Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 6.2021
2021.02.08— 2021.02.14
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Takeaways for India from BRICS summit (Выводы для Индии с саммита БРИКС) / India, February, 2021
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion

The acronym BRIC was introduced by Goldman Sachs in 2001 to point out the rising power that will, along with the United States, become the world's five major economies in the 21st century. In 2006, BRIC countries began their negotiations, and in 2009 they took place at the annual summit of heads of state and government. In 2011, South Africa joined the group, the BRICS reached its final stage, including a country from the African continent.The BRICS is a group made up of five main emerging countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – collectively representing about 42 percent of the world's population, 23% of global GDP, 30% of the territory, and 18 % of world trade.

BRICS members are known for their influence on regional affairs. Since 2009, the BRICS countries have been meeting annually for official meetings. The first four were initially listed as "BRIC" before the introduction of South Africa in 2010. The chairmanship of the group is rotated yearly between members, as per the B-R-I-C-S and its Leaders Summit.

BRICS is well-known as the influential bloc that represents more than 3.6 billion people, or half of the world's population. The BRICS countries have a shared GDP of USD 16.6 trillion.

On 17th November 2020, the 12th BRICS summit was done via video-conferencing. This was the first time in the history of the forum that the conference was held virtually, because of the global COVID epidemic. The Summit was conducted under the Chairmanship of Russia.The BRICS summit was focused on strengthening the relationship between the member states in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis. The main purpose of the BRICS Summit was "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Growth for Innovation". Throughout 2020, the five countries in the group continue their close ties with the three main pillars: peace and security, economics and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

During the 12th BRICS Summit, Narendra Modi in his speech touched upon issues like terrorism, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need for reforms in global bodies through video conferencing.

BRICS on Terrorism

  • Emphasizing that terrorism is "the major problem" facing the world. The Indian Prime Minister said there is a need to make sure that countries who are supporting and assisting terrorists are held liable, with reference to Pakistan.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized PM Modi's highlighting on terrorism, saying some countries were like the " black sheep of the family"
  • India accepted the Russian support for the BRICS Anti-Terrorism Strategy and reaffirmed its support for the approach.
  • The main purpose of anti-terrorism cooperation is to harmonize and build up the existing bilateral and multilateral relations between the BRICS countries, as well as to make a significant contribution to global efforts to prevent and combat the threat of terrorism.
BRICS on COVID-19 pandemic

  • India faces the issue of cooperation amongst the BRICS countries over the production of vaccines for COVID-19.
  • Referring to the global economic crisis of COVID-19 in the world, India highlighted the significance of the BRICS in that situation.
  • BRICS countries will play an important role in the revitalization of the post-COVID-19 world as 42% of the world's population lives in BRICS countries and the economies are the foremost engines of the world.
  • India leads regional cooperation in South Asia by ensuring the availability of vaccines in countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
  • India also highlighted the probability of an increase in trade connecting the BRICS countries.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his address, also called for cooperation between Beijing and New Delhi.

BRICS on Reforms in UNSC and other multilateral organization

  • India raised the issue of the integrity and functioning of the institutions required for international governance and called on the support of the BRICS partners.
  • Apart from the U.N., there are many international institutions that do not function according to the current situation.
  • India, which will start a two-years period as a non-permanent member at the Security Council next year, has been at the front position in quest of growth of permanent membership of the council.
  • It has also been raising the issue of making organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) more efficient, especially in the face of the global pandemic.
  • Two of the UNSC members Russia and China are members of BRICS and raising concerns in such a platform that can help India to accomplish its vice all across the world.


The BRICS is one of the pillars of the rising global justice system that plays a key role in stabilizing global relationships. We have to work with all the collecting countries together. A common interest in some countries should be maintained. As India takes leadership roles next year at the BRICS Summit or UNSC, India has to use all these chances to increase its communication capabilities.

In the storming ocean of global politics, the BRICS can make a significant contribution to maintaining international solidity and ensuring global economic development and becoming a global hub for globalization. The grouping's implementation of a new anti-terrorism strategy is a step in the right direction. It has found China committed to the fight against terrorism which is a good thing because we can take it with China over time. The BRICS has evolved over the years and has shown great maturity and the tensions between the two countries along with the members of the nation have not affected major assets.

