Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum

Monitoring of the economic, social and labor situation in the BRICS countries
Issue 23.2022
2022.06.06 — 2022.06.12
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Stronger BRICS ties seen as key to world recovery (Укрепление связей БРИКС рассматривается как ключ к восстановлению мира) / China, June, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion, economic_challenges

In the face of a sluggish global recovery from the COVID-19 hit, BRICS countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-should enhance cooperation and better safeguard people's lives to underpin a stable world economic recovery, China's Finance Minister Liu Kun said on Monday.

Liu made the remarks when chairing the Second BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting via video link in Beijing.

He said that with the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, the sluggish global economic recovery, complex and severe international situation, and global development suffering from disruptions, BRICS countries-as a positive, inspiring and constructive force to promote steady global recovery-should enhance cooperation and coordination to maintain the sound operation of the international economic and financial system and improve the global economic governance system and rules, according to a statement released after the meeting.

China is willing to work with other members towards deeper and richer cooperation over finance and elevate it to a new level, Liu said.

Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, also co-chaired the meeting. He stressed that financial cooperation is a critical part of the overall BRICS cooperation and that the PBOC is ready to deepen financial cooperation with member countries and strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination to promote global economic recovery and high-quality growth, according to a PBOC statement.

Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that macro policy communication and coordination are of critical importance for the forthcoming global economic recovery because BRICS per se is one of the largest economies, and their steady recovery will be a critical anchor for global growth.

"As each member country is going through rapid changes and development, effective policy communication will help pool the efforts of all stakeholders and can avoid any waste of economic resources," Zhou said. "This will also generate positive results to countries and regions outside BRICS."

The meeting reached a consensus on the deliverables of BRICS financial cooperation for 2022. It also endorsed the Technical Report on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Sustainable Development and welcomed the exchange and sharing of good practices and experiences among BRICS countries in infrastructure investment and PPPs.

It was also agreed at the meeting that sustainable finance is expected to play a significant role in boosting a steady global economic recovery and more cooperation should be seen in this regard.

The meeting announced the establishment of the BRICS Think Tank Network for Finance, which would facilitate research cooperation among think tanks in the finance area among BRICS countries.

Zhou said that while think tanks across BRICS member countries have existed for quite some time, a think tank network for finance, in particular, reflects the need for macroeconomic policy coordination among these countries.

"A think tank working on the financial front will also help forge an enabling environment for economic and industrial cooperation across BRICS countries," he said.

'BRICS Plus' can enhance cooperation, development («БРИКС Плюс» может укрепить сотрудничество, развитие) / China, June, 2022
Keywords: brics+, expert_opinion

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently floated the idea of "BRICS Plus" to further promote humanity's common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom among developing countries through unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

BRICS, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, accounts for nearly 42 percent of the world population, 27 percent of land surface and 32 percent of global GDP, and has always been committed to multilateral cooperation and a multipolar world order.

"BRICS Plus" reflects the true spirit of multilateralism and multiculturalism and could consequently guarantee the survival of emerging markets and developing countries. It would follow the principles of United Nations and oppose coercion against developing countries.

It would also enhance global security governance and safeguard world peace and tranquility.

Judging from complex global changes, the Chinese foreign minister is right in advancing the true spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance. South-South cooperation should be pursued and implemented on a larger scale, in broader areas and at deeper levels, so as to enhance the power of international discourse, agenda setting and rule making, and promote the development of a global governance system in a more just and reasonable direction.

Thus the "BRICS Plus" cooperation, as a platform for emerging markets and developing countries, is built for cooperation and development. Foreign Minister Wang welcomed more countries to join it in promoting democracy in international relations, making the world economy more inclusive and rationalizing global governance, in order to jointly create a bright and better future.

According to Wang, BRICS would pursue sustainable development goals and implement the mission of global governance. In this regard, he urged developing countries to work together to improve global governance and strive for greater space for development.

President Xi Jinping has urged the BRICS countries to reject a Cold War mentality, shun confrontation and work together to build a global community of security for all.

