to may have been taken locally and simply not been fully thought through -- creating a headache for Beijing -- rather than being a plan hatched at the highest levels. Nonetheless, the firmness of India's response and the disregard it showed for China's clear demands that it withdraw from Chinese sovereign territory was striking. It was expected that Modi would receive some cold shoulder this week even though China had been obliged to climb down to ensure his presence. Yet as we have seen this week, nothing could be further from the truth.

China comes a'courting

During the Doklam hostilities, one important revelation was the increasing warmth shared between New Delhi and Washington. The strategic implications were unmistakable when U.S. President Donald Trump spoke of securing the assistance of India for a reinvigorated effort to stabilize Afghanistan.

Part of this rapprochement has seen an obvious deterioration in U.S.-Pakistan relations, but the continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan and increasing friendship with India has geopolitical implications for China's all-weather friendship with Pakistan. Equally India and Japan's deepening engagement, and speculation about a recent shipment of India's BrahMos missiles to Vietnam won't have gone unnoticed in Beijing either.

Despite all this, Xi Jinping heaped compliments on Modi and India, and in a firmly positive speech that made no mention of Doklam, Xi praised the encouraging "development momentum of China-India relations," heralding cooperative ventures in industry, culture and international organizations. More surprising still, India secured a big concession with the language included in a BRICS statement which made direct mention of Pakistan-based terror groups, previously thought to have been excluded at the insistence of Pakistan's ally, China.

BRICS reborn

Aside from the consternation this will cause in Islamabad -- who might reasonably conclude that the "all-weather friendship" is perhaps not exactly all-weather after all -- it also raises the intriguing spectacle of China elevating the status of the BRICS for reasons as yet unclear.

The organization derives from an emerging markets investment strategy pioneered by Goldman Sachs but has never truly developed beyond a bit of institutional cooperation here and there. Now Russia is heavily sanctioned and struggling while Brazil's economy has collapsed, leaving the China and India only two serious powers left. China and India, however, increasingly see each other as regional rivals and only weeks ago nearly went to war.

Whether India is willing to cooperate meaningfully with China remains to be seen, but they will accept the flattery. Nevertheless, this incident suggests that China, or at least Xi Jinping, recognizes that hostility with India hinders, rather than helps China's strategic interests. The Belt and Road Initiative, for example, looks rather different if the principle power in the Indian ocean objects to it.

More long term, if India follows China's spectacular growth run over the last few decades -- and given its current trajectory and demographics, this seems more likely than not -- then China's vast overcapacity has only one possible outlet. China, in other words, can't afford to make an enemy of India.

Shutting the gate?

A bit of institutional flattery may only serve to delay the inevitable, but China's unexpected overtures to India are easy to comprehend if you observe the growing alignment between India, the U.S., Japan and Vietnam. China sees this, and is concerned enough to try and prevent it. Therefore, smoothing over Doklam tensions and trying to beef up the BRICS as a platform for Indo-Chinese cooperation may be wise policy, if it gives India reasons not to cozy up to Vietnam, Japan and the U.S.

Alternatively, after years of obstruction over India's effort to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, China's explicit support for Pakistan, and now the surprisingly bitter exchanges over Doklam, it may be far too late.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Expanded BRICS cooperation benefits global economy -- Israeli experts (Расширенное сотрудничество БРИКС приносит пользу глобальной экономике - израильские эксперты) / Israel, September, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_Israel, expert_opinion

JERUSALEM, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Israeli experts commend the BRICS bloc of five emerging economies for its seeking expanded cooperation and partnership, which they believe will benefit the global economy.

The just-concluded BRICS summit, held in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen at a time when the bloc enters its second decade, has attracted a close attention from the Israeli political and economic circles.

The bloc grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is seeking to enhance cooperation in and outside it as well as to expand partnerships with especially developing countries in order to boost global growth and globalization.

Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen highly agrees with the BRICS initiatives of jointly building an open global economy and establishing diverse development partnerships.

"Every nation in the world is looking forward to expanding and strengthening their economic ability," he told Xinhua Thursday. "We are a globalized world and we need to work together in order to achieve our mutual goals."

Cohen, who had visited China in March, expressed his high expectation, urging China and Israel to make further efforts to push forward the development of their innovative comprehensive relationship.

BRICS cooperation mechanism is "very clever," commented Ziva Eger, CEO of Invest in Israel -- the economic ministry's one-stop-shop for foreign investment in Israel.

"Because you need to push more and more economies all around to get involved," she said.

"Things are going right now (this way), and you cannot be able to survive and leverage yourself (if) you will stand still," she added.

In addition, during the Innovation Festival held in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Rick Kaplan, vice chief for the financial service and industry platform of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), deemed diverse BRICS partnerships as "wonderful".

"That's a wonderful thought on the part of China and I wish that other countries in the world would think the same way," he said.

Because that will benefit all peoples in the world "if our global leaders will think that way about the importance of multiple relationships between countries," he added.

Citing Israel, he said, "Israel certainly needs (those) because we're a very small country. In order to succeed, we need deep relationships with countries like China."

And "economic development will ultimately be the benefit of all people," he noted.

Strong growth in BRICS countries' trade in 2017 – Maersk) (Сильный рост торговли со странами БРИКС в 2017 году - Maersk) / Denmark, September, 2017
Keywords: trade_relations, e-commerce

COPENHAGEN, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Trade between the BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has grown strongly this year, figures from the world's largest container shipper showed on Thursday.

Maersk Line, which handles one out of seven containers shipped globally, said its shipments from China to India had increased 26 percent by value in the first half of the year compared to last year.

It also said that its shipments from China to Brazil and from China to South Africa each had grown by almost 9 percent.

"We can see from our own statistics, customers in the four countries are most attracted to Chinese textile & apparel, consumer electronics (appliances and kitchenware) and furniture products," Mike Fang, Managing Director for Maersk Line's Greater China Cluster, said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Growth in China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly accelerated in August, survey data showed, suggesting the world's second-largest economy is still expanding at a healthy clip.

Chinese policymakers are keeping the stimulus taps flowing at a time when stronger growth has prompting some in the West to start winding back cheap money.

Maersk also said that the value of its shipments from South Africa to China had increased by 44 percent in the period.

Although Chinese imports still mainly focused on raw materials and resources, Maersk Line saw an increase in the imports of, for example, meat from Brazil and fruits and nuts from South Africa, Fang said.

"E-commerce cooperation is developing very fast among the five countries, with many of their products gaining traction on the Chinese market," Fang said.

"There is much potential to enable trade among BRICS nations and we will definitely look into it," he said.

The figures, which are more detailed than in Maersk's earlier statements, were devised for a BRICS nations summit in Xiamen, China, this week. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Full text of Chair's Statement of the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries (Полный текст заявления Председателя о диалоге развивающихся рынков и развивающихся стран) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, emerging_market

XIAMEN - Following is the full text of Chair's Statement of the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries released Tuesday in the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen.

Chair's Statement of the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries

On 5 September 2017, the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries took place on the margins of the BRICS Xiamen Summit. It was chaired by President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China and attended by President Michel Temer of the Federative Republic of Brazil, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India, President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea, President Enrique Pena Nieto of the United Mexican States, President Emomali Rahmon of the Republic of Tajikistan and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Under the theme "Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development", the Leaders had in-depth discussions and reached extensive consensus on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and building broad partnerships for development, the major points of which are summarized as follows:

The Leaders pointed out that emerging market and developing countries have actively explored development paths suited to their respective national conditions and made remarkable achievements over the past decades. Particularly in recent years, these countries have maintained sound momentum of steady development, serving as important engines of global economic growth and making important contribution to the common development of all countries and the improvement of global governance.

As the world economy is undergoing profound adjustment and transformation, emerging market and developing countries face both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, peace, development and win-win cooperation remain the trend of the times, and the world economy has shown signs of mild recovery. On the other hand, serious challenges persist, such as weak growth drivers, inadequate global governance and development imbalances, as well as worrying trends of rising protectionism and growing backlash against globalization. It is necessary for emerging market and developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation so as to safeguard their common interests and create a favorable external environment for development.

The Leaders appreciated the efforts made in recent years by BRICS countries in pursuing dialogue and cooperation with other emerging market and developing countries in a spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. They welcomed and expressed support for the "BRICS Plus" cooperation proposed by China, which provides important opportunities for cooperation among emerging market and developing countries, and helps strengthen South-South cooperation and international development cooperation and build broader partnerships for fair, open, all-round and innovative development.

Stressing that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a new blueprint for international development cooperation, the Leaders believed that its full implementation will be of important immediate and long-term significance to peace and development around the world and to the pursuit of a community of shared future for mankind. The international community needs to translate political commitments into concrete actions in real earnest, and jointly embark on a path toward innovative, coordinated, green, open, shared and sustainable development.

It is important for all countries to shoulder their primary responsibility for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and integrate it into their national development strategies, so as to boost endogenous drivers for development and promote coordinated development in all three dimensions -- economic, social and environmental, and to create an enabling policy environment for national development and international development cooperation. Priorities should be given to poverty eradication, growth promotion and job creation to ensure that everyone share in the benefits of development. Developed countries should fully honor their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and increase support for developing countries.

Emerging market and developing countries need to expand cooperation including South-South cooperation, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, synergize development strategies, and intensify cooperation in fields such as infrastructure connectivity, industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization, so as to achieve common development and gain strength through solidarity. The Leaders welcomed the efforts by China and other Dialogue participants to provide support for developing countries through the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation.

Climate change is a common challenge confronting the international community. It is important to uphold the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change including the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and to fully implement the Paris Agreement. Developed countries should provide more financial, technical and capacity building support to developing countries.

Global economic governance should keep abreast with the times and the representation and voices of emerging market and developing countries should be enhanced under the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. All countries need to be committed to foster an open economy, uphold the multilateral trading regime and its fundamental principles, oppose protectionism, and jointly work for a successful 11th WTO ministerial conference to make economic globalization more open, inclusive and beneficial to all.

It is important for all countries to support the United Nations in playing a central role in international development cooperation and in conducting necessary reform to its development system. This reform should center on promoting development, prioritize poverty eradication, remain membership-driven, extensively seek views of developing countries and respond to their concerns. Meanwhile, the reform should help enhance UN's efficiency and capabilities in coordinating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthen coordination and complementarity among all bodies within the UN system and mobilize more resources for development.

BRICS cooperation expected to be global growth driver: Dell VP (Ожидается, что сотрудничество БРИКС станет глобальным драйвером роста: вице-президент Dell) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Huang_Chenhong, expert_opinion, BRICS_world

XIAMEN — Cooperation among BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will become an engine of global economic development, a senior executive of Dell has said.

Dell has large-scale investments in Brazil, India, China and South Africa and this "reflects the important position BRICS countries hold in the global economy," Huang Chenhong, Dell's global senior vice president and president of Dell Greater China, told Xinhua in a recent written interview.

Huang was one of the representatives of the 79 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list that attended the BRICS Business Forum, an important side-event of the BRICS summit. More than 600 companies from China and abroad attended the forum held Sunday and Monday in Xiamen, a coastal city in East China's Fujian province.

"BRICS cooperation is the result of economic globalization and also a driver for promoting and deepening global economic cooperation," Huang said on the sidelines of the forum. "For Dell as well as other international enterprises, BRICS countries are not only markets, but also growth drivers."

Huang said cooperation should not be limited to that among the BRICS countries or that between the five countries and other emerging economies. "Only by sticking to investment and trade liberalization can BRICS cooperation become the engine of the global economic development."

Huang also said BRICS countries have great potential in such areas as intelligent manufacturing and internet economy. "If BRICS countries have concrete and viable action plans in these areas, establish effective cooperation mechanisms and find new directions for development, it will be great news for transnational enterprises."

Besides, Huang said the fruits of BRICS cooperation can be promoted and copied in countries along the Belt and Road, namely the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. "This will bring broad space for cooperation to the business community, especially foreign companies in China."

In 2013, China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative aimed at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes to seek common development and prosperity.

As a practitioner, beneficiary and promoter of the Belt and Road Initiative, Dell has been enhancing local cooperation for the better localization in purchasing, research and development, manufacturing as well as sales and service, the senior executive said.

Dell also expected that the establishment of a comprehensive logistic system with transportation via sea, air and land will greatly improve the efficiency of supply chains, Huang added.

Facing the increasing growth of trans-border e-commerce and logistics in BRICS trade, Huang said Dell will conduct all-round cooperation with its partners in supply chains, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enterprises and other domestic companies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative in such areas as markets, networks, products and services, as an effort to promote communications in information technology among BRICS nations.

Dell is a multinational computer technology company based in Texas, the United States. Xiamen, the Chinese city that hosted the ninth BRICS Summit, has become Dell's largest manufacturing base in the world with a daily output of 80,000 pieces of equipment.

Dell CEO Michael Dell visited China in 2015 and announced the "In China, For China" 4.0 strategy, under which Dell will invest $125 billion in China over the next five years, contributing $175 billion to imports and exports while sustaining 1 million jobs.