The Big Picture - Takeaways from BRICS Summit (Общая картина - выводы саммита БРИКС) / India, February, 2021
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion


Asserting that terrorism is the "biggest problem" facing the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there was a need to ensure that countries supporting and assisting terrorists are held guilty, in an oblique reference to Pakistan. Addressing the summit of the five-nation grouping BRICS via video-conferencing, the prime minister also said there was a need to tackle the problem of terrorism in an organised manner. The 12th BRICS summit, hosted by Russian president Vladimir Putin, was also attended by Chinese president Xi Jinping, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Talking about the COVID-19 crisis, PM Modi said India's vaccine production and delivery capabilities will work in the interest of humanity. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed PM Modi's emphasis on terrorism, saying some countries were like the "black sheep of the family". The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) grouping adopted a new counter-terrorism strategy.

Highlights and India's stand at the summit:

  • India put forward the concern of increasing terrorism in the world and stated that the biggest problem that the world is currently facing is 'terrorism'. There's a need to confront the countries which support and sponsor terrorism must be held accountable and the problem must be addressed in a unified manner.
  • India highlighted the issue of credibility and effectiveness of the institutions which are important for global governance and urged other BRICS members for the support.
  • India underscored the issue of cooperation amongst the BRICS partners on the production of the COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, the scope of trade improvement amongst the BRICS nations was highlighted by India.
  • India introduced Aatmanirbhar Bharat or the self-reliant campaign to its BRICS partners.
  • Under this campaign, India delivered essential medicines to more than 150 countries because of the capability of the Indian Pharma Industry.
  • All counrries supported the BRICS counter-terrorism strategy.
  • All have offered to cooperate with the BRICS member nations for the production of the COVID-19 vaccines.
India and BRICS:

  • From the Indian perspective, BRICS has emerged the voice of developing countries, or the global south.
  • With raising challenges on issues from WTO to climate change, New Delhi believes BRICS has to protect the rights of the developing countries.
  • India has to maintain the balancing act between Russia-China on the one side and the US on the other.
  • India should move closer to Latin America.
  • BRICS has put counter-terrorism on top of the agenda, this has been a success for India.
  • India is making efforts to address glaring gaps in areas such as counter-terrorism, the fight against climate change and UNSC reform
  • India was the main BRICS country behind the establishment of the NDB and proposed the idea at the fourth BRICS summit in New Delhi.
  • 2021 BRICS Summit is scheduled in India.

  • Where BRICS has failed its founders is in the vision of interdependence between the five countries
  • Economic slowdown in all countries
  • Despite their combined population accounting for 40% of humanity, intra-BRICS trade still makes up just 17% of world trade.
  • The New Development Bank's (NDB) vision to 'supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development' remains far away from realisation.
  • So far the only members of NDB are its founders and its own limitations.
  • Lack of transparency and good governance among member States with the bank.
  • Politically, these countries are not all on the same page at the same time.
  • China has been shielding Pakistan and has been uneasy discussing the issue of terrorism on this platform.
  • Lack of a binding ideology, bilateral differences, diversity in terms of socio-cultural and political systems
  • China's overwhelming presence, which reduces the space for other countries in the grouping.

  • BRICS should promote comprehensive development of all states both big and small and enhanced mutually beneficial cooperation among them on the basis of shared interests.
  • A civil society dialogue is much needed.
  • BRICS nations should strive for peaceful and politico-diplomatic settlement of crisis and conflict in various regions of the world.
  • BRICS, being one of the pillars of the emerging fairer polycentric world order, plays an important stabilising role in global affairs.
  • Democratization of international issuese agreements on global agendas should be reached with the widest and equal participation of all stakeholders and be based on universally recognised legal norms.
  • The principle of respect for cultural and civilizational diversity of the world should be a top priority.
  • In the storming ocean of world politics, BRICS can contribute significantly in maintaining international stability and ensuring global economic growth and becoming a united centre of the multipolar world.
Tapping Into One Of The BRICS (Подключение к одной из стран БРИКС) / USA, February, 2021
Keywords: economic_challenges, expert_opinion

While the composition of the G7 group of countries is fairly well-known, the BRICS group has remained in the background.

Composed of the countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (which entered in 2010), the BRICS have been meeting as a collective group since 2009. This decision to come together to encourage commercial, political and economic cooperation was not surprising, as the nations that make up the BRICS were at a similar level of economic development in 2009.