A growing concern is the geopolitics of polarization pursued by the United States and its Western allies, wherein the world is divided into a simplistic, irrational binary of allies and adversaries similar to the time of the Cold War.

BRICS could play a constructive role in dealing with these challenges and be a positive force in the international community. The emerging economies should be brave enough to tackle all challenges to promote peace and development, uphold fairness and justice, and advocate democracy and freedom in the world.

The good news is that BRICS is now preparing for expansion to include other large, emerging economies as members. The BRICS foreign ministers' joint statement said that discussions on the expansion process are ongoing and "the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures" for new members will be formulated through consultations and consensus among the present members.

It seems that at least four countries that are part of the Group of 20 large economies, including Argentina, have expressed strong interest in full membership in BRICS. The five current BRICS countries are G20 members as well. Thus, the forces of multilateralism and multiculturalism are on the rise.

A BRICS expansion could multiply the global influence of the bloc while also consolidating its principle of multilateralism through greater representation of developing countries. Hopefully, an expanded BRICS will have the potential to become a pivot for global growth, security and peace.

The developing world should pay particular attention to the Global Security Initiative proposed recently by President Xi. The initiative aims to create a security framework that replaces confrontation, alliance and a zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and win-win propositions. So it is a value addition in the regional security systems that face a balancing act in the days to come.

In essence, the Global Security Initiative is a holistic and comprehensive new security system that cares about security, economy, sovereignty, dignity and, last but not least, humanity. It pledges "six commitments"-the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and staying committed to maintaining security in traditional as well as nontraditional domains.

These ideals, once put into practice, would add certainty to a rapidly changing world. BRICS Plus and the Global Security Initiative can be catalysts for sustainable development and an equitable global security system.

The author is director of the Center for South Asia& International Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, June 8, 2022 (Брифинг официального представителя МИД России М.В. Захаровой, г. Москва, 8 июня 2022 г.) / Russia, June, 2022
Keywords: quotation, mofa

Question: Many meetings of various BRICS countries' ministerial agencies have been held recently, and active preparations are underway for a BRICS Summit scheduled to be held in late June. How would you assess the international role of BRICS in the current complicated circumstances?

Maria Zakharova: Strengthening the strategic BRICS partnership is a foreign policy priority for Russia.

Multifaceted cooperation between BRICS countries does not depend on the global political situation. It is based on the principles of openness, pragmatism, solidarity, consensus, continuity, and the fundamental principle of mutual respect. It is most important that our cooperation is not intended to harm anyone and has a positive agenda. BRICS is an inclusive group that is open to interaction with any constructive partner.

In light of the dramatic aggravation of international tensions, the five countries should act as the guardians of true multipolarity based on equal dialogue and mutual respect, a collective approach to current global issues, and a healthy balance of interests. Many countries are talking about multilateralism, while BRICS is applying this principle in practice. It is working to create a polycentric and more democratic and representative global architecture based on international law.

We support the implementation of the cooperation priorities set out for China's BRICS Chairmanship. As for preparations for the 14th BRICS Summit, I would like to note that the five countries have many achievements to report. We have launched the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre and started implementing the agreement on cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing. The Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 and the Counter-Terrorism Strategy are being steadily implemented. The BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform is developing rapidly.

We hope that support from our Chinese friends will enable us to make great strides this year towards adopting the Russia-proposed memorandum of understanding on the regulation of medical products for human use and an integrated early warning system for preventing mass infectious diseases risks. The importance of these initiatives is especially evident now.

India Is Irreplaceable Balancing Force in Global Systemic Transition (Индия — незаменимая уравновешивающая сила в глобальном системном переходе) / Russia, June, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion, global_governance
Author: Andrew Korybko

The Bi-Multipolar Intermediary Phase

International Relations are in the midst of accelerated, compressed, and profound changes as everything chaotically transitions from the former U.S.-led unipolar system to an emerging Multipolar World Order. Experts debate exactly when this process began, but many agree that its most significant milestones thus far were the 2008 financial crisis, the first Ukrainian Crisis from 2013-2014 that resulted in Crimea's democratic reunification with Russia, former U.S. President Donald Trump's election in 2016, the black swan event of COVID-19 from early 2020, and Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine that began on 24 February in order to restore the integrity of its national security red lines.