BRICS banks places developmental agenda as priority for South Nations (Банки БРИКС ставят в повестку дня развитие как приоритет для Южных Стран) / South Africa, September, 2017
Keywords: NDB, expert_opinion
South Africa
Author: Luwellyn L. Landers

As the BRICS Heads of State Government gather this week in Xiamen, China, one of the major discussion points will be to review progress achieved in respect of the operations of the New Development Bank (NDB) also known as the BRICS Bank.

The BRICS Bank was originally intended by the BRICS Leaders to "supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. " However, the expectations for this Bank have clearly outweighed its modest origins and it has now evolved to become a symbol of a new generation financial institution that will serve the developmental needs of the Global South.

The President of the NDB KV Kamath has explained that to provide effect to the notion of "new", its management would introduce a more streamlined approach to its operations by reducing the duration of the traditional project cycle approval. Secondly, loans will be issued without setting conditionality's as is the case in the established Western Multilateral Development Banks.

The NDB comes at an opportune moment, as we transition from a unipolar world order with a declining power to a multi-polar world order, challenging the previous order's hegemon(s). The BRICS Bank therefore provides emerging markets and developing countries with an alternative global financial and institutional architecture. It also provides the global south with an amplified voice to articulate our core needs and set new agendas according to shared rule-formulation practices.

To this end the NDB has indicated a number of innovative measures that will ultimately challenge the pre-eminence that the Washington Consensus has cultivated since the post-Second World War era. For example, the NDB is embarking on facilitating loans in the local currency of its members, which indirectly challenges the role of previous dominant currencies. As a result, countries requesting a loan no longer need to absorb the uncertainty inherent in fluctuations of currency in respect of their repayments. This in itself will provide new certainty for lenders as well as borrowers, indicative of the type of qualitative paradigm shift intended with these initiatives.

Like the Bretton Woods Institutions, established primarily to rebuild Europe after the Second World War, the NDB places much emphasis on infrastructure development and sustainable development for developing countries. Although the Bank underscores in its strategy that it intends to complement existing development financial institutions, it provides alternative options for developing countries thus creating more competition. This may also have the unintended consequence of forcing the traditional banks such as the World Bank to reform their lending and payment policies. BRICS partners also have various other complementary spatial development initiatives which will further interact with and support the Bank. Currently, the main loan beneficiaries are the NDB's founding member countries. When the Bank was established in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014 it envisaged having an authorised initial capital base of 100 billion US Dollars. The initial subscribed capital was earmarked at 50 billion US Dollars, shared equally among founding members. The paid-in contributions of its members amounted to 2 billion US Dollars per member over 7 tranches (years) with the rest of the capital being callable as may be required.

The Bank indicates that it has already granted loans for development to member countries estimated at one and a half billion US Dollars. The NDB purposefully sent a strong message by prioritizing renewable energy for its first tranche of disbursements. South Africa received a first loan allocation of 180 million US Dollars. South Africa will continue to submit further project proposals through its dedicated project pipeline. The launch of the Bank's Africa Regional Centre (ARC) on 17 August 2017 by President Jacob Zuma will also strengthen this project pipeline. The Leaders also noted in Xiamen further positive developments, such as the establishment of the Project Preparation Fund and loans being issued on a regular basis in respect of the countries' project pipelines. The NDB will further interact and indeed collaborate with domestic and regional players in the development finance space such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa, with the objective of unlocking funds for infrastructure projects in South Africa. The ARC will also serve to cultivate a next generation of financiers through knowledge generation and sharing. It will mainly employ young South African professionals; thus facilitating capacity building and contributing to the development of specialised skills in project preparation and finance in the host country and region in the longer term.

Another significant shift in international finance will entail the consideration of establishing a market-oriented rating agency by member countries, which will be linked to the NDB. Currently the Bank works with the Chinese rating agencies of China Cheng Xin International Credit Rating Company and the Lianhe Credit Rating Company. This rating agency will be tailored for its members and their needs as well as provide a niche approach. , In addition it has the potential to challenge the traditional hegemony enjoyed by Standard and Poors, Fitch and Moody's rating agencies in the global financial markets.

A paradigm shift in terms of the politics of financial institutions will also occur; a shift which should decisively benefit developing countries. China, the NDB's largest stakeholder in terms of the size of its economy, has long held the approach and policy of non-interference. Criticized by the West for this policy, China has often maintained that, just as it views Chinese solutions for Chinese problems, so too there should be domestic solutions to domestic challenges. It will not impose its demands on the country needing assistance. This constitutes the fundamental difference between Chinese cooperation versus Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the West/OECD. The West has pursued, through its ODA programmes, a form of relationship which has been perceived as that of neo-colonialism. There is no doubt therefore that China will maintain this policy of non-interference in the way it interacts with other countries through the NDB. South Africa and the rest of the BRICS countries also have a similar approach. Instead the NDB will be guided strictly by the developmental and infrastructural goals that it has set for the Bank and for those who wish to gain cooperation from the Bank.

By hosting the first regional office of the NDB outside of Shanghai, South Africa has been able to strategically position Africa. This illustrates the leadership role that South Africa exercises in BRICS in ensuring that the concerns of Africa and the Global South are taken into account. It is also a well-established practice for BRICS Leaders to meet prior to the G20 Summit to exchange views and to forge common positions where possible on core developmental issues in particular.

What is of importance is that South Africa optimally utilizes its partnerships with these emerging global players to meet its own needs and those of Africa and the Global South. For example, South Africa's in situ mineral wealth has been estimated at 2.5 trillion US Dollars by Citibank (2010). These partnerships will help to beneficiate this wealth and unlock the kind of inclusive development that is needed. South Africa can partner relevant and strategic partners to learn lessons from – not only of different economic models, but more importantly, how state assets can be utilised positively and strategically to promote development.

History has many valuable lessons and it is incumbent on this generation not to repeat the cycles of the past, but to bring innovative practices and paradigms to the table in service of its people.

Luwellyn L. Landers is an ANC Member of Parliament (MP) and the 2nd Deputy Minister for International Relations and Co-operation. He is also a member of the ANC NEC Sub-committee for International Relations.

China pumps 500m yuan into BRICS (Китай вкладывает 500 млн. юаней в БРИКС) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: China_BRICS, NDB, Xi_Jinping
Source: /

China will set aside 500 million yuan ($76 million) for economic and technological cooperation and exchanges among BRICS countries, President Xi Jinping said on Monday while addressing the BRICS Summit.

Xi also announced plans to inject $4 million into a project preparation fund to support the BRICS-led New Development Bank's operation and long-term development.

He called on the five countries that make up BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - to promote practical cooperation.

Noting that only 5.7 percent of the BRICS countries' $197 billion investment went to the five countries last year, Xi said that there remains huge potential for economic cooperation among the BRICS members.

Leaders of BRICS countries pose for group photos after the ninth BRICS summit in the eastern city of Xiamen, Fujian province, Sept 4, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The president pointed out that the BRICS' "gold content" has been rising continuously in recent years along with measures such as boosting service trade, facilitating investment, initiating e-commerce cooperation and strengthening ties on innovation.

The five countries should increase cooperation in sectors such as trade and investment, monetary and financial areas, connectivity, sustainable development, innovation and industrial cooperation, Xi said.

Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma attended the summit meeting chaired by Xi.
NDB signs $800m loan deals with China for three green projects ( НБР подписывает контракты с Китаем на сумму 800 млн долларов на три зеленых проекта) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: NDB, concluded_agreements

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) signed $800 million loan agreements for three green development projects in China's Fujian, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces on Sunday, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The loan agreements were signed in Fujian's Xiamen, the host city for the 9th BRICS leaders' summit held from Sunday to Tuesday.

The loan will finance the Fujian Putian Pinghai Bay Offshore Wind Power Project, the Ecological Development Project in the Green Heart Center of the Hunan Chang-Zhu-Tan City Cluster and Jiangxi Industrial Low-Carbon Restructuring and Green Development Pilot Project.

The NDB President K.V. Kamath said at the signing ceremony that China invested $100 billion in renewable energy from 2015 to 2016, more than the investments of Europe and the United States combined.

With the increasing launches of huge investments, China is playing a leading role in the global green development, Kamath added.

China's Vice-Minister of Finance Shi Yaobin, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said the NDB has loaned 5.8 billion yuan to China so far.

He urged provinces that have secured loans to cooperate with the NDB to be strict in projects' qualities, carry out review of compliance, ensure the projects will be completed on schedule and play due roles as soon as possible.

According to the agreements, the NDB will loan 2 billion yuan to the Fujian wind power Project, the first of its kind in Fujian, to support the construction of 246 mW offshore wind turbines.

The first phase of the project has been put into operation and the second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2019, will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 900 thousand tons annually.

The project in Hunan province will use the 2-billion-yuan loan to address problems along multiple tributaries of the Xiang River, a branch of the Yangtze River, the NDB said in a press release.

It will enhance flood control and improve water quality, benefiting 50 million residents of the area.

In addition, the NDB's $200 million loan to the Jiangxi project will be used in promoting energy conservation, resources recycling and pollutants reduction through technology upgrade.

Kamath said on Sunday the Board of Directors of the bank has approved 11 projects with loans aggregating over $3 billion to date and sustainable infrastructure development will be the primary emphasis of the bank's operations in the next five years, according to the press release.

Currently, four of the bank's loan projects are in China, while three in India, two in Russia, one in Brazil, and one in South Africa.

Shanghai Lingang Distributed Solar Power Project, the first project financed by the NDB last year, started operation Saturday in Shanghai, according to Xinhua News Agency.

It was a loan of 525 million yuan ($76 million) with a maturity length of 17 years.

The NDB, founded by BRICS, which is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, during the bloc's sixth summit in Fortaleza of Brazil in July 2014, was formally opened in Shanghai in July 2015.

Its permanent headquarters building, expected to be in operation in four years, started construction in the Shanghai Expo Park on Saturday, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Occupying an area of 12,000 square meters and with a height of 150 meters, the headquarters will have a total floor space of 126,000 sq m and is expected to become a new landmark building along Huangpu River.

NDB funds US$3 billion for 11 projects (НБР выделит 3 млрд долларов США на 11 проектов) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: NDB

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has so far approved the financing of 11 projects worth up to US$3 billion, announced China's vice finance minister Shi Yaobin on Sept. 3.

As we have seen with our Chinese customers, NDB's loans mainly flow to areas concerning people's livelihoods, environment protection and new energy," said Shi, citing the wind power project in Fujian, flood control program in Hunan and the green low-carbon development project in Jiangxi, which, in his words, "will set a model for the bank's future orientation."

Founded in Shanghai on July 21, 2015, the bank was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the five emerging economies, as the brainchild of the BRICS mechanism.

Last month, the NDB opened its first regional center in Johannesburg, South Africa and recently broke ground for its permanent headquarters building in Shanghai.

Compared with its counterparts in the financial sector such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB), the BRICS bank is growing at a much faster pace, said Wang Wen, Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, dismissing global voices which question the bank's role and its "slow" development.

The first loan project, Shanghai Lingang Distributed Solar Power Project, in China funded by the bank has started operation recently, with a maturity length of 17 years, under an agreement signed between the NDB, the Ministry of Finance and Shanghai municipal government in December 2016.

In the initial phase, it's been the original five countries working together to build something new, without participation from the developed countries.

While NDB wants to cooperate with the World Bank and other existing banks, it also wants to innovate to meet the required needs, said Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr, the bank's vice president.

The general strategy for the next five years is to focus on sustainable infrastructure development, he said.
First project financed by BRICS New Development Bank starts operation (Первый проект, финансируемый БРИКС, заработал в Шанхае) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: NDB, solar_energy

SHANGHAI - The first project financed by the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) started operation Saturday in Shanghai.

The 525 million yuan ($76 million) loan with a maturity length of 17 years was granted to Shanghai Lingang Distributed Solar Power Project, under an agreement jointly signed by the NDB, the Ministry of Finance and Shanghai municipal government in December 2016.

A distributed solar photovoltaic power system with a total capacity of 100 megawatts will be built on the rooftops of factories in Lingang Industrial Area. On Saturday, the first stage with a 6.8-megawatt capacity was launched.

The NDB was founded by BRICS, which is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, during the bloc's sixth summit in Fortaleza of Brazil in July 2014 and formally opened in Shanghai in July 2015.

It was created with the objective of financing infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS countries and other emerging economies and developing countries.

The bank approved its first series of loans worth $811 million in April 2016. Currently, four of the bank's loan projects are in China.

India Can Catch up With China in Renewable Energy Projects, Says KV Kamath (Индия может объединиться с Китаем по проектам в области возобновляемых источников энергии, говорит К.В. Камат) / India, September, 2017
Keywords: NDB, renewable_energy, K_V_Kamath, India_China
Author: Sutirtho Patranobis

The president of the New Development Bank said India has the advantage of not being at the same stage of development as China is, making it easier to move towards renewable energy.