They also have a total population of 3.21 billion within their borders and a combined nominal gross domestic product of $19.6 trillion. Each of these countries has been labeled as an emerging market economy and is projected to dominate the international economy (either in terms of raw materials or manufactured goods) by 2050.

While the allure of emerging markets, due to President Biden's victory in the recent election and a weaker dollar, has been glistening like the Sun in some investors' eyes, it is sometimes difficult to know where to invest in order to maximize one's return in this area. Thankfully, the exchange-traded fund known as Nifty India Financials ETF (NYSEARCA:INDF) may show the way.

The fund has been designed to track an index that reflects the performance of the Indian financial industry, which includes banks, financial institutions, housing finance companies, insurance companies and other financial services companies. The stocks within INDF are selected by looking at their free-float market capitalization. This is done to preclude "locked-in" shares that are owned by the government or insiders.

Exclusive Invest in this 'High-IQ' ETF
Some of this fund's top holdings include HDFC Bank Limited (NYSE:HDB), Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (NSE:HDFC), ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN), State Bank of India (NSE:SBIN), Axis Bank Limited (NSE:AXISBANK), Bajaj Finserv Limited (NSE:BAJAJFINSV), HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (NSE:HDFCLIFE) and Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (NSE:KOTAKBANK).

This fund's performance has been relatively strong, even when including the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Feb. 9, INDF has been up 5.39% over the past month and up 24.48% for the past three months. It is currently up 9.85% year to date.

The fund has amassed $3.36 million in assets under management and has an expense ratio of 0.75%. Another important thing to note is that, according to, INDF's assets under management are growing briskly, reflecting the increased amount of investor interest in this part of the globe.

In short, while INDF does provide an investor with a chance to tap into the world Indian financial institutions, this kind of ETF may not be appropriate for all portfolios. Thus, interested investors always should conduct their due diligence and decide whether the fund is suitable for their investing goals.

As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an email. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.

Vaccines Arrival Significant to Success of SA Diplomatic Relations (Прибытие вакцин имеет большое значение для успеха дипломатических отношений ЮАР) / India, February, 2021
Keywords: covid-19, political_issues

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Tandi Mahambehlala, says the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from India signifies the success of South Africa's approach to bilateral and multilateral relations.

"We congratulate the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, through its missions abroad, for their candid vaccine diplomacy. This has been demonstrated through its successful initiation of negotiations, which secured the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines for South Africa," Mahambehlala said.

Mahambehlala said the arrival of the vaccines is significant and a testament to the success of South Africa's diplomatic relations.

"The importance of diplomacy has once again been proved and is apparent for all to see during this era of the pandemic. The country, under the capable stewardship of President Cyril Ramaphosa, should work hard to enhance bilateral and multilateral relations with countries and multinational pharmaceutical companies that have shown capability in manufacturing vaccines."

President Ramaphosa led a government delegation to welcome the arrival of the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine has undergone successful trials at Oxford University, with South Africa's scientists making valuable contributions.

Mahambehlala extended gratitude to the friendly government of India, calling the country a "true friend in need and a trusted partner in the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa] formation".

Mahambehlala said South Africa will continue to play a role in making the vaccine available to neighbouring countries. The African Union, which was chaired by South Africa when the pandemic struck, has worked to ensure that the continent gets its fair share of the vaccine, working with the COVAX Facility and led by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.

Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Brazil gets $1 billion from BRICS bank to fight coronavirus (Бразилия получила 1 миллиард долларов от банка БРИКС на борьбу с коронавирусом) / USA, February, 2021
Keywords: ndb, investments, covid-19

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A development bank run by the BRICS group of major developing nations has disbursed $1 billion to help fund the Brazilian government's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the lender on Tuesday.

The New Bank of Development (NDB), run by the BRICS group comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has earmarked $10 billion for fighting the pandemic. Eventually, Brazil is expected to receive a fifth of those funds.

Brazil has the world's deadliest coronavirus outbreak outside the United States, with 232,170 fatalities among more than 9.5 million cases. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Dhaka Looks to Join New Development Bank (Дакка собирается присоединиться к Новому Банку Развития) / Bangladesh, February, 2021
Keywords: ndb, investments, cooperation

Bangladesh is likely to join the successor of BRICS Bank, as finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal sits with the bank's president, officials said.