Indian scholar Sanjaya Baru believes that the global systemic transition to multipolarity is presently in what he described as a bi-multipolar intermediary phase. This concept refers to the observation that the U.S. and Chinese superpowers exert the most influence over the international system, below which are a growing number of Great Powers like Russia and India, among others. The bottom rung of this unofficial hierarchy consists of comparatively medium- and smaller-sized countries that lack the ability to influence events. Mr. Baru's paradigm predicts that the second and third levels will multi-align within and between one another, as well as with the superpowers, in a complex and dynamic way.

Steps Towards The Tripolarity

A strategic breakthrough could be achieved if any single force, pairing, or group thereof coalesce into a third pole of influence within this bi-multipolar intermediary phase in order to prompt its evolution towards tripolarity and subsequently a more traditional multipolar system. Therein lies the motivation for what can be described as Russia and India's joint efforts to assemble a new Non-Aligned Movement ("Neo-NAM") for doing precisely that in order to maximize their strategic autonomy within this paradigm by coordinating their complementary grand strategies in the Eastern Hemisphere: Moscow's Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) and Delhi's Indo-Pacific vision.

The U.S.-led West's unprecedented anti-Russian sanctions that were imposed in response to Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine raised concerns that this targeted Great Power would become disproportionately dependent on China in response since the People's Republic was considered to be its only reliable valve from Western pressure. That expectation was abruptly shattered, however, after India decisively intervened to preemptively avert that scenario by becoming Russia's alternative valve from such pressure as evidenced by its astronomical consumption of discounted oil from that Great Power as well as its proactive efforts to comprehensively expand trade ties with it in order to replace lost Western ones.

India's Balancing Act

This game-changing development completely altered the forecast that many analysts had and thus compelled them to recalibrate their predictions about the forthcoming dynamics of the global systemic transition to multipolarity. India jumped from being a latently impressive Great Power to one with the proven capability to decisively shape international events at their most sensitive moment during the onset of complex processes such as what many have since concluded is now a New Cold War. This worldwide competition isn't over ideologies like the Old Cold War was but concerns the rivalry between polar opposite viewpoints of the international order: the U.S.-led and largely unipolar Western-centric system vs. a more equitable and just multipolar one led by non-Western countries like China and Russia.

India is in the unique geostrategic position of having stakes in both blocs, which explains why it closely cooperates with them in order to advance its goal of becoming a third pole of influence in the bi-multipolar transitional phase of the global systemic transition to multipolarity. Regarding the Western bloc, it shares these countries' concerns about China's rise, especially considering its summer 2020 clashes with the People's Republic over their disputed Himalayan border. As for the non-Western bloc, it agrees with Russia, China, and others that international relations must diversify from their hitherto dependence on Western states and structures. Due to its interests in both blocs, India hopes to serve as a bridge between them as well as a balancing force within each against their most radical elements.

Managing Bi-Multipolarity

It is for this reason that India has sought to play leading roles in multilateral platforms the Quad, BRICS, and the SCO. The first one serves as its means for balancing China's rise in what India hopes will be a friendly, gentle, and non-hostile way compared to the new AUKUS alliance's non-friendly, harsh, and hostile one. BRICS and the SCO, meanwhile, are complementary platforms for reforming the international system as it transitions towards multipolarity. The ideal scenario for India is that it successfully cooperates with US-led structures like the Quad to peacefully "manage" China's rise in parallel with cooperating with China to gradually reform the international system.

The operative terms here are peaceful and gradual since India would prefer for there to not be any sudden disruptions on either front: neither a U.S.-provoked hot war with China nor some unexpected breakthrough by Beijing which leads to the rapid collapse of the Western-centric system that in turn results in the People's Republic becoming the sole superpower. It's with this grand strategy in mind that India closely cooperates with the Quad, BRICS, and the SCO so as to play a leading role within each to that end, all with the intent of responsibly guiding the global systemic transition towards multipolarity that it expects will reward it with becoming the third pole of influence within this emerging order. This envisioned outcome objectively serves its national interests and shapes the formulation of its policies.