India can implement renewable energy projects at a lower cost than most countries and catch up with China which has taken the lead in the sector, KV Kamath , the president of the New Development Bank — also known as the BRICS bank — said on Sunday.

"In building scale, clearly in terms of manufacturing capacity and projects that are already on the ground, China took the lead. I must say India is catching on," Kamath told the Hindustan Times in Xiamen.

"The targets that are set up by the (Indian) government are very desirable and indeed in today's context, it is achievable because of the cost of green today is less, in most cases, than the cost of coal and other fossil fuel (projects)," he said.

Kamath added that India has the advantage of not being at the same stage of development as China is.

"India has advantages. Some ecological imbalances have not yet occurred (in India) because we have not yet grown to a level where we would have caused economic imbalances. If we move to replaceable energy now and take small corrective measures, we can do it at a significantly lower cost than other countries," he said.

The NBD chief said the value of projects funded by his bank in India could reach $800 million to $1 billion.

"The interesting thing is that in a country like India, we are seeing not only the first set of renewable projects that we are talking of, we are also seeing socially good projects. We are looking at projects (that will give) access to rural areas in terms of roads or water.

"These projects like water projects clearly have elements of ecology — there is a sanitation part built in. Clearly, there are certain things which India needs to get on priority (which are) getting address in projects that are coming to us," he said.

Kamath said the drop in India's GDP was "transitional".

"What is required in the Indian context is that the retail customer, retail consumer to grow. In all our economies, I find that where the driver of growth is.

"Government will continue to invest in infrastructure. It will provide momentum but investment in manufacturing happens out of demand – that demand is driven by the lay consumer," he said, adding that the "lay consumer is driven by interest rates."

Kamath explained: "This cycle of interest rates is getting to a level where the lay consumer is happy to buy a home, put things into that home, buy transportation equipment and set the wheels in motion."
New Development Bank is BRICS' best card (НБР - лучшая карта БРИКС) / Brazil, September, 2017
Keywords: NDB, expert_opinion, sustainable_development
Author: Prof Karin Costa Vazquez, Caio Borges, Supriya Roychoudhury

The ninth annual BRICS summit is being held amid turbulent times for the five countries. In the wake of the recent Doklam stand-off, India and China relations remain delicate. Engulfed in economic and political turmoil, South Africa and Brazil are likely to play a less active role at the meeting in Xiamen.

But if question marks on the future of BRICS are repeatedly raised, the New Development Bank (NDB) is probably the most concrete avenue through which the grouping can deepen co-operation. Last month the NDB Board of Directors approved four projects in China, Russia and India with loans totalling more than $1.4bn. beyondbrics Emerging markets guest forum beyondbrics is a forum on emerging markets for contributors from the worlds of business, finance, politics, academia and the third sector. All views expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be taken as reflecting the views of the Financial Times.

The second tranche of projects broadens the scope of NDB's activities from renewable energy to areas ranging from information technology to energy conservation. This includes a $2bn sovereign project finance facility for flood control and water quality extended to Hunan province in China, and a $470m sovereign project loan for developing the rural drinking water supply scheme in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Going forward, another $30bn in loans, including a total of 15 projects by the end of 2017 and up to 50 in 2021, has already been announced.

According to the Bank's five-year strategy, approximately two-thirds of all projects will be devoted to sustainable infrastructure development. The NDB's stated commitment to sustainable infrastructure is perhaps its most important differentiating feature, carving out a niche for itself among existing multilateral development banks.

In 2015 almost 190 countries, accounting for more than 98 per cent of greenhouse-gas emissions, agreed to a global climate-change strategy. Each country submitted a voluntary plan that set out how it would move its economy on to a lower-carbon growth pathway. With the recent withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, countries such as India and China may well provide a new kind of leadership to climate change efforts.

Attention now shifts towards how to implement and finance sustainable development. While these voluntary plans will take years to play out, one thing likely to happen is to direct investment towards ensuring the sustainability of infrastructure. Given the scale of investment required, creating the right conditions for these investments is essential. From 2015 to 2030, global demand for new infrastructure could amount to more than $90tn from a total estimate of $50tn in 2015. In India alone, this amount could reach $646bn over the next five years. Doing it sustainably will probably increase upfront capital costs by 6 per cent for individual projects.

But apart from stating that sustainable development will be linked to the financing of infrastructure projects, the NDB has been less clear about how it will ensure that these projects will be rooted in sound social and environmental practices. Addressing this question will be critical as the NDB implements its five-year strategy and realises its vision around sustainable development.

An ongoing research study by BRICS scholars at the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) at O.P. Jindal Global University, India, and Conectas Human Rights, Brazil, in collaboration with the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University, China, has found that there is no common definition nor a unified approach to sustainable infrastructure. A working definition of sustainable infrastructure coupled with a framework for assessing the actual sustainability of NDB's projects would equip the bank with the necessary policy tools to fully articulate its mandate. Some institutions have gone further and developed methodologies for assessing sustainability of infrastructure projects and institutions' commitments to sustainable development. These experiences point to important lessons for the BRICS to apply within the context of the NDB.

First, the negative spillovers of sustainable infrastructure projects on the environment and local communities are normally corrected via safeguards. But safeguards are limiting in that they do not necessarily unlock the transformational nature of development itself. Sustainable infrastructure projects should not only aim to compensate or mitigate adverse impacts on the environment and vulnerable groups, but go beyond the "do no harm" approach to generate positive impacts in borrowing countries.

Second, emphasis on each pillar of the sustainability triple bottom-line is context-specific and should follow a country's development priorities and trajectories. While India and South Africa may place greater emphasis on social aspects such as job creation and service delivery, China would likely place more emphasis on economic growth. Moving forward pragmatically, without being overly prescriptive, is a must.

Third, the social dimension of sustainability is not exactly framed under a "rights-based approach" to development. Even though requirements on consultation, participation, transparency, accountability and non-discrimination are present in most existing frameworks, people's rights are not necessarily reflected therein. This is particularly important since infrastructure projects can cause heavy social impacts.

Financial and non-financial incentives, such as long-term repayment terms and lower interest rates, could be further designed to stimulate countries to submit projects that meet these sustainability criteria and to ensure that projects remain as such throughout their entire lifecycle.

Linking sustainability criteria to incentives would encourage countries to think about sustainable practices not as bureaucratic formalities or risks to be avoided, but as actions conducive to better development outcomes. This would represent a major shift in the way environmental and social standards are conceived in the international financial architecture, ultimately moving beyond do no harm's and bottom lines to unravelling the "new" in the New Development Bank.
BRICS in Talks to Create Own Cryptocurrency in Another Blow to US Dollar (БРИКС ведет переговоры о создании собственной криптовалюты как об очередном ударе по доллару США) / Canada, September, 2017
Keywords: BRICSCoin, Kirill_Dmitriev, cryptocurrency, NDB
Author: Adam Garrie

BRICSCoin could be the world's newest currency.

The Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev has stated that the BRICS may opt to create their own cryptocurrency for the purposes of global commerce.

A cryptocurrency is a digitally based means of exchange wherein the value of said currency is not determined by a central-bank. Most cryptocurrencies can be converted into state-issued currencies (Dollars, Euros, Yuan, etc.) through various foreign exchange services.

Currently, one of the biggest issues facing crypocurrency development is the fact that they are not backed up by any central bank. However, many also see this apparent disadvantage as a possible opportunity, particularly where unilateral Dollar based sanctions are concerned.

While the US Dollar remains the most popular global trading and reserve currency, this is rapidly changing. A BRICS backed cryptocurrency may be both the proverbial 'Dollar buster' as well as a 'sanctions buster'.

In May of this year, China and Russia agreed to begin a process of trade in local currencies. Turkey and Iran have also begun steps to break away from the Dollar.

Even more recently, China announced that is plans to allow for oil trading in Yuan which will be convertible to gold at the Shanghai and Hong Kong international gold exchanges.

The creation of a BRICS cryptocurrency could potentially retain the flexibility of current cryptocurrencies with the additional benefit of being backed by the leaders of a large economic-trading union which would give traders confidence in such a currency that many existing cryptos such as Bitcoin are lacking.

It is not certain what the exchange rate of a would-be BRICSCoin would be, but there is every chance that it could be based on a derivative of what is known as Special drawing rights (XDR) a current means of exchange which pools the values of the US Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen and the Euro.

A possible variation which would set the initial exchange rates of a BRICSCoin could be a combination of a gold backed Chinese Yuan, Russian Rouble, Indian Rupee, South African Rand and Brazilian Real.

This could create an effective hybrid currency that could easy trade and make exchange rates between BRICS states and their partnership more equitable. There is also a potential for such a currency to be used as a means of everyday exchange among businesses and individuals in growing and emerging markets that seek to partner with the BRICS in the so-called BRICS Plus format.

While cryptocurrencies are relatively easy to create, they are more difficult to promote as a widely accepted means of exchange. However, with the prominent economies of the BRICS backing such a currency, this problem could be easily bypassed, as a semi-central regulatory body would likely be the logical outgrowth of such an initiative.

As Kirill Dmitriev stated during the BRICS summit in Xiamen China,

"Another topic discussed by the financial committee was cryptocurrencies. The creation of BRICS' cryptocurrency as an alternative to other payment tools might also be discussed.

…cryptocurencies are also being discussed as one of the possible options for financial settlement. For particular payments it might be quite relevant and serve as a good alternative to the dollar or any other currency.

We estimate that the mutual investments of the BRICS countries might see an increase by 3-4 times due to such instruments as BRICS [Development] Bank".

In many ways, the most powerful asset the US has internationally is the Dollar. If the effective hegemony of the Dollar is broken, it could be a substantial opportunity for emerging markets to assert their monetary and consequentially fiscal independence.

Russia is already taking its own steps towards developing its own cryptocurrency. According to Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov, a Russian cryptocurrency will be designed to work with existing Russian technologies rather than the foreign technologies which form the basis of the Bitcorn blockchain.

Nikiforov stated,

"Bitcoin and Etherium are cryptocurrencies developed on the basis of foreign cryptography. Russia has its own cryptography school. I think that we are absolutely capable of creating a cryptographic unit, a tool, based on the blockchain technology, and work out concrete regulations to set the framework for the operations".

Such a currency could receive an official sanction from the Russian Central Bank. This technology could be used to help develop the BRICS wide crypto which has been widely discussed at the current summit.

The BRICS summit in Xiamen continues through the 5th of September.
Modi Promotes Solar Alliance at BRICS: 3 Stocks in Focus (Моди продвигает солнечный альянс в БРИКС: 3 фонда в фокусе) / USA, September, 2017
Keywords: research, energy, ISA, Xiamen_summit

In a bid to strengthen the solar energy agenda, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged leaders of the participating nations to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the ongoing 9th BRICS summit in China,

Notably, following the summit, the first ever bilateral meeting between Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jingping took place. Both parties described the meet as a forward-looking and constructive one. Considering the 'fruitful' discussions the two leaders had during their one hour meet, many anticipates the solar industry to benefit as a whole, with anticipation of stronger solar energy related ties to develop between the two Asian giants.

A Brief Note on the ISA

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a green-energy initiative launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 by the President of France and the Prime Minister of India. The venture was formed to bring together sun-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, to exploit their solar potential.

Financially, the body aims to invest $1 trillion in solar energy by 2030, through joint efforts from the participating nations.

The 121-nation body is expected to become a formally ratified organization this December. With nine countries having signed the ISA Framework Agreement, six more are expected to join by December, which will make the alliance legal and operational.

Solar Industry in China & India

With renewable energy playing a key role in the world's ongoing energy transformation process, wind and solar power have emerged as the most viable renewable sources of generating power. For tropical countries like China and India, tapping sunlight and generating power is thus a prudent move. While other three nations of BRICS — Brazil, Russia and South Africa — are undertaking initiatives to expand their solar power resource, China and India are definitely the forerunners in expanding their base in the solar industry.

To this end, China has established itself as the world's largest market for solar panels. In 2016, China installed 34.2 GW of new solar power, up 126% from last year's installations, bringing the cumulative solar capacity to 77.42 GW, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA). Under China's 13th Five Year Plan (FYP), the country has set a target of attaining 150GW to 200GW of solar PV capacity by 2020.

On the other hand, India is striving to enhance its solar energy capacity to 100 GW by 2022, which will include 60 GW from grid-connected solar projects and 40 GW from rooftop solar. It is expected that around 1.1 GW of rooftop solar capacity will be added in 2017, up 75% from 2016.

This has kindled the interest of global solar players in the Indian market. U.S.-based First Solar, Inc. FSLR and SunEdison Inc. have ample businesses in India and together with local firms, are investing considerably in the country. Chinese stocks like ReneSola Ltd. SOL are also financing solar projects in India. With respect to China, U.S. stocks that have notable business operations in the Chinese province are already expanding their base.

Solar Stocks Poised for Growth Post BRICS Summit

With the U.S. President Trump walking out of the Paris Agreement this June and his repeated efforts to repeal the Clean Power Energy Act, investors' focus has already shifted toward Chinese solar stocks.

