Historic BRICS Summit 2017: Marching towards new heights and glory

China Plus Published: 2017-09-07 12:12:15
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By Prasoon Sharma

BRICS cooperation alliance was launched in 2006 with an idea for inclusive growth and susceptible development. It was in 2001 when renowned economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC and also forecasted that the share of BRIC economy would rapidly increase in global economy in a decade. It was in 2010 that South Africa joined the forum and since then new acronym BRICS came in origin. 

The 9th BRICS summit is hosted by China. In last ten years, BRICS had witnessed progress and efforts to furnish rewarding and admirable results. BRICS , an developing nations alliance that has 43% of global population and 22% of global GDP, has strongly placing itself in global arena as a team of nations who are willing to support each other and play vital role in initiating business and trade offs. 

In last decade, GDP of BRICS increased by 179% and trade among bricks nation has gone up by 94%. It’s estimated that combined GDP of BRICS will be bigger than G7 in next 20 years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, Sept. 5, 2017. Modi came to Xiamen to attend the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, Sept. 5, 2017. Modi came to Xiamen to attend the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries. [Photo: Xinhua]

But in last two years, trade among the BRICS nations declined by 320 billion dollars. Therefore, BRICS nation should analyze and find solutions.

Indian PM Modi at BRICS 9th Summit tried to address the above issues by mentioning about:

•International solar alliance , 

•Strengthen Cooperation for digital economy, 

•Innovation action plan which includes research and development along with the promotion of various startups. 

With the formation of Credit party agency it is aspired that the BRICS nations will get funding not only for green business but for other infrastructural projects as well. India has always pitched its economic agenda on BRICS forum but with better cohesiveness among the BRICS nation the agenda has increased its horizon from financial matter to security and to counter terrorism issues faced by international community.

India is becoming the second most competitive BRICS economy and is expected to grow faster. India’s competitiveness has been bettered in different areas to name in particular goods market efficiency, business enhancement and innovation. The better monetary and fiscal policies along with the lower oil prices, India has secured a 39th rank among 138 countries on Global competitive index 2015-16. Though experts agree that India’s competitiveness is affected by the poor digital connect of nation. Indian Prime Minister at BRICS 9th Summit showcased the success of Digital India Plan (DIP) and asked for greater cooperation among BRICS nation for digital economy. This gave strong thrift to my idea of synergizing Digital India Plan (DIP) and China Internet Plus (CIP). 

BRICS nation had in last decade covered various steps towards the growth and enhancement of trading options among themselves. BRICS New development bank (NDB) is an initiation towards strengthening of BRICS countries economy. Chaired by Indian banker K.V.Kamath, NDB would provide funds to strengthen infrastructure of five nations. China and Russia has surplus which could be lended to other three members of the forum. 

Xiaman BRICS’s summit took historic and commendable steps by finalizing following:

- Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation, 

-Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation (2017-20), 

-Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation, and 

-Memorandum of Understanding between the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation 

It is important to mention that all five nations have economic growth plans and each country is competing with one another. There lies a deeper responsibility on all nations to ensure that BRICS does not mere remain an acronym to defy the western associations but ensure growth prospects for all. BRICS is trying to connect economic power into geopolitical cloud but how these countries would progress in making BRICS association as geopolitical platform is still unclear. As China is the most progressed and strong member of the union it should support other BRICS countries to grow. Some border issues also raise serious concerns over alignment of BRICS nation as unison. But, Xiamen BRICS summit will be remembered in history because India-China didn't allowed their differences to effect BRICS summit. Rather, both India-China put their sincere efforts to resolve all the issues to make BRICS 2017 summit a success.

In recent years BRICS agenda has progressively expanded from just economics to global governance and security. In 9th BRICS summit declaration all the alliance nations had strongly condemned and named several terror groups.

President Xi said that as a cooperation platform with global influence, BRICS cooperation is more than about five countries. “BRICS places high premium on cooperation with other emerging market and developing countries and have established effective dialogue mechanisms with them,” Xi said.

Belt and Road Initiative is one of the important projects of China. If India joins BRI this can not only boost growth of two countries but of the whole world. BRICS forum in coming years could serve as a platform for improving the relations with neighboring countries. 

India is an important member of BRICS association and its demographic dividend provides an edge globally. Though, the nation had advantage of having young and dynamic workforce but still improvement in their skill is a challenge. Resolving quality/competency issues of talent would   improve people to people contact and thus would open better job prospects for youngsters. Xiamen BRICS summit is certainly as of now appears to reaffirm commitment of its alliance on promoting skill development, innovation, trade, and cultural cooperation.

This BRICS summit appears to be more successful than expected. A productive and open discussion on topics related to trade or terrorism etc. had happened. By signing of innovation action plan, discussion over forming of credit rating agency signifies that BRICS summit is moving towards institutionalization. The 9th BRICS summit appears to be a success as the nations have surpassed their personal differences and have channelized towards economic growth.

(Prasoon Sharma is a fellow at India Global, a think tank formed by US and UK-based Indians)

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