A Constructive Critique Of India's Balancing Act

Nevertheless, few have yet to realize this, even within India. Dr Rajeswari (Raji) Pillai Rajagopalan, the Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy and Technology (CSST) at the prestigious Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, published a piece on 31 May at The Diplomat where she shared her concerns about India's balancing act between the three earlier mentioned multilateral blocs. Titled "The Problem With India's Multiple Strategic Dalliances" and republished a day later at her think tank, it explains her worries that India's failure to decisively take a side within each undermines its credibility and reliability within them, which she fears ultimately risks isolating it. The last paragraph concisely encapsulates her concerns.

Dr. Rajagopalan writes that "India is the odd man out in all of these groups, whether it is in the Quad, BRICS or the SCO. In each, other key members have closer ties with each other than any of them do with India. This is potentially problematic because a friend to all will possibly not have any friends to depend upon when in danger." With all due respect to this highly esteemed expert who's among one of her civilization-state's most well-regarded policy influencers, the paradigm through which she's approaching this issue is flawed since it doesn't incorporate the grand strategic vision that was articulated thus far in this analysis. Simply put, it implies pressure upon India to submit to the presumed zero-sum pressures of each respective bloc's American or Chinese superpower leaders.

In Defense Of India's Balancing Act

What's meant by this is that she seems to believe that her country's interests are best served by fully aligning its policies with one or the other superpowers in what would de facto result in India unilaterally conceding on some of its objective national interests as its policymakers understand them to be solely in pursuit of a foreign power's approval. Nowadays Indian strategists seem equally suspicious of both bi-multipolar superpowers, America and China, the first of which recently started imposing unprecedented pressure against their country in response to its policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict while the second was always seen as a rival due to their unresolved territorial disputes. It's only Russia that's truly trusted by India due to their complementary grand strategic interests.

Unilaterally submitting to America's implied demands to more aggressively "contain" China would convey the signal to Russia that India has voluntarily agreed to become the declining unipolar hegemon's largest vassal state, not to mention if Delhi complied with US pressure to publicly condemn and then sanction Moscow for its special operation in Ukraine. Likewise, going along with China's implied preference to proactively distance itself from the U.S. would signal to America that India has voluntarily agreed to become the rising multipolar superpower's "junior partner", which in turn would prompt Russia to realize that it cannot rely on Delhi as a balancer vis a vis Beijing and thus likely result in a "new unipolarity" whereby the People's Republic ultimately becomes the "new hegemon".

Both potential outcomes are regarded as disadvantageous from the perspective of Indian policymakers, who wisely concluded that their most reliable partner in the global systemic transition to multipolarity is Russia, with whom their Great Power shares grand strategic interests. Neither wants to become "junior partners" of either bi-multipolar superpower, nor do they want the other to do so either. For instance, without India preemptively averting the scenario of Russia's potentially forthcoming disproportionate dependence on China by becoming its alternative valve from Western pressure, Moscow could either have voluntarily submitted to becoming the "junior partner" of either the People's Republic or the U.S.-led Western bloc since it might not have been able to stand independently on its own for too long.

The Global Importance Of The Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership

What India therefore did throughout the course of the last 100 or so days of the Ukrainian Conflict was decisively intervene so as to prevent Russia from having to countenance becoming either bi-multipolar superpower's "junior partner" out of "necessity". The end result is that both Great Powers were able to preserve their strategic autonomy within this intermediary phase of the global systemic transition as well as advance their shared tripolarity goal, not necessarily through the Neo-NAM so much at this point (though joint cooperation with Iran through the North-South Transport Corridor is a very promising starting point in Greater Eurasia), but simply with respect to creating the basis for a new axis of influence within this paradigm.