If the bilateral talk between Modi and Jingping post the BRICS summit results in any solar joint venture between the two nations, U.S. stocks that have significant operational base in China and India along with the Chinese stocks trading in the United States will witness notable growth. In fact, buoyed by such anticipation, a few solar stocks have already started to scale up the charts. Herein, we have zeroed in three such solar stocks:

JA Solar Holdings, Inc. JASO: Based in China, JA Solar manufactures high-performance solar cells. The company serves customers in China, Europe and the United States. It plans to make an investment in solar module facility with a capacity of 500 megawatts in India, which will be operational by the end of this year. The company has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 716.67% in the past four quarters.

Following Modi's announcements in the BRICS summit, JA Solar's share price gained 6.7% on Sep 6 trading session. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here

"BRICS" is not big enough to capture Xi Jinping's global ambitions («БРИКС» недостаточно велик, чтобы завоевать глобальные амбиции Си Цзиньпина) / India, September, 2017
Keywords: China_BRICS, expert_opinion, BRICS+, OBOR
Author: Zheping Huang

Back in 2001, former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill coined the acronym "BRIC" to refer to the major emerging economy countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which, with the addition of South Africa a decade later, were regarded as the next global economic powerhouses.

But with Russia and Brazil struggling in recent years, as O'Neill himself noted, the grouping came to seem outdated (some, of course, were always skeptics). In 2015, Goldman Sachs even shut down its BRICS investment fund after years of losses, marking what Bloomberg called "the end of an era."

China's president Xi Jinping thinks otherwise: rather than dissolving the BRICS, he is calling for an expansion. The Chinese concept of "BRICS Plus," which was first floated in March, enjoyed a prominent presentation at the ninth BRICS annual summit held this week in Xiamen in southern China. Giving a keynote speech at the Sept. 3 opening ceremony, Xi said:

We should promote the "BRICS Plus" cooperation approach and build an open and diversified network of development partnerships to get more emerging market and developing countries involved in our concerted endeavors for cooperation and mutual benefits.

"BRICS Plus" is also featured in the joint statement released by BRICS states after the summit concluded, in which they called for greater economic cooperation beyond the five-member bloc, which was first formally established in 2006. In addition, China also invited observer nations including Mexico and Thailand to join discussions about the possible expansion of the BRICS bloc on the sidelines of this year's summit.

The "BRICS Plus" plan is one of Xi Jinping's latest attempts to take on a more assertive role on the global stage, as the US turns inward under president Donald Trump's "America First" policies. At the Davos World Economic Forum meeting at the start of this year, Xi famously rebuked Trump without mentioning his name. Speaking at an international conference attended by the BRICS and observer nations Tuesday (Sept. 5), Xi did that again.

"Some countries have become more inward-looking, and their desire to participate in global development cooperation has decreased," Xi was quoted by Reuters as saying. He also noted that the Paris climate accord has "met with resistance." Trump has vowed to pull the US out of the agreement to fight climate change.

Rhetoric aside, Xi announced plans to invest 500 million yuan (about $76 million) to set up an economic and technology cooperation program for BRICS states, and invest another $4 million in the New Development Bank, which was established by the BRICS in 2014 as an alternative to the Western-led World Bank and IMF multilateral organizations. He also pledged to offer $500 million in assistance funds for "South-South cooperation," a vague, broadly defined term that refers to social and economic exchanges among developing countries.

For Xi, the only problem seems to be that the global commitments are piling up. In May, Xi invited dozens of world leaders to a big forum in Beijing, and touted his trillion-dollar infrastructure spending spree, the "One Belt, One Road (OBOR)" initiative. During the event, Xi pledged $113 billion in extra funding for the the project, which dwarfs his new contributions to the BRICS.

It makes sense given that OBOR is his own pet project.
The real BRICS bombshell (Настоящая бомба БРИКС) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: expert_opinion, Russia_world, BRICS+
Author: Pepe Escobar

The annual BRICS summit in Xiamen – where President Xi Jinping was once mayor – could not intervene in a more incandescent geopolitical context.

Once again, it's essential to keep in mind that the current core of BRICS is "RC"; the Russia-China strategic partnership. So in the Korean peninsula chessboard, RC context – with both nations sharing borders with the DPRK – is primordial.

Beijing has imposed a definitive veto on war – of which the Pentagon is very much aware.

Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test, although planned way in advance, happened only three days after two nuclear-capable US B-1B strategic bombers conducted their own "test" alongside four F-35Bs and a few Japanese F-15s.

Everyone familiar with the Korean peninsula chessboard knew there would be a DPRK response to these barely disguised "decapitation" tests.

So it's back to the only sound proposition on the table: the RC "double freeze". Freeze on US/Japan/South Korea military drills; freeze on North Korea's nuclear program; diplomacy takes over.

The White House, instead, has evoked ominous "nuclear capabilities" as a conflict resolution mechanism.

Gold mining in the Amazon, anyone?

On the Doklam plateau front, at least New Delhi and Beijing decided, after two tense months, on "expeditious disengagement" of their border troops. This decision was directly linked to the approaching BRICS summit – where both India and China were set to lose face big time.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already tried a similar disruption gambit prior to the BRICS Goa summit last year. Then, he was adamant that Pakistan should be declared a "terrorist state". The RC duly vetoed it.

Modi also ostensively boycotted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Hangzhou last May, essentially because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

India and Japan are dreaming of countering BRI with a semblance of connectivity project; the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC). To believe that the AAGC – with a fraction of the reach, breath, scope and funds available to BRI – may steal its thunder, is to enter prime wishful-thinking territory.

Still, Modi emitted some positive signs in Xiamen; "We are in mission-mode to eradicate poverty; to ensure health, sanitation, skills, food security, gender equality, energy, education." Without this mammoth effort, India's lofty geopolitical dreams are D.O.A.

Brazil, for its part, is immersed in a larger-than-life socio-political tragedy, "led" by a Dracula-esque, corrupt non-entity; Temer The Usurper. Brazil's President, Michel Temer, hit Xiamen eager to peddle "his" 57 major, ongoing privatizations to Chinese investors – complete with corporate gold mining in an Amazon nature reserve the size of Denmark. Add to it massive social spending austerity and hardcore anti-labor legislation, and one's got the picture of Brazil currently being run by Wall Street. The name of the game is to profit from the loot, fast.

The BRICS' New Development Bank (NDB) – a counterpart to the World Bank – is predictably derided all across the Beltway. Xiamen showed how the NDB is only starting to finance BRICS projects. It's misguided to compare it with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). They will be investing in different types of projects – with the AIIB more focused on BRI. Their aim is complementary.

'BRICS Plus' or bust

On the global stage, the BRICS are already a major nuisance to the unipolar order. Xi politely put it in Xiamen as "we five countries [should] play a more active part in global governance".

And right on cue Xiamen introduced "dialogues" with Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Guinea and Tajikistan; that's part of the road map for "BRICS Plus" – Beijing's conceptualization, proposed last March by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for expanding partnership/cooperation.

A further instance of "BRICS Plus" can be detected in the possible launch, before the end of 2017, of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – in the wake of the death of TPP.

Contrary to a torrent of Western spin, RCEP is not "led" by China. Japan is part of it – and so is India and Australia alongside the 10 ASEAN members. The burning question is what kind of games New Delhi may be playing to stall RCEP in parallel to boycotting BRI.

Patrick Bond in Johannesburg has developed an important critique, arguing that "centrifugal economic forces" are breaking up the BRICS, thanks to over-production, excessive debt and de-globalization. He interprets the process as "the failure of Xi's desired centripetal capitalism."

It doesn't have to be this way. Never underestimate the power of Chinese centripetal capitalism – especially when BRI hits a higher gear.

Meet the oil/yuan/gold triad

It's when President Putin starts talking that the BRICS reveal their true bombshell. Geopolitically and geo-economically, Putin's emphasis is on a "fair multipolar world", and "against protectionism and new barriers in global trade." The message is straight to the point.

The Syria game-changer – where Beijing silently but firmly supported Moscow – had to be evoked; "It was largely thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries that conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria."

On the Korean peninsula, it's clear how RC think in unison; "The situation is balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict."

Putin's judgment is as scathing as the – RC-proposed – possible solution is sound; "Putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile. The region's problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions."

Putin's – and Xi's – concept of multilateral order is clearly visible in the wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, which proposes an "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace and national reconciliation process, "including the Moscow Format of consultations" and the "Heart of Asia-Istanbul process".

That's code for an all-Asian (and not Western) Afghan solution brokered by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by RC, and of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member.

And then, Putin delivers the clincher; "Russia shares the BRICS countries' concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies."

"To overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies" is the politest way of stating what the BRICS have been discussing for years now; how to bypass the US dollar, as well as the petrodollar.

Beijing is ready to step up the game. Soon China will launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold.

This means that Russia – as well as Iran, the other key node of Eurasia integration – may bypass US sanctions by trading energy in their own currencies, or in yuan. Inbuilt in the move is a true Chinese win-win; the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

The new triad of oil, yuan and gold is actually a win-win-win. No problem at all if energy providers prefer to be paid in physical gold instead of yuan. The key message is the US dollar being bypassed.

RC – via the Russian Central Bank and the People's Bank of China – have been developing ruble-yuan swaps for quite a while now.

Once that moves beyond the BRICS to aspiring "BRICS Plus" members and then all across the Global South, Washington's reaction is bound to be nuclear (hopefully, not literally).

Washington's strategic doctrine rules RC should not be allowed by any means to be preponderant along the Eurasian landmass. Yet what the BRICS have in store geo-economically does not concern only Eurasia – but the whole Global South.

Sections of the War Party in Washington bent on instrumentalizing India against China – or against RC – may be in for a rude awakening. As much as the BRICS may be currently facing varied waves of economic turmoil, the daring long-term road map, way beyond the Xiamen Declaration, is very much in place.
World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
Garment Workers in BRICS Countries Cannot Afford Basic Quality of Life, Says Study (Работники в области одежды в странах БРИКС не могут обеспечить базовое качество жизни, говорит исследование) / India, September, 2017
Keywords: research, statistics, social_issues

The global garment industry is infamous for its labour sweatshops in developing countries, where workers are grossly underpaid and work under despicable conditions – producing for a global apparel market valued at around 3 trillion dollars.

And a newly published study by the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES), at the University of Surrey, yet again confirms that the wages garment workers earn is insufficient to support a decent standard of living.

Taking the Western European clothing supply chain as a case study, the researchers set out to examine the issue of 'fairness' in global supply chains.

They analysed garment industry wages in 2005 in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. They found that garment workers get paid only around half of the 'living wage' – required to support a decent standard of living – as calculated by CES for each of the four countries.

In fact, the research extends the concept of the living wage by taking into account the income tax and social security contributions of workers to arrive at the 'living labour compensation'.

In terms of the living labour compensation, it found that workers on average need to be paid an additional 35% over the living wage to offset the financial demands of income tax and social security.

The study used the Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) approach, which analyses impacts across the entire lifecycle of a product.

So, it considers not only factory workers, but also everyone else involved in the garment industry supply chain, including agricultural farmers.

And it found that agricultural workers are actually the lowest paid in the garment supply chain. While garment factory workers are paid around half the living wage, agricultural workers get paid even less in all the four countries.

What is a Living Wage?

The results are not surprising, as it is well-known that workers in the global garment industry get paid less than the 'living wage' – the wage required by a worker to meet the basic needs of a family unit of four (two adults, two children) in order to maintain a decent quality of life.

The living wage is different from the 'minimum wage' for labour as fixed by the governments of different countries.

There are different international estimates of the living wage for respective countries.

The CES study calculates the living wage based on the method developed by Richard Anker, which has become the "benchmark for living wage discussions both in the academic literature and by activists". And its estimates are "methodologically similar to several other estimates such as the Asia Floor Wage".

As per the Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) – an alliance of trade unions and labour rights activists demanding that garment workers be paid a living wage – the figure for 2015 in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is $1021.

In India, this means a monthly minimum living wage of Rs 18,727 – without overtime payment and benefits. The minimum wages differ across the states of India, but all of them remain less than this amount.

Referring to the AFWA living wage, Anannya Bhattacharjee, president of the Garment and Allied Workers Union, told Newsclick, "Workers in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial hub of Haryana get less than half of this living wage. On average, in Asia, garment workers get about one-third of the Asia Floor Wage regional figure for the minimum living wage."

Since 2015, Bhattacharjee has been leading the struggle of garment industry workers in Haryana to get companies to implement even the legal minimum wage as fixed by the Haryana government.

Controlling TB must be part of BRICS' story in 'golden decade' (Контроль над туберкулезом должен быть частью истории БРИКС в «золотом десятилетии») / China, September, 2017
Keywords: healthcare, TB, social_issues

The 9th BRICS Summit that concluded in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province, on Tuesday has drawn the world's attention to the member nations' tremendous accomplishments and promises. The five BRICS economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have experienced a combined growth of nearly 180 percent in the past 10 years. They look set to usher in another "golden decade" that will benefit people in BRICS states and beyond.