They said Mr Kamal would seek at least 1.0 per cent stake in the New Development Bank (NDB), as Dhaka has agreed to be a shareholder of the newly-established multilateral lender based in Shanghai.

A senior ministry of finance official told the FE that the minister would hold a courtesy meeting with the NDB president Omarcos Troyjo remotely from Dhaka.

The five-member lender has offered shares to the UN member countries, including Bangladesh, to but stake in the bank.

"We've decided to join the bank. It will open up a new window for Bangladesh to get more lending for the country's development work," said the official.

The bank was established in July 2015 with five core members-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in an agreement reached in Brazil.

The initial authorised capital of the bank is US$100 billion divided into 1.0 million shares having a face value of $100,000 each.

The initial subscribed capital of the NDB is $50 billion divided into paid-in shares ($10 billion) and callable shares ($40 billion).

The initial subscribed capital of the bank was equally distributed among the founding members. The agreement on the NDB specifies that every member will have one vote and no one would have any veto powers.

Another government official told the FE Bangladesh was offered nearly 0.76 per cent share in the NDB initially.

If the UN member countries join the bank, the share of Bangladesh would ultimately reach 0.42 per cent.

Dhaka will have to pay $382 million in the next seven years for becoming a shareholder of the bank, he added.

According to the NDB's plan, the BRICS countries would offload 49 per cent share among the aspirant countries.

Another finance ministry official said Bangladesh's effort to strengthen the South-South cooperation would also get a boost by joining the Shanghai-based lending agency.

In 2016, Bangladesh joined the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The Beijing-based lender has been financing many projects in Bangladesh in several sectors such as power, transportation, water supply and sanitation.

After the independence in 1971, many multilateral and bilateral donors, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, Islamic Development Bank, UKAID, and USAID have been providing loans and grants for developing the country's infrastructure and reducing hunger.

In December last, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina to join the bank.

As part of its expansion effort, the NDB has finalised its membership policy and begun the process of drafting the new membership rule.

After adopting a policy where any members of the United Nations can apply for the NDB membership, each member state would be required to nominate two countries in the bank.

The expansion of membership was also raised in the virtual BRICS Summit held on Nov 17.

World of Work
Power Sportz Editor-in-Chief, Kanthi D Suresh makes known her plan for 2021 at BRICS Summit (Главный редактор Power Sportz Канти Д Суреш обнародовала свой план на 2021 год на саммите БРИКС) / India, February, 2021
Keywords: media, summit

Kanthi D Suresh, known more her show, Talking Turkey, the flag ship show on Power Sportz TV, has been maintaining a low profile for the past few weeks with minimal appearance on the channel. The reason for the same was supposed to be on account of very little sporting activity in the current situation where the pandemic is yet to be reined in, globally

On Friday, Jan 5, BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry in association with Startup India, a Government of India initiative and Rising Bharat, a young incubator and fund helping Startups organized its first Pitch Presentation as a part of its "Start-Up Series" in New Delhi. Ms Kanthi was part of the presentation where she mentioned the plan for the channel ahead in 2021

The League division of Konnexions Broadcast Pvt Ltd, the holding Company, along with the Human Resource Division, Konnexions HR, in the year 2020, during the peak of the pandemic undertook a global talent acquisition project to identify talent in Cricket and football from the top cricket playing countries of the world and the top 50 fifa ranked countries of the world. The teams under the Power Sportz Premier League banner are ready to launch their own sports properties with their own broadcasting facility and have currently signed Memorandum of Understanding with a couple of countries to host events in the coming financial year

The presentation by Ms Kanthi at the BRICS Start up Summit was highly appreciated with a special encore on the uniqueness of the concept. The current ratio of News Channels, Entertainment Channel and Sports channel were also highlighted in the presentation making one realize the shortage of Sports broadcasters in the country. Content creation , Kanthi mentioned was one of the main challenges in getting a live 24×7 Sports channel running, if one were to do it without necessarily going the mega rights way.

Power Sportz TV, Indias only dedicated live Sports New channel and the Worlds first Live Sports Web TV, available on the World Wide Web, Android/IOS App and Amazon fire tv, currently boasts of viewership from over 100 countries of the World.

Ms Kanthi D Suresh along with her channel Power Sportz are being keenly watched for the next big step!