As regards India's complementary balancing role within the Quad, this South Asian civilization-state has prevented that Indo-Pacific multidimensional integration platform from being hijacked by the U.S. to turn it into an anti-Russian one. Delhi is also reluctant for the Quad to take on any AUKUS-like military role in "containing" China, preferring instead for their approach to be comparatively more friendly, gentle, and non-hostile so as not to risk a war by miscalculation that could destabilize the larger region of which India is an integral part. Framed another way, India's decisive support for Russia since 24 February prevented its potentially disproportionate dependence on China while its moderating effect within the Quad prevented this platform becoming an anti-Russian one as well as an appendage of AUKUS.

Concluding Thoughts

All three outcomes contribute to balancing Eurasian affairs, which is admittedly very difficult to do but India is nevertheless largely succeeding to the best of its ability. At all costs, this civilization-state wants to prevent any sudden disruptions that could destabilize the global systemic transition to multipolarity, lead to one of the bi-multipolar superpowers becoming a unipolar hegemon, and thus create the conditions for coercing India into becoming their "junior partner". To that end, it realized that its objective interests are best served by prioritizing its strategic partnership with Russia with a view towards jointly creating a third pole of influence within this transitional phase together with simultaneously balancing out the most radical US-led Western forces agitating against Russia and China.

All the while, India aspires to peacefully "manage" China's rise in partnership with the West while also gradually reforming the international system in partnership with China. Its special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia is envisioned to function as its means for most effectively balancing both blocs while concurrently creating a neutral third pole of influence through the Neo-NAM that other Great Powers and comparatively medium- and smaller-sized states can gravitate towards to maximize their strategic autonomy in the New Cold War. This understanding of Indian grand strategy leads to the conclusion that the country is playing an irreplaceable role in the global systemic transition to multipolarity, one which is difficult to maintain but will hopefully continue being practiced indefinitely.

BRICS+: It's Back With Scale and Ambition (БРИКС+: Возвращение с размахом и амбициями) / Russia, June, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion, brics+

After several years of being relegated to backstage of the BRICS agenda, in 2022 the BRICS+ format is back and is at the very center of the discussions surrounding China's chairmanship in the grouping. With the return of the BRICS+ paradigm the BRICS is going from introvert to extrovert and its greater global ambition raises hopes across the wide expanses of the Global South of material changes in the global economic system. The main question now centers on what the main trajectories of the evolution of the BRICS+ framework will be – thus far China appears to have advanced a multi-track approach that targets maximum scope and diversity in the operation of the BRICS-plus paradigm.

One of the novelties of China's BRICS chairmanship in 2022 has been the launching of the extended BRICS+ meeting at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs that apart from the core BRICS countries also included representatives from Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal in Africa, Argentina from Latin America, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Thailand. And while the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia may reflect their role in the G20 and overall size of their economies in the developing world, the inclusion of countries such as Senegal (chairmanship in the African Union in 2022), United Arab Emirates (chairmanship in the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2022) and Argentina (chairmanship in CELAC in 2022) is suggestive of a regional approach to building the BRICS+ platform.

That regional approach was also evidenced in the Forum of political parties, think-tanks and NGOs that was held on May 19th in BRICS+ format - among the countries invited to participate were Cambodia (chairmanship in ASEAN in 2022) as well as Senegal and Argentina that represented Africa and Latin America respectively. In effect China thus presented an inclusive format for dialogue spanning all the main regions of the Global South via aggregating the regional integration platforms in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. Going forward this format may be further expanded to include other regional integration blocks from Eurasia, such as the GCC, EAEU and others.

During the meeting of foreign ministers of BRICS countries China also announced plans to open up the possibility of developing countries joining the core BRICS grouping. This approach differed to some degree from the line pursued by BRICS in the preceding years, when any expansion outside of the BRICS core was deemed to be the purview of the BRICS+ format. It remains to be seen whether the expansion in the core BRICS grouping is going to be supported by other members, but at this stage it appears unlikely that a speedy accession of any single developing economy is likely in the near term.