But while their GDP growth is cause for celebration, there is a glaring health problem that needs to be a priority for the emerging economies that are home to about 44 percent of the world's population: The people in the five countries are among the most vulnerable to tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization.

The BRICS nations combined account for about 50 percent of all cases of TB in the world, according to the WHO's latest Global Tuberculosis Report. The BRICS nations also account for 40 percent of all TB-related deaths, according to a previous report by WHO, which estimated that 1.4 million people died of TB globally in 2015.

As TB is widely known as a disease of poverty, the threat, if not addressed, could push individuals, families and communities into destitution, suffering and debt, denting that dream for a BRICS "golden decade".

It is reassuring to note that at both the 6th BRICS health ministers' meeting in New Delhi last year and the seventh such gathering in China's Tianjin in July, officials agreed to set up a BRICS-wide network on TB research and create an R&D consortium on TB, HIV and malaria. These efforts mean the BRICS health authorities have realized the importance of pooling resources to address their common malady. The challenge is how to make the plan successful.

WHO has urged each of the BRICS countries to continue to innovate and to ensure that future global tuberculosis strategies set ambitious but achievable targets. International fundraising should be listed among the priorities, as WHO has pointed out that BRICS countries, except India, rely mostly or exclusively on domestic funding. Yet India's spending per TB patient is the least among BRICS countries, The Hindu reported on March 18.

It's laudable that Jim O'Neill, former Goldman Sachs economist who coined the term "BRIC" in 2001, proposed that BRICS collaborate on health issues, particularly infectious-disease prevention, and with that, funding for new TB drugs. O'Neill said that by 2050 about 10 million people could be dying of antimicrobial resistance-related illnesses each year.

"Approximately one-third of these would be TB-related, and all five BRICS countries have a significant TB challenge. What better policy initiative could there be to finance the search for new TB drugs?" he wrote on just before the BRICS summit.

Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast in July that the proportion of TB cases that don't respond to one or more antibiotics will become far more common in Russia, India, the Philippines and South Africa by 2040. In addition to funding for new drugs, there also should be concerted efforts to close the diagnostic and treatment gaps that exist among the five countries.

President Xi Jinping, speaking at the BRICS Business Forum on Sunday, said, "BRICS is not a talking shop, but a task force that gets things done." He noted that the five countries are engaged in practical cooperation across the board, covering several dozen areas, including health.

For the well-being of the people and BRICS' prosperity, let's hope we get the TB threat done with as soon as possible.
A People's Forum on OBOR and BRICS meets in Hong Kong. (В Гонконге проходит Народный форум по ОПОП и БРИКС) / Hong Kong, September, 2017
Keywords: people's_forum, expert_opinion
Author: Robin Lee

Over the weekend (2nd-3rd September) more than 100 participants met in Hong Kong for a People's Forum on One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and BRICS. As BRICS leaders begin to meet for their 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen this week and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council prepares to host its second Belt and Road summit in Hong Kong aiming to attract investors and others in the business community next weekend, civil society members from eight countries and local Hong Kong people came together to share their experiences, offering a counter narrative to the neoliberal agendas usually promoted by the official summits that largely exclude these critical voices. Discussion at the forum showed how globalisation from above, as imposed by BRICS and OBOR, is being carried out at the expense of people and the environment.

Mung Siu Tat, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (photo above), opened the forum speaking of the challenges and repression currently being faced by Hong Kong people in their struggles for democracy and against the government's top down development projects. Asking whether democratic rights would really solve all the problems affecting people's lives, he observed common problems faced by people around the world and how even in "democratic" countries, free trade agreements are often concluded through backdoor details without proper democratic consultation, and stressed the importance of international solidarity and the globalisation of struggle.

Patrick Bond, professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Governance, South Africa.

The current situation for the BRICS was first discussed by Patrick Bond, a professor in political economy at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, who questioned whether the BRICS are in danger of spinning out of control. He pointed to how faced with rising geopolitical tensions as seen between India and China, increasing competition as China pushes ahead with OBOR, trends towards deglobalisation, overproduction, as well as financial vulnerabilities associated with spiralling debt problems which may lead to defaults by some countries, the ability of BRICS countries to work together is severely threatened. At the same time, as the BRICS continue to "talk left, but walk right" and look for a seat at the same table as the old imperialists at the expense of third world countries in their regions, it is important for civil society to forge more links and to keep up the pressure from below to counter their 'sub-imperialist' tendencies.

Dr. Hendro Sangkoyo, School of Democratic Economics, Indonesia.

The forum then addressed the topic of OBOR, China's more recently initiated overseas investment strategy. Hendro Sangkoyo from the School of Democratic Economics in Indonesia looked at the infrastructure regime in Asia under OBOR, while Au Loong-yu from the Borderless Movement in Hong Kong focused on the goals of OBOR for the Chinese Communist Party in the context of China's rise.

Locating OBOR as a project which does not represent something new but is a continuation of the logic within the capitalist system, Dr. Sangkoyo said that, "the rapidly expanding plethora of belts and roads is a daylight robbery of people's lifespace, a systemic onslaught on humanity and the biosphere" and illustrated how similar previous infrastructure investment projects have led to environmental destruction and the death of 'lifespace' in Indonesia. Meanwhile Au Loong-yu disputed the CCP's claim that it is pursing "peaceful development" and noted how China's investments overseas have been carried out without proper assessments and monitoring from civil society, has often violated local laws and labour rights, whereas its involvement in Free Trade Agreements have helped contribute to a race to the bottom.

Activists from South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India also spoke about the impacts of Chinese investments in their respective countries and regions. Bandile Mdlalose from the Community Justice Movement in Durban, for instance, drew attention to concerns about development around the port in Durban, which China is investing in, and the use of land for profit at the expense of housing for those living in informal settlements around the port. She expressed concerns that people would be left homeless as a result of this development. Myint Zaw from Myanmar discussed the situation concerning relations with China and Chinese investment under political transition. He also discussed negative feeling towards Chinese investment due to its top down nature and environmental cost and noted how investment by Chinese capital in the Myitsone Dam project had been halted following the backlash against it.

Comparisons between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), established by China in 2015 and considered a key source of finance for OBOR projects, were also drawn by Yamada Taro from ATTAC Japan.

Dr. Huang Chien Chun, National Chengchi University Graduate Institute of East Asia Studies

The second day of the forum then focused on the impact of Chinese investment in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Amongst speakers, Dr. Huang Chien Chun, in discussing Chinese investment in Taiwan, drew attention to the role of resistance from below (such as expressed by the 2014 Sunflower Movement) that resulted from concerns about China using its investment to further its political agenda of reunification, in slowing the rate of this investment. Meanwhile speakers from the Liber Research Community discussed the importance of understanding Chinese capital and its impacts in Hong Kong as Hong Kong plays both the role of middleman in China's OBOR investments while also lacking its own development plans. Hong Kong has been increasingly integrated into the development plans for the Pearl River Delta and China's national development in spite of the needs of those living in Hong Kong. The Express Rail link, for instance, is not designed for the needs of people but is simply being constructed to fulfil Chinese government plans, while land is also being grabbed from residents and farmers for China's development projects.

Many at the forum across the two days drew attention to the need for more bottom up grassroots organising locally as well as the need to build connections between movements internationally. According to Li Mei Siu, the Vice President of the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Staff Rights Union, OBOR just replicates some of the negative impacts of earlier globalisation, only this time it is being driven by China. Indeed, with many facing similar struggles as a result of Chinese overseas investment and the neoliberal agendas of the BRICS, the forum showed the need for closer collaboration in the monitoring of these investments and actors by civil society globally and in giving support and solidarity to related struggles around the world.

The People's Forum on OBOR and BRICS was organized by seven Hong Kong organisations which included Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the Editorial Board of Borderless Movement, Globalization Monitor, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, the Labour Education and Service Network and the Labour Committee of the Neighbourhood and Workers' Service Centre.
Film festival reflects BRICS cooperation (Кинофестиваль отражает взаимодействие БРИКС) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: film_festival

Brussels event features program of movies to showcase culture from member nations

While the leaders of BRICS countries pledged increased cooperation at the summit in Xiamen, Fujian province, their embassies in Belgium echoed the commitment by launching a film festival on Sept 4 in Brussels.

The festival, hosted by the Chinese embassy in Belgium, was scheduled for Sept 4 to 9. There was also due to be a conference on Sept 8 with the theme of the global role of BRICS, whose members are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Qu Xing joined Brazilian Ambassador Antonio Jose Vallim Guerreiro, Russian Ambassador Alexander Tokovinin, Charge d'Affaires at the Indian embassy in Belgium Rakesh Arora, and South African Ambassador Baso Sangqu at the launch ceremony.

From Sept 5 to Sept 9, two films from each BRICS country were screened at the China Culture Centre in Brussels. On Sept 8, the Chinese films Born in China, directed by Lu Chuan, and Let's Get Married, directed by Liu Jiang, were shown.

"The first film is talking about China's wild animals, nature and scenery, and the other is about Chinese young people's lives," Ambassador Qu said at the launch ceremony.

Qu said the festival has won support from all the embassies of BRICS countries in Belgium. Other ambassadors and representatives from BRICS countries also introduced their films at the ceremony.

At the same time, the three-day BRICS Summit and the sideline events, held from Sept 3 to 5, which have involved businesses and leaders of developing countries, also have attracted the attention of European politicians.

They urged the BRICS nations to enhance their cooperation with the European Union.

"We hope to see BRICS countries contributing more proactively for the creation of a multipolar world," says Jo Leinen, chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with China.

"The world needs BRICS to defend open and fair international trade against rising protectionism," Leinen says. Leinen adds that the BRICS nations and the EU should work together to enhance global governance.

"Climate protection, enforcement of the Paris Agreement and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are all common ground for EU-BRICS cooperation," says Leinen.
Comprehensive reports, BRICS research materials
Full text of BRICS Leaders Xiamen Declaration (Полный текст Сямэньской декларации лидеров БРИКС) / China, September, 2017
Keywords: Xiamen_summit, Xiamen_declaration

BRICS Leaders Xiamen Declaration

Xiamen, China, 4 September 2017

1. We, the Leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met on 4 September 2017 in Xiamen, China, at the Ninth BRICS Summit. Under the theme "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future", we endeavor to build on our achievements already made with a shared vision for future development of BRICS. We also discussed international and regional issues of common concern and adopted the Xiamen Declaration by consensus.

2. We reiterate that it is the overarching objective and our desire for peace, security, development and cooperation that brought us together 10 years ago. BRICS countries have since traversed a remarkable journey together on their respective development paths tailored to their national circumstances, devoted to growing their economies and improving people's livelihoods. Our committed and concerted efforts have generated a momentum of all-dimensional and multi-layered cooperation fostered by the previous Leaders' Summits. Upholding development and multilateralism, we are working together for a more just, equitable, fair, democratic and representative international political and economic order.

3. Our cooperation since 2006 has fostered the BRICS spirit featuring mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation, which is our valuable asset and an inexhaustible source of strength for BRICS cooperation. We have shown respect for the development paths of our respective choices, and rendered understanding and support to each other's interests. We have upheld equality and solidarity. We have also embraced openness and inclusiveness, dedicated to forging an open world economy. We have furthered our cooperation with emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs). We have worked together for mutually beneficial outcomes and common development, constantly deepening BRICS practical cooperation which benefits the world at large.

4. We draw satisfaction from the many fruitful results of our cooperation, including establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), formulating the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, strengthening political and security cooperation including through Meetings of BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues and Foreign Ministers Meetings, and deepening the traditional ties of friendship amongst our peoples.

5. Recalling our Summits in Ufa and Goa, we will work together to further enhance BRICS strategic partnership for the welfare of our peoples. We commit ourselves to build upon the outcomes and consensus of our previous Summits with unwavering conviction, so as to usher in the second golden decade of BRICS cooperation and solidarity.

6. Believing in the broad development prospects of our countries and the vast potential of our cooperation, we have full confidence in the future of BRICS. We commit to further strengthen our cooperation.

-- We will energize our practical cooperation to boost development of BRICS countries. We will, inter alia, promote exchanges of good practices and experiences on development, and facilitate market inter-linkages as well as infrastructure and financial integration to achieve interconnected development. We shall also strive towards broad partnerships with EMDCs, and in this context, we will pursue equal-footed and flexible practices and initiatives for dialogue and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, including through BRICS Plus cooperation.

-- We will enhance communication and coordination in improving global economic governance to foster a more just and equitable international economic order. We will work towards enhancement of the voice and representation of BRICS countries and EMDCs in global economic governance and promote an open, inclusive and balanced economic globalization, thus contributing towards development of EMDCs and providing strong impetus to redressing North-South development imbalances and promoting global growth.

