The first BRICS Trade and Economic Ministers’ Meeting was held on April13 inSanya,Hainan. Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, South African Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Brazilian Deputy Foreign Minister Carneiro Leao, and Russian Vice Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev were present at the Meeting.
Topics of deliberation at the