One important consideration in the future evolution of the BRICS+ format is its evenhandedness and balance observed between the main regions of the Global South. In this respect the inclusion of several countries into the "core BRICS" group may be fraught with risks of imbalances and asymmetries in terms of the representation of the main regions of the developing world in the core BRICS grouping. There is also the risk of greater complexity in arriving at a consensus with a wider circle of core BRICS members. While the option of joining the core should be kept open, there need to be clear and transparent criteria for the "BRICS accession process".

Another issue relevant to the evolution of the BRICS+ framework is whether there should be a prioritization of the accession to the BRICS core of those developing economies that are members of the G20 grouping. In my view the G20 track for BRICS is a problematic one – the priorities of the Global South could get weakened and diluted within the broader G20 framework. There is also the question about the efficacy of G20 in coordinating the joint efforts of developing and developed economies in the past several years in overcoming the effects of the pandemic and the economic downturn. Rather than the goal of bringing the largest heavyweights into the core BRICS bloc from the G20 a more promising venue is the greater inclusivity of BRICS via the BRICS+ framework that allows smaller economies that are the regional partners of BRICS to have a say in the new global governance framework.

The next stage in the BRICS+ sequel is to be presented by China in June during the summit of BRICS+ countries. The world will be closely gauging further developments in the evolution of the BRICS+ format, but the most important result of China's chairmanship in BRICS this year is that BRICS+ is squarely back on the agenda of global governance. The vitality in BRICS development will depend to a major degree on the success of the BRICS+ enterprise – an inert, introvert BRICS has neither global capacity, nor global mission. A stronger, more inclusive and open BRICS has the potential to become the basis for a new system of global governance.
12th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture Held (Состоялась 12-я встреча министров сельского хозяйства стран БРИКС) / China, June, 2022
Keywords: top_level_meeting

The 12th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture was held via video link on June 8. With the theme of "strengthening BRICS cooperation for coordinated agriculture and rural development", the Meeting carried out profound exchanges on deepening practical cooperation in agriculture and rural development, highlighting the importance of ensuring global food security and reducing poverty, among others.

The Meeting reviewed and adopted a joint statement of BRICS agriculture ministers and a document on BRICS food security cooperation strategy. Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People's Republic of China delivered a keynote speech at the Meeting, which was also addressed by ministers of agriculture of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.

Minister Tang pointed out that the Chinese government has attached great importance to agricultural and rural development, pushed forward rural revitalization with concerted efforts and accelerated agricultural and rural modernization. In particular, China has taken extraordinary measures in the extraordinary times of pandemic to address severe challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and natural disasters. It is notable that China has managed to ensure enough food for over 1.4 billion people through its own efforts, making a contribution to global food security. In poverty alleviation, China has established a dynamic monitoring and assistance program to prevent the return to poverty. People who may fall back to poverty are included in the program and provided with targeted relief assistance. In order to consolidate the outcome of poverty alleviation, China has placed priorities in rural development, construction and governance with continuous efforts in advancing rural revitalization and creating favorable environment for living and working in rural areas.

In response to the current challenges of global food security, Minister Tang put forward three proposals. First, BRICS countries need to focus on food security and poverty alleviation, strengthen knowledge sharing and technical exchanges in agricultural production, technical innovation, smallholder development and rural public works and deepen agricultural cooperation, so as to make a "BRICS contribution" to global food security. Second, BRICS should uphold the multilateral trading system based on WTO rules, increase policy alignment in agricultural trade and explore a sustainable matching-making system for supply and demand, in order to ensure a smooth circulation of agricultural products, inputs and other bulk commodities. With greater economic connectivity and win-win solutions, BRICS will provide a sound momentum for economic recovery in the post-pandemic era. Third, BRICS countries should expand their partnerships and tap the potential of cooperation with international community. In particular, BRICS should strengthen multi-bilateral agricultural cooperation with more developing countries and international organizations under the BRICS mechanism, and provide "BRICS solutions" to global food and agriculture governance.