-- We will emphasize fairness and justice to safeguard international and regional peace and stability. We will stand firm in upholding a fair and equitable international order based on the central role of the United Nations, the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and respect for international law, promoting democracy and the rule of law in international relations, and making joint efforts to address common traditional and non-traditional security challenges, so as to build a brighter shared future for the global community.

-- We will embrace cultural diversity and promote people-to-people exchanges to garner more popular support for BRICS cooperation through deepened traditional friendships. We will expand people-to-people exchanges in all dimensions, encourage all fabrics of the society to participate in BRICS cooperation, promote mutual learning between our cultures and civilizations, enhance communication and mutual understanding among our peoples and deepen traditional friendships, thus making BRICS partnership closer to our people's hearts.

BRICS Practical Economic Cooperation

7. We note that against the backdrop of more solid global economic growth, enhanced resilience and emerging new drivers, BRICS countries continue to play an important role as engines of global growth. Noting the uncertainties and downside risks that persist, we emphasize the need to be vigilant in guarding against inward-looking policies and tendencies that are weighing on global growth prospects and market confidence. We call upon all countries to calibrate and communicate their macroeconomic and structural policies and strengthen policy coordination.

8. We note that practical economic cooperation has traditionally served as a foundation of BRICS cooperation, notably through implementing the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and initiatives related to its priority areas such as trade and investment, manufacturing and minerals processing, infrastructure connectivity, financial integration, science, technology and innovation, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) cooperation, among others. We welcome the first report on the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, and the broad package of outcomes delivered by the sectoral ministerial meetings. We commit to use all policy tools -fiscal, monetary and structural -and adopt innovation-driven development strategies to enhance resilience and potentials of our economies, so as to contribute to strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth.

9. Stressing the role of enhanced trade and investment cooperation in unleashing the potential of BRICS economies, we agree to improve and broaden trade and investment cooperation mechanism and scope, with a view to enhancing BRICS economic complementarity and diversification in BRICS countries. We welcome the positive outcomes of the 7th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting in terms of the cooperative frameworks, roadmaps and outlines on trade and investment facilitation and connectivity and enhanced policy sharing, information exchange, capacity building, through enhanced joint efforts on trade and investment facilitation, trade in services, E-commerce, IPR (in synergy with the cooperation activities among BRICS IP authorities), economic and technical cooperation, SMEs and women economic empowerment. We welcome the setting up of the BRICS E-Port Network that will operate on a voluntary basis and the establishment of the BRICS E-commerce Working Group. We also welcome China's initiative to host an International Import Expo in 2018 and encourage our business communities to actively participate in it.

10. We stress the importance of enhancing BRICS financial cooperation to better serve the real economy and meet the development needs of BRICS countries. We note the agreement by the finance ministers and central bank governors on cooperation on Public Private Partnerships (PPP), including through PPP experience exchange and application of the BRICS Good Practices on PPP Frameworks. We acknowledge the establishment of a temporary task force to conduct technical discussion on various ways of cooperation, including utilizing existing facilities of the MDBs based on national experiences, exploring the possibility of establishing a new PPP Project Preparation Fund and other options. We encourage cooperation and coordination by our accounting standards setters and audit regulators and agree to explore convergence of accounting standards and continue discussion on cooperation on auditing oversight in the area of bond issuance, so as to lay the groundwork for bond market connectivity among BRICS countries, with due regard to applicable national legislation and policies. We agree to promote the development of BRICS Local Currency Bond Markets and jointly establish a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, as a means of contribution to the capital sustainability of financing in BRICS countries, boosting the development of BRICS domestic and regional bond markets, including by increasing foreign private sector participation, and enhancing financial resilience of BRICS countries.

11. In order to serve the demand arising from rapid growth of trade and investment among the BRICS countries, we agree to facilitate financial market integration through promoting the network of financial institutions and the coverage of financial services within BRICS countries, subject to each country's existing regulatory framework and WTO obligations, and to ensure greater communication and cooperation between financial sector regulators. We agree to take an active part in the efforts to implement and improve International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation in FATF, including through cooperation among BRICS Heads of Delegation on AML/CFT, also in the context of the work of BRICS CTWG and by using other platforms and to safeguard integrity of national financial systems. We agree to communicate closely to enhance currency cooperation, consistent with each central bank's legal mandate, including through currency swap, local currency settlement, and local currency direct investment, where appropriate, and to explore more modalities of currency cooperation. We encourage the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism to continue playing an important role in supporting BRICS economic and trade cooperation. We commend the progress in concluding the Memoranda of Understanding among national development banks of BRICS countries on interbank local currency credit line and on interbank cooperation in relation to credit rating.

12. We highlight the importance of innovation as a key driver for mid and long term economic growth and global sustainable development. We commit to promote cooperation on science, technology and innovation (STI) to forge synergy in tapping new growth momentum for our five economies and continue to address the development challenges we face. We commend the selection of BRICS research and development projects under the BRICS STI Framework Program and note the launch of the 2nd call for projects. We welcome the BRICS STI Cooperation MOU and support enhanced cooperation on innovation and entrepreneurship, including by promoting technology transfer and application, cooperation among science and technology parks and enterprises as well as mobility of researchers, entrepreneurs, professionals and students. We encourage increased participation of the academia, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders in this process, and support the promotion of STI investment and cross-border investment through existing funding, institutions and platforms including the NDB. We agree to continue to work on a cooperation platform for innovation and entrepreneurship and support the implementation of the BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan 2017-2020.

13. We reaffirm our commitment to BRICS industrial cooperation, including on industrial capacities and policies, new industrial infrastructure and standards, and among small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs), so as to jointly seize the opportunities brought about by the new industrial revolution and expedite our respective industrialization processes. We encourage exploring the establishment of BRICS Institute of Future networks. We will enhance joint BRICS research, development and innovation in ICT including the Internet of Things, Cloud computing, Big Data, Data Analytics, Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence and 5G and their innovative applications to elevate the level of ICT infrastructure and connectivity in our countries. We will advocate the establishment of internationally applicable rules for security of ICT infrastructure, data protection and the Internet that can be widely accepted by all parties concerned, and jointly build a network that is safe and secure. We will increase investment of ICT, recognize the need to further increase investment in ICT Research and development, unleash the dynamics of innovation in producing goods and services. We encourage identification and facilitation of partnership between institutes, organizations, enterprises in the implementation of proof of concepts and pilot projects by leveraging complementary strengths in ICT hardware, software and skills through developing next generation of innovative solutions in the areas of smart cities, health care and energy efficient device, etc. We support active collaboration in implementing the BRICS ICT Development Agenda and Action Plan.

14. We reaffirm our commitment to fully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We will also advocate equitable, open, all-round, innovation-driven and inclusive development, to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions -economic, social and environmental-in a balanced and integrated manner. We support the important role of the United Nations, including the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), in coordinating and reviewing global implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and support the need to reform the UN Development System with a view to enhancing its capability in supporting Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda. We urge developed countries to honor their Official Development Assistance commitments in time and in full and provide more development resources to developing countries.

15. Underlining the strategic importance of energy to economic development, we commit to strengthen BRICS cooperation on energy. We recognize that sustainable development, energy access, and energy security are critical to the shared prosperity and future of the planet. We acknowledge that clean and renewable energy needs to be affordable to all. We will work to foster open, flexible and transparent markets for energy commodities and technologies. We will work together to promote most effective use of fossil fuels and wider use of gas, hydro and nuclear power, which will contribute to the transformation toward a low emissions economy, better energy access, and sustainable development. In this regard, we underline the importance of predictability in accessing technology and finance for expansion of civil nuclear energy capacity which would contribute to sustainable development in BRICS countries. We encourage continued dialogue on the establishment of a BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform and urge relevant entities to continue to promote joint research on energy cooperation and energy efficiency.

16. We commit to further promote green development and low-carbon economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, enhance BRICS cooperation on climate change and expand green financing. We call upon all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) including the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and urge developed countries to provide financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing countries to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaptation.

17. Stressing the importance of environmental cooperation to sustainable development of our countries and the well-being of our peoples, we agree to take concrete actions to advance result-oriented cooperation in such areas as prevention of air and water pollution, waste management and biodiversity conservation. We recognize the importance of an environmentally sound technology platform and of improving urban environmental sustainability, and support BRICS joint efforts in this regard. Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa appreciate and support China's hosting of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020.

18. Noting the fruitful agricultural cooperation over the past years, we recognize the unique characteristics and complementarity of BRICS countries in agricultural development and vast cooperation potential in this area. In this connection, we agree to deepen cooperation in the five priority areas such as food security and nutrition, adaptation of agriculture to climate change, agricultural technology cooperation and innovation, agricultural trade and investment, and ICT application in agriculture to contribute to stable global agricultural growth and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome the establishment in India of the Coordination Center of BRICS Agriculture Research Platform, a virtual network which will facilitate addressing these priority areas.

19. We express concern over the challenges faced by the African continent in achieving independent and sustainable development and in wildlife conservation. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen cooperation with Africa and help the continent to address illegal wildlife trade, promote employment, food security, infrastructure development and industrialization including through connectivity and developmental initiatives and projects. We reaffirm our strong support for African Union's implementation of its various programs under Agenda 2063 in pursuit of its continental agenda for peace and socio-economic development.

20. Keenly aware of the negative impact of corruption on sustainable development, we support the efforts to enhance BRICS anti-corruption cooperation. We reaffirm our commitment to intensify dialogue and experience sharing and support compiling a compendium on fighting corruption in BRICS countries. We further acknowledge that illegal flow of the proceeds of corruption impairs economic development and financial stability, and support enhanced cooperation in asset recovery. We support the strengthening of international cooperation against corruption, including through the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group, as well as on matters related to asset recovery and persons sought for corruption. We acknowledge that corruption including illicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions is a global challenge which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruption on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other relevant international legal instruments.

21. Living in the era of digital economy, we are ready to use opportunities it provides and address challenges it poses for the global growth. We will act on the basis of principles of innovation, partnership, synergy, flexibility, open and favorable business environment, trust and security, protection of consumer rights in order to ensure the conditions for a thriving and dynamic digital economy, that will foster global economic development and benefit everyone.

22. We appreciate the efforts and contribution of the BRICS Business Council and Business Forum to strengthening our economic cooperation in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, financial services, e-commerce, alignment of technical standards and skills development. We welcome the establishment of a working group on regional aviation within the framework of the Business Council and in this connection acknowledge the Brazil's proposal on an MOU on regional aviation partnership. We encourage business communities and associations to actively participate in BRICS cooperation, and give full play to their role as trade and investment facilitation institutions in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation.

23. We recognize the importance of transformation that is taking place in the labor market and the opportunities and challenges it brings. We note with satisfaction the progress in BRICS cooperation with regard to human resources, employment and social security, fostering strong labor market information systems and networking of BRICS of Labor Research Institutes and BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework. We welcome the achievement of a BRICS common position on governance in the future of work and agree to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in ensuring full employment, promoting decent work, advancing poverty alleviation and reduction through skills development and achieving universal and sustainable social security systems.

24. We recognize the importance of competition protection to ensure the efficient social and economic development of our countries, to stimulate innovative processes and to provide quality products to our consumers. We note the significance of the interaction between the Competition Authorities of our countries, in particular, in identifying and suppressing restrictive business practices that are of a transboundary nature.

25. We note with satisfaction the progress made by Customs Administrations in their cooperation on trade facilitation, security and enforcement, capacity building and other issues of mutual interest, including through such mechanisms as BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee and BRICS Customs Working Group. We encourage broadened cooperation under the guiding principles of mutual sharing of information, mutual recognition of customs control, and mutual assistance in enforcement so as to boost growth and promote people's welfare. In order to strengthen mutual cooperation in customs matters, we reaffirm our commitment to finalize BRICS Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement at the earliest.

26. We adhere to the principle of utilizing outer space for peaceful purposes and emphasize the need to strengthen the international cooperation in space activities in order to use space technologies to respond to global climate change, environmental protection, disaster prevention and relief and other challenges faced by humankind.

27. Recalling the Saint-Petersburg and Udaipur Declarations of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management and the decision to establish a BRICS Joint Taskforce on Disaster Risk Management, we underline the importance of consistent joint work of emergency services of BRICS countries aimed at building a safer future by reducing existing disaster risks, including exchange of information on best practices concerning disaster risk management and cooperation in the field of forecasting and early warning for effective response to natural and human induced disasters.

28. We note with satisfaction the progress in BRICS cooperation in such fields as audit, statistics and export credit and agree to further advance cooperation in these fields.

Global Economic Governance

29. We resolve to foster a global economic governance architecture that is more effective and reflective of current global economic landscape, increasing the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing economies. We reaffirm our commitment to conclude the IMF's 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula, by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings. We will continue to promote the implementation of the World Bank Group Shareholding Review.

30. We emphasize the importance of an open and resilient financial system to sustainable growth and development, and agree to better leverage the benefits of capital flows and manage the risks stemming from excessive cross-border capital flows and fluctuation. The BRICS CRA represents a milestone of BRICS financial cooperation and development, which also contributes to global financial stability. We welcome the establishment of the CRA System of Exchange in Macroeconomic Information (SEMI), and the agreement to further strengthen the research capability of the CRA, and to promote closer cooperation between the IMF and the CRA.