African Perceptions of the BRICS: Optimistic, Pessimistic or Pragmatic? (Восприятие БРИКС африканцами: оптимистическое, пессимистическое или прагматическое?) / South Africa, February, 2021
Keywords: research, policitcal_issues
South Africa


This chapter moves away from most previous analyses that have zeroed in on the Africa–BRICS relations from the perspective of the BRICS as they direct their policies and deal-making towards the continent. Instead, the chapter is interested in perceptions on the BRICS from the continent—an understudied area in the fledgling field of BRICS scholarship and a potential contribution to Afro-based studies. The question that the chapter sheds light on is whether Africans are optimistic, pessimistic or pragmatic in their perceptions of the BRICS and, by extension, what this says about BRICS soft power capital on the continent. These perceptions, potentially leading to an assessment of the image of the BRICS in Africa, are tracked by undertaking a textual media content analysis of two leading business news and analysis publications, the Business Day of Nigeria and Kenya's Business Daily. Work on media-based African perceptions of the BRICS is necessarily a work in progress. Perceptions differ from one country to another. Indeed, perceptions may differ from one media house to another based on the media platform's editorial bent, ownership and target audience. In soft power terms, therefore, the BRICS, as a collective, do not have much in the way of capital.

BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized first "Start-Up Series" Pitch Presentation in Delhi (Торгово-промышленная палата БРИКС провела в Дели первую презентацию «Start-Up Series») / India, February, 2021
Keywords: innovations, business_council

New Delhi : BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry in association with Startup India, a Government of India initiative and Rising Bharat, a young incubator and fund helping Startups organized its first Pitch Presentation as a part of its "Start-Up Series" in New Delhi.The daylong event is the first of BRICS CCI Startup Series, It is an initiative by BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry to support and encourage young entrepreneurs from various sectors. The brainchild of Mr. Sameep Shastri, the Vice Chairman, BRICS CCI, the Chamber undertook a three-month process to locate budding startups across the country in need of investments and exposure. The Chamber received 250+ applications of which the best 15 companies have been invited for the pitch presentation.

The event was also graced by the presence of the esteemed speaker Ms. Neha Prakash (IAS), Special Secretary, IT & Electronics, Government of Uttar Pradesh . Neha Prakash IAS, the special guest for the event complimented BRICS CCI for organising the startup series and said"Startups have great opportunities in India and are not only introducing new technologies but also playing an important role in women empowerment.Ms. Neha motivated the gathering by saying "chase your dreams. Take that nudge, recognize the forthcoming opportunities and convert your dreams into reality."

Mr. Sameep Shastri, said "It will be grand program to nurture manufacturing global champions for an AatmaNirbhar Bharat. We wish to give them a handholding to become an integral part of global supply chains with cutting edge technology. These Startups will empower our country leaps and bounds."

Dr. Varun Chaudhary, Executive Director of CG Corp Global congratulating the startups and encouraged the young entrepreneurs by saying "success can't be measured on scale. We all should treat sky as the beginning and not the end."

Mr. Avi Mittal, Co-Founder of Golden Ace Ventures said that "Startups in India are the way forward for conventional businessmen like us to build our portfolio for growth of our wealth by empowering young entrepreneurs."

Dr. BBL Madhukar, the Director General of BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry said, "We will take the startup series to global platform" Further he wished the conclave and the startup initiative a great success."

Mr. Abhay Aggarwal,Founder & Chairman, Kaby Alloys Co addressed the gathering by saying "With the creative minds we can reach to great heights."

The morning address was graced by the jury members for BRICS CCI Start up series. They included.

Ms. Aditi Banerjee (Co-Founder & CEO, Magic Billion) Mr. Avi Mittal (CEO & MD, Golden Ace Ventures) , Mr. Abhay Aggarwal (Founder & Chairman, Kaby Alloys Co.), Mr. Pratham Mittal (Founder, Neta App), Dr. Vinay Agrawal (Chancellor, ISBM University), Mr. RuhailRanjan (MD Chandrika Power),Mr. AkshayAggarwal (Founder, Kafila Forge),Mr. BibinBabu (Board Member, Innowork, BlocSpaze, Payiza), Mr. Dhruv Khanna (Co-Founder, Triton Foodworks) and Mr. Sameep Shastri (Vice Chairman, BRICS CCI)

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