The Meeting, chaired by Ma Youxiang, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the PRC, also witnessed the opening of a concurrent symposium on BRICS rural development and poverty alleviation. The attendees shared their good practices with an aim to build consensus, tap cooperation potential and seek solutions to address challenges and achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Attendees addressing the opening ceremony of the 12th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture included: BRICS ministers of agriculture; Mr. Zhao Yide, Governor of Shaanxi Province; Mr. Jamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of Uzbekistan; Mr. Liu Huanxin, Head of the National Rural Revitalization Administration (Keynote Speaker). In addition, a number of diplomats of developing countries and representatives of BRICS universities and enterprises as well as international institutions and organizations also participated in the exchanging activities.

The Meeting also announced the establishment of a BRICS forum on agriculture and rural development as a new institutional platform to further exchanges and cooperation among BRICS countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Introduced the recent series of meetings and activities under the BRICS framework (Министерство иностранных дел рассказало о серии недавних встреч и мероприятий в рамках БРИКС) / China, June, 2022
Keywords: mofa, cooperation

On June 2,2022, Foreign Ministry Spoke Zhao Lijian briefed on the recent series of meetings and activities under the BRICS framework at the regular press conference.

China Daily:From May 23 to 26, a series of meetings have been successfully held, including the BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting, the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture, the first meeting of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation and the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education. Some outcome documents have also been released. Could you offer more details?

Zhao Lijian:Recently, the BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting, the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture, the first meeting of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation and the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education have been successfully held. Officials at ministerial level from BRICS countries have conducted in-depth exchanges of views on cooperation in such areas as industry, culture, space and education. They reached broad consensus and released multiple outcome documents. To be specific, the 6th BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting adopted the Joint Declaration of the 6th BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting, agreeing to promote the digital transformation of traditional industries and beefing up cooperation in industrial chains and supply chains. The Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture adopted the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2022-2026), and all parties agreed to uphold inclusiveness and mutual learning and deepen practical cooperation in the field of culture and contribute "BRICS strength" to the progress of human civilization. The meeting of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation adopted documents on the joint committee's terms of reference, agreeing to improve the BRICS countries' capability for remote sensing satellite constellation, jointly enhance the efficacy of the data and better serve the sustainable socioeconomic development of the BRICS countries. The Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education reaffirmed the joint commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on education and specified the priority and direction for the BRICS countries' cooperation in education going forward.

As the BRICS chair this year, China will host the 14th BRICS Summit and other events. With the active support of all parties, more than 60 meetings and events have been successfully held. This has been highly praised by all parties, and contributed positively to deepening practical cooperation across the board and yielded fruitful results for BRICS leaders' meetings.

Going forward, a series of meetings and events will be held under the BRICS framework. You are welcome to continuously follow and support them. Specific information will be released in a timely manner through the official website of the 14th BRICS Summit and other channels.

World of Work
Ученые БРИКС предлагают инновационное сотрудничество (Ученые БРИКС предлагают инновационное сотрудничество) / China, June, 2022
Keywords: cooperation, think_tank_council

Scholars from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa attended a BRICS seminar on the theme of high-quality shared development that was held online in Beijing on Tuesday.

The online seminar was sponsored by the Bureau of International Cooperation, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Institute of Latin American Studies, CASS, in support of the 14th BRICS Summit that will be held in China later this month. The Office of Xiamen Leading Group for BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution Innovation Center co-organized the forum.

Scholars exchanged opinions on the BRICS's role and development in the international system, global development as well as the coordination of various global and regional development strategies.

Participants stressed the growing importance of innovation in the BRICS mechanism and cooperation, and how it should have greater say in the international system to protect the interests of developing countries. The innovation of "BRICS Plus" cooperation was reiterated.

Wang Lei, director-general of the Bureau of International Cooperation, CASS, said, "China's proposals, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, provide a fundamental guidance for BRICS to deepen security and development cooperation."

According to Edith Dinong Phaswana, director of Academic Programs, Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs in South Africa, initiating proposals enable China with greater flexibility and room in the international system, which the BRICS needs to consider when making contributions to the transformation of the international order.

Vladimir Petrovsky, professor of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Russia, proposed that developing nations better ready a plan B to avoid negative consequences of unexpected developments such as the sanctions imposed on Russia.