31. We welcome the establishment of the NDB Africa Regional Center launched in South Africa, which is the first regional office of the Bank. We welcome the setting up of the Project Preparation Fund and the approval of the 2nd batch of projects. We congratulate the Bank on the ground-breaking of its permanent headquarters building. We stress the significance of infrastructure connectivity to foster closer economic ties and partnerships among countries. We encourage the NDB to fully leverage its role and enhance cooperation with multilateral development institutions including the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as well as with the BRICS Business Council, to forge synergy in mobilizing resources and promote infrastructure construction and sustainable development of BRICS countries.

32. We emphasize the importance of an open and inclusive world economy enabling all countries and peoples to share in the benefits of globalization. We remain firmly committed to a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO. We reaffirm our commitments to ensure full implementation and enforcement of existing WTO rules and are determined to work together to further strengthen the WTO. We call for the acceleration of the implementation of the Bali and Nairobi MCM outcomes and for the WTO ministerial conference to be held this year in Argentina to produce positive outcomes. We will continue to firmly oppose protectionism. We recommit to our existing pledge for both standstill and rollback of protectionist measures and we call upon other countries to join us in that commitment.

33. Valuing the G20's continued role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, we reiterate our commitments to the implementation of the outcomes of G20 summits, including the Hamburg Summit and the Hangzhou Summit. We call upon the G20 to further enhance macroeconomic policy coordination to minimize negative spillovers and external shocks to EMDEs. We agree to enhance coordination and cooperation under the Argentina Presidency in 2018, with an aim to make the G20 process and outcomes reflect the interests and priorities of EMDEs.

34. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving a fair and modern global tax system and promoting a more equitable, pro-growth and efficient international tax environment, including to deepening cooperation on addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), promoting exchange of tax information and improving capacity-building in developing countries. We will strengthen BRICS tax cooperation to increase BRICS contribution to setting international tax rules and provide, according to each country's priorities, effective and sustainable technical assistance to other developing countries.

International Peace and Security

35. Cognizant of the profound changes the world is undergoing and the global security challenges and threats faced by the international community, we commit to enhance communication and cooperation in international fora on issues concerning international peace and security. We reiterate our commitment to safeguarding world peace and security and to upholding the basic norms of the international law, and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations including sovereign equality and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.

36. We welcome the 7th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues held on 27-28 July 2017 in Beijing, and commend the meeting for having discussion and deepening our common understanding on global governance, counter-terrorism, security in the use of ICTs, energy security, major international and regional hotspots as well as national security and development. We note Brazil's proposal to establish a BRICS Intelligence Forum. We welcome Chair's report to us on the proceedings of the Meeting and encourage the succeeding chairpersonships to continue this exercise. We look forward to enhancing practical security cooperation agreed upon in the above areas.

37. We welcome China's hosting of the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations in Beijing on 18-19 June 2017 at the initiative of China. Ministers exchanged views on major global political, security, economic and financial issues of common concern and on strengthening BRICS cooperation. We look forward to the upcoming meeting of Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UNGA. We welcome South Africa's offer to host the next stand-alone Foreign Ministers Meeting in 2018.

38. We recall that development and security are closely interlinked, mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace. We reiterate our view that the establishment of sustainable peace requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equity and cooperation, that addresses the causes of conflicts, including their political, economic and social dimensions. We condemn unilateral military interventions, economic sanctions and arbitrary use of unilateral coercive measures in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations. We emphasize that no country should enhance its security at the expense of the security of others.

39. We reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations as the universal multilateral organization entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advance global development and to promote and protect human rights.

40. We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

41. We reiterate that the only lasting solution to the crisis in Syria is through an inclusive "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process which safeguards the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, in pursuance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254(2015), and promotes the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. We strongly support the Geneva Peace Talks and the Astana process, and welcome the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria, which contributed to decrease the levels of violence and generate positive momentum and conditions for meaningful progress in the peace talks under the auspices of the UN. We oppose the use of chemical weapons by anyone, for any purpose and under any circumstance.

42. We reiterate the urgent need for a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to creating an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel. Committed to making greater contribution to such solution, we express readiness to enhance our contribution towards a just and lasting resolution of the Middle East conflict and support international efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.

43. We congratulate the people and Government of Iraq for the recovery of Mosul and for the progress achieved in the fight against terrorism and reaffirm our commitment to Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and our support for Iraqi government and its people. We express our concern over the situation in Yemen and urge all parties to cease hostilities and to resume negotiations supported by the United Nations. We also call on all parties directly involved in the current diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region to overcome their dissensions through dialogue and welcome the efforts of Kuwaiti mediation in this regard.

44. We strongly deplore the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK. We express deep concern over the ongoing tension and prolonged nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and emphasize that it should only be settled through peaceful means and direct dialogue of all the parties concerned.

45. We firmly support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue and call upon all relevant parties to comply fully with their obligations and ensure full and effective implementation of the JCPOA to promote international and regional peace and stability.

46. We commend the efforts of African countries, the African Union and sub-regional organizations in addressing regional issues and maintaining regional peace and security, and emphasize the importance of collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. We support efforts towards comprehensively resolving the issues in Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Central Africa Republic and Western Sahara.

47. We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals. There is a need for immediate cessation of violence. We reaffirm our support to the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace and national reconciliation, to the ongoing international efforts, including the Moscow Format of consultations on Afghanistan and "Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process", as well as multimodal connectivity projects to promote peace and stability, to the fight against terrorism and drug-threat, and to the national reconstruction efforts by Afghanistan. We support the efforts of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in fighting terrorist organizations.

48. We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

49. We deplore all terrorist attacks worldwide, including attacks in BRICS countries, and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. We reaffirm that those responsible for committing, organizing, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable. Recalling the primary leading role and responsibility of states in preventing and countering terrorism, we stress the necessity to develop international cooperation, in accordance with the principles of international law, including that of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs. We reaffirm solidarity and resolve in the fight against terrorism, value the 2nd BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group Meeting held in Beijing on 18 May 2017, and agree to strengthen our cooperation.

50. We call upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, which should include countering radicalization, recruitment, movement of terrorists including Foreign Terrorist Fighters, blocking sources of financing terrorism including, for instance, through organized crime by means of money-laundering, supply of weapons, drug trafficking and other criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the Internet including social media by terrorist entities through misuse of the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). We are committed to prevent and counter the growing spread of terrorist narratives, and to tackle all sources, techniques and channels of terrorist financing. We call for swift and effective implementation of relevant UNSC Resolutions and the FATF International Standards worldwide. We seek to intensify our cooperation in FATF and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs). We recall the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.

51. We call upon the international community to establish a genuinely broad international counter-terrorism coalition and support the UN's central coordinating role in this regard. We stress that the fight against terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, international refugee and humanitarian law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. We reaffirm our commitment on increasing the effectiveness of the UN counter-terrorism framework, including in the areas of cooperation and coordination among the relevant UN entities, designation of terrorists and terrorist groups and technical assistance to Members States. We call for expeditious finalization and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations General Assembly.

52. We recognize the important contribution of BRICS countries to United Nations peacekeeping operations, and the importance of United Nations peacekeeping operations to international peace and security. We emphasize the need for BRICS countries to further enhance communication on peacekeeping matters.

53. We reiterate our commitment to address the world drug problem based on the United Nations drug control conventions, through an integrated, comprehensive and balanced approach to drug supply and demand reduction strategies. We stress the importance of the outcome document of the 30th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the world drug problem, and call for strengthening of international and regional cooperation and coordination to counter the global threat caused by the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, especially opiates. We note with deep concern the increasing links in some regions of the world between drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime and terrorism.

54. We reiterate the need for all countries to cooperate in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms under the principles of equality and mutual respect. We agree to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development, in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. We will strengthen cooperation on issues of common interests both within BRICS and in multilateral fora including the United Nations Human Rights Council, taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfill human rights in a non-selective, non-politicized and constructive manner, and without double standards.

55. Keenly aware of the global security challenges faced by the international community in the area of international migration, we emphasize the growing role of effective migration regulation for the benefit of international security and development of the society.

56. We consider the UN has a central role in developing universally accepted norms of responsible state behavior in the use of ICTs to ensure a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative, stable, orderly, accessible and equitable ICT environment. We emphasize the paramount importance of the principles of international law enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly the state sovereignty, the political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal affairs of other states and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. We emphasize the need to enhance international cooperation against terrorist and criminal misuse of ICTs, reaffirm the general approach laid in the eThekwini, Fortaleza, Ufa and Goa declarations in this regard, and recognize the need for a universal regulatory binding instrument on combatting the criminal use of ICTs under the UN auspices as stated in the Ufa Declaration. We note with satisfaction the progress achieved by the Working Group of Experts of the BRICS States on Security in the use of ICTs. We decide to promote cooperation according to the BRICS Roadmap of Practical Cooperation on Ensuring Security in the Use of ICTs or any other mutually agreed mechanism and acknowledge the initiative of the Russian Federation on a BRICS intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in ensuring security in the use of ICTs.

57. We believe that all states should participate on an equal footing in the evolution and functioning of the Internet and its governance, bearing in mind the need to involve relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities. The structures that manage and regulate the critical Internet resources need to be made more representative and inclusive. We note with satisfaction the progress made by the BRICS Working Group on ICT Cooperation. We recognize the necessity to strengthen our cooperation in this area. To that end, BRICS will continue to work together through the existing mechanism to contribute to the secure, open, peaceful and cooperative use of ICTs on the basis of equal participation of the international community in its management.

58. We reiterate that outer space shall be free for peaceful exploration and used by all States on the basis of equality in accordance with international law. Reaffirming that outer space shall remain free from any kind of weapons or any use of force, we stress that negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space are a priority task of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, and support the efforts to start substantive work, inter alia, based on the updated draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects submitted by China and the Russian Federation. We also note an international initiative for a political obligation on the no first placement of weapons in outer space.

59. Priority should be accorded to ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, as well as ways and means of preserving outer space for future generations. We note that this is an important objective on the current agenda of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). In this respect, we welcome the decision by the UNCOPUOS Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee Working Group on Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities to conclude negotiations and achieve consensus on the full set of guidelines for the long term sustainability of outer space activities by 2018 to coincide with the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE + 50).

People-to-People Exchanges

60. We emphasize the importance of people-to-people exchanges to promoting development and enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation among BRICS peoples. We agree to deepen cooperation in such fields as culture, education, science and technology, sports and health as well as among media organizations and local governments, to strengthen the third pillar of BRICS cooperation and foster a meaningful resonance of the BRICS partnership amongst its peoples.

61. We value cultural diversity as a precious asset of BRICS cooperation. We stress the role of culture and cultural diversity in promoting sustainable development, and encourage BRICS countries to engage in cultural exchanges and mutual learning to cultivate common values on the basis of diversity and sharing. We welcome the formulation of a BRICS action plan to advance practical cultural cooperation and the establishment of the BRICS Alliance of Libraries, Alliance of Museums, Alliance of Art Museums and National Galleries as well as Alliance of Theaters for Children and Young People. We look forward to the success of the BRICS Culture Festival to be held later in mid-September 2017 in Xiamen. We will continue our work on the establishment of a BRICS Cultural Council to provide the necessary platform to enhance cultural cooperation among BRICS countries.

62. We stress the importance of education to promoting sustainable economic and social development, and to strengthening BRICS partnership, and commend the positive progress in our education cooperation. We reiterate our support for BRICS University League and BRICS Network University in conducting education and research cooperation, welcome efforts to promote cooperation among educational think tanks, and exchanges among youth including by organizing youth summer camps and offering more scholarship opportunities to BRICS students. We agree to share experience and practices in realizing education-related sustainable development goals.

63. We believe in the importance of sports cooperation to popularizing traditional sports and deepening the friendship among BRICS peoples. Recalling the successful hosting of BRICS U-17 Football Tournament in Goa in 2016, we commend the success of the First BRICS Games, which was a highlight of this year's people-to-people exchanges. We encourage relevant departments to sign an MOU on sports cooperation to provide greater impetus to sports cooperation among our five countries.

64. We agree to enhance BRICS role in global health governance, especially in the context of the World Health Organization and UN agencies, and foster the development and improve the availability of innovative medical products through promotion of research and development and access to affordable, quality, effective and safe drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical products and technologies as well as to medical services through enhanced health systems and health financing. We agree to improve surveillance capacity and medical services to combat infectious diseases, including Ebola, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as non-communicable diseases and encourage greater application of ICTs to improve the level of health service provision. We welcome the outcomes of the BRICS Health Ministers Meeting and High-level Meeting on Traditional Medicine, and commend the establishment of a long-term mechanism for traditional medicine exchanges and cooperation, to promote mutual learning of traditional medicines and pass them down to future generations. We welcome the decision to set up the Tuberculosis Research Network, to be presented at the First WHO Global Ministerial Conference Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response, Moscow, Russian Federation, 16-17 November 2017. We express support for the meeting as well as the First United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in 2018. We commit ourselves to enhanced cooperation at international fora on health matters including at G20.

65. We reaffirm our commitment to promote a long-term and balanced demographic development and continue cooperation on population related matters in accordance with the Agenda for BRICS Cooperation on Population Matters for 2015-2020.

66. We note with satisfaction the progress in the exchanges and cooperation in various areas, including governance, film-making, media, think-tank, youth, parliament, local governments and trade union, and agree to further advance such exchanges and cooperation. We commend the first joint film production by BRICS countries and commend the success of the BRICS Film Festival, the Media Forum, Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum, Youth Forum, Young Diplomats Forum and Young Scientists Forum. We appreciate the successful hosting of the BRICS Forum of Political Parties, Think-Tanks and Civil Society Organizations as well as the Seminar on Governance, and will carry these good initiatives forward in the future. In this regard, we note the proposal to establish by China the BRICS Research and Exchange Fund.

67. We appreciate the important progress in BRICS institutional development and reiterate our commitment to further strengthen it to make BRICS cooperation more responsive to the changing situation. We commend China for taking measures during its Chairmanship to enhance the Sherpas' coordination role in BRICS cooperation. We instruct the Sherpas to continue their discussion concerning BRICS institutional development.

68. We recommit our strong support for multilateralism and the central role of the UN in international affairs. We commit to strengthening the coordination and cooperation among BRICS in the areas of mutual and common interests within the UN and other multilateral institutions, including through regular meetings among our permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna, and further enhance the voice of BRICS in international fora.

69. In continuation of BRICS tradition of outreach since the Durban Summit, we will hold a Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the building of broad partnerships for development under the theme of "Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development" in promotion of BRICS Plus cooperation.

70. South Africa, Brazil, Russia and India commend China's Chairmanship in 2017 and express sincere gratitude to the Government and people of China for hosting the Ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen.

71. China, Brazil, Russia and India extend full support for South Africa in hosting the Tenth BRICS Summit in 2018.

Annex 1 : BRICS Cooperation Outcome Documents

The following outcome documents have been adopted.

Press Communique of the BRICS Leaders Informal Meeting in Hamburg

Political and Security Cooperation

1.Media Note of the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations

2. BRICS Roadmap of Practical Cooperation on Ensuring Security in the Use of ICTs

3. Joint Communique on the Meeting of BRICS Special Envoys on Middle East

Economic Cooperation

1. BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation

2. Seventh Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers Statement

3. BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap

4. Framework on Strengthening the Economic and Technical Cooperation for BRICS Countries

5. BRICS E-Commerce Cooperation Initiative

6. Terms of Reference (ToR) of BRICS E-Commerce Working Group

7. Terms of Reference (ToR) of BRICS Model E-Port Network

8. BRICS IPR Cooperation Guidelines

9. Outlines for BRICS Investment Facilitation

10. Agreed Elements of Financial Deliverables of 2017 BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

11. BRICS Good Practices on PPP Frameworks

12. Action Plan for Deepening Industrial Cooperation Among BRICS Countries

13. Declaration of the Third BRICS Communications Ministers' Meeting

14. Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation

15. BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation (2017-2020)

16. Hangzhou Declaration of the 5th BRICS Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting

17. Action Plan 2017-2018 in the Framework of BRICS 2015-2018 STI Work Plan

18. Communique of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities Meeting

19. BRICS Memorandum of Cooperation in Respect of Tax Matters

20. Declaration of the 2nd BRICS Energy Ministerial Meeting

21. Tianjin Statement on Environment of the Third Meeting of BRICS Environment Ministers

22. Joint Declaration of the Seventh Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture

23. Action Plan 2017-2020 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries

24. BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers' Declaration

25. The BRICS Action Plan for Poverty Alleviation and Reduction Through Skills

26. Progress Report on the Implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership

27. Interbank Local Currency Credit Line Agreement Under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism

28. Cooperation Memorandum Relating to Credit Ratings Under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism

29. BRICS Partnership for Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative

30. BRICS Joint Statistical Publication 2017

31. Terms of Reference (ToR) of BRICS Research Infrastructure and Mega-Science Projects Working Group

32. Terms of Reference (ToR) of BRICS Working Group on Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Partnership

33. Memorandum of Understanding Between BRICS Export Credit Agencies and the New Development Bank on General Cooperation

34. The BRICS Common Position on Governance in the Future of Work

35. BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes Terms of Reference

36. BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework

37. BRICS Agricultural Development Report 2017

38. Joint Statement of BRICS Business Forum 2017

39. Memorandum of Understanding Between the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation

40. Joint Declaration of BRICS Business Council on Regulatory Cooperation on Standards

People-to-People Exchanges

1. Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the

Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2017-2021)

2. Letter of Intent for BRICS Alliance of Libraries Cooperation

3. Letter of Intent of the Founding of the BRICS Alliance of Museums

4. Letter of Intent on the Founding of the BRICS Alliance of Art Museums and National Galleries

5. Letter of Intent for Strategic Cooperation of the BRICS Alliance of Theater for Children and Young People

6. Joint Declaration of BRICS Countries on Strengthening Cooperation in Traditional Medicine

7. Tianjin Communique of BRICS Health Ministers Meeting

8. Beijing Declaration on Education of the Fifth Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education

9. Action Plan of Promoting BRICS Media Cooperation

10. 2017 BRICS Youth Forum Action Plan

11. Chengdu Initiative of 2017 BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum

12. Quanzhou Consensus of BRICS Seminar on Governance

13. Fuzhou Initiative of the BRICS Political Parties, Think-Tanks and Civil Society Organizations Forum

14. The 9th BRICS Academic Forum Recommendations to the 9th BRICS Summit

15. Chengdu Consensus of the BRICS Film Delegations of the 2nd BRICS Film Festival

16. BRICS Film Collaboration Plan for the Years 2017 to 2021

17. BFA Program for BRICS Film Students and Talents

18. Joint Declaration on Film Traditional Culture Inheritance and Creative Development of Young Talents

19. BRICS Trade Union Forum Declaration

20. Statement by BRICS Trade Unions to the BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting

Note is also taken of the ongoing work on the following documents.

Economic Cooperation

1. The Action Plan on BRICS IPR Cooperation

2. Agreement on Cooperation on the BRCS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation

3. National Accounting Standards Setters of BRICS Countries Joint Statement

4. BRICS Joint Statement on Audit Regulatory Cooperation

People-to-People Exchanges

1. Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the Council of Regions of BRICS States

2. Memorandum of Understanding on BRICS Sports Cooperation

Annex 2: Xiamen Action Plan

We take note of the following meetings and events held under China' s BRICS Chairmanship before the Xiamen Summit.

Ministerial Meetings and Relevant Events

1. BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting (7 July 2017, Hamburg)

2. Meeting of BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues (27-28 July 2017, Beijing)

3. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations (18-19 June 2017, Beijing)

4. BRICS Sherpa/Sous-Sherpa Meetings (23-24 February 2017, Nanjing; 14-15 June 2017, Qingdao; 4-5 July 2017, Hamburg; September 2017, Xiamen)

5. BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meetings/Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting (17 March 2017, Baden-Baden; 20 April 2017, Washington D.C.; 19 June 2017, Shanghai)

6. BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund Working Group (20 April, Washington DC; 18 June 2017, Shanghai)

7. BRICS Energy Ministerial Meeting (7 June 2017, Beijing)

8. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development (16-17 June 2017, Nanjing)

9. BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting (22-23 June 2017, Tianjin)

10. Meeting of BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation (2-3 July 2017, Haikou)

11. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education (4-5 July 2017, Beijing)

12. Meeting of BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee (5 July 2017, Brussels)

13. Meeting of BRICS Culture Ministers (5-6 July 2017, Tianjin)

14. BRICS Health Ministers Meeting and High-level Meeting on Traditional Medicine (6-7 July 2017, Tianjin)

15. BRICS Meeting of Drug Regulatory Collaboration (13-14 July 2017, Zhengzhou)

16. BRICS Science, Technology & Innovation Ministerial Meeting (18 July 2017, Hangzhou)

17. Meeting of BRICS Labor and Employment Ministers' Meeting (26-27 July 2017, Chongqing)

18. BRICS Communications Ministers' Meeting (27-28 July 2017, Hangzhou)

19. Meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities (27-28 July 2017, Hangzhou)

20. BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting (29-30 July 2017, Hangzhou)

21. Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers (1-2 August 2017, Shanghai)

22. Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the New Development Bank (1-2 April 2017, New Delhi)

23. BRICS Business Forum (3-4 September 2017, Xiamen)

Senior Officials/Working Groups/Expert Meetings

1. Meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on Environment (22 June 2017, Tianjin)

2. Meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on Education (4 July 2017, Beijing)

3. Meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on Culture (5 July 2017, Tianjin)

4. BRICS Health Senior Officials Meeting (5 July 2017, Tianjin)

5. Meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on Science, Technology & Innovation (17 July 2017, Hangzhou)

6. BRICS Business Council (31 March 2017, New Delhi; 31 August-2 September 2017, Shanghai & Xiamen)

7. BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group Meetings (22 January 2017, Berlin; 9 April 2017, Brasilia)

8. BRICS Intellectual Property Examiner Training Seminar (20-24 February 2017, Nagpur)

9. BRICS Intellectual Property Coordination Group Meeting (22-23 February 2017, Nagpur)

10. Meetings of BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (20-21 March 2017, Beijing; 23-25 May 2017, Beijing; 30-31 July 2017, Shanghai)

11. Technical Meeting of BRICS National Statistics Offices (27-29 March 2017, Shanghai)

12. BRICS Working Group Meeting of Customs (29-31 March 2017, Xiamen)

13. Consultation of BRICS Middle East Special Envoys (11-12 April 2017, Visakhapatnam)

14. BRICS Employment Working Group Meetings (19 April 2017, Yuxi; 25 July 2017, Chongqing)

15. BRICS Environmental Working Group Meeting (25-27 April 2017, Tianjin)

16. BRICS Counter Terrorism Working Group Meeting (18 May 2017, Beijing)

17. First Meeting of BRICS Intellectual Property Rights Mechanism (23 May 2017, Beijing)

18. Working Group for the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture (25 May 2017, Beijing)

19. BRICS Science, Technology & Innovation Funding Working Group Meeting (28-31 May 2017, Pretoria)

20. Meeting of BRICS Working Group on Security in the Use of ICTs (1-2 June 2017, Beijing)

21. Working Group Meeting on BRICS Energy Saving and Improvement of Energy Efficiency (5 June 2017, Beijing)

22. Meeting of Heads of BRICS Export Credit Agencies (12-15 June 2017, Hangzhou)

23. BRICS Working Group Meetings on Agricultural Cooperation (15 June 2017, Nanjing)

24. Technical Group Meeting of BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism (28-29 June 2017, Beijing)

25. Working Group Meeting on Interbank Cooperation Mechanism (28-29 June 2017, Beijing)

26. Meeting of BRICS Heads of Delegation on AML (18-23 June 2017, Spain)

27. BRICS Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue (20-21 July 2017, Beijing)

28. BRICS Consultation of Experts on Peace-keeping Affairs (25 July 2017, Beijing)

29. Meeting of BRICS Experts on Tax Matters (25-26 July 2017, Hangzhou)

30. BRICS Working Group Meeting on ICT Cooperation (26 July 2017, Hangzhou)

31. BRICS Anti-Drug Working Group Meeting (16 August 2017, Weihai)

32. Annual Meeting of Interbank Cooperation Mechanism and Financial Forum (31 August -2 September 2017, Beijing)

33. Meeting of BRICS Heads of Intellectual Property Offices (6-7 April 2017, New Delhi)

34. BRICS Working Group on Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Partnership (9 April, Bengaluru)

35. BRICS Working Group on ICT and High Performance Computing (23-26 April, Guangzhou)

36. BRICS Working Group on Research Infrastructure and Mega-Science Projects (15-16 May, Dubna)

37. BRICS Working Group on Solid State Lighting (19-24 June 2017, Hangzhou)

People-to-people Exchanges Events and Other Meetings

1. BRICS Young Diplomats Forum (30 May-3 June 2017, Beijing & Linyi)

2. BRICS Media Forum (6-8 June 2017, Beijing)

3. BRICS Think-Tank Council Meeting (10 June 2017, Fuzhou)

4. BRICS Political Parties, Think Tanks and Civil Society Organizations Forum (10-12 June 2017, Fuzhou)

5. BRICS Games (17-21 June2017, Guangzhou)

6. BRICS Film Festival (23-27 June 2017, Chengdu)

7. BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum (11-13 July 2017, Chengdu)

8. BRICS Trade Union Forum (24-25 July 2017, Beijing)

9. BRICS Youth Forum (2
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