Speaking of South-South cooperation in just transition, Renata Albuquerque Ribeiro, research Fellow of Plataforma CIPO in Brazil, said, "composed of the world's major developing countries, the BRICS is the most possible approach for developing countries to explore energy transformation.

Andrey Kortunov, director-general of the Russian International Affairs Council, said diverse regional integration strategies have made an impact on the BRICS and the "BRICS Plus" could be a new form of multilateral economic cooperation to help the BRICS out.
BRICS countries should cooperate on food security: Chinese official (Страны БРИКС должны сотрудничать в вопросах продовольственной безопасности — китайский чиновник) / China, June, 2022
Keywords: cooperation, quotation, social_issues

BEIJING -- BRICS countries should deepen cooperation on food security and poverty reduction to contribute to global food security, said China's agriculture minister Tang Renjian on Wednesday.

Tang, minister of agriculture and rural affairs, made the remarks while attending the 12th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture via video link.

To tackle the challenges to global food security, Tang called on BRICS countries to resolutely safeguard the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its center, enhance the synergy of agricultural trade policies, and further expand partnerships with stronger multilateral and bilateral cooperation on agriculture.

The meeting adopted a joint statement of BRICS agriculture ministers and a document on BRICS food security cooperation strategy. It also announced the establishment of a forum on the agriculture and rural affairs development of BRICS countries.

Despite the severe challenges brought by COVID-19 and natural disasters, China has managed to ensure enough food for over 1.4 billion people through its own efforts, making a contribution to global food security, said Tang.

With the theme of cooperation on agriculture and rural areas among BRICS countries, the meeting this year focused on topics such as global food security and poverty reduction.

BRICS Business Council Successfully Held Beijing Import and Export Online Fair (South America) (Деловой совет БРИКС успешно провел Пекинскую онлайн-ярмарку импорта и экспорта (Южная Америка)) / China, June, 2022

From May 18 to 25, the BRICS Business Council successfully held "Beijing Import and Export Online Fair (South America)". The conference is one of the series cross-border matchmaking activities for BRICS enterprises. The conference attracted more than 80 enterprises from Brazil, more than 300 enterprises from China and more than 600 enterprises from other three South American countries like Argentina、Peru and Chile to participate online. The event set up an exclusive online business matchmaking platform and held continuous negotiations via various forms including "negotiation during exhibition" and "special negotiation event". Over 300 cooperation intentions were reached.

The special event for Brazil, organized by ICBC and co-organized by Brazilian confederation of industry, China-Brazil Business Council and VX Trade, attracted nearly 100 Chinese and Brazilian enterprises to sign up. After precise industry matching and careful grouping, some 50 enterprises were finally invited to participate online. After eight rounds of negotiations, enterprises from China and Brazil gained a deep understanding of respective supply and demand and reached nearly 20 preliminary cooperation agreements, with an amount of over USD 80 million. During the fair, an import & export company from Anhui had an in-depth trade talk with a Brazilian supplier and they reached a preliminary cooperation agreement. The two will further discuss transaction details in future. A trade company from St. Paulo, Brazil was favored by many Chinese buyers. After interactive Q&As for nearly half an hour, it found a potential business counterpart, and the two will later sign a cooperation agreement.

Other country-specific events for Argentina, Peru, Chil were also held during the conference, as well as special industry fairs such as anti-pandemic supplies, digital ecosystem, fashion & life, Leading SMEs specialized in niche sectors etc. At the 2022 Argentina-China Cloud Matchmaking Fair" (50th Anniversary of China-Argentina Diplomatic Relations Session), ICBC organized more than 70 online "one-to-one" negotiation rooms to build a bridge for in-depth negotiations between enterprises, at which 80% reached a preliminary cooperation agreement. So far, ICBC has held "Argentina-China Cloud Matchmaking Fair" for three years in a row, organized four training series on"new opportunities in economic and trade cooperation between China and Argentina"and served more than 300 Chinese and Argentine SMEs. Those efforts have effectively brought the exchange and cooperation between China and Argentina up to a new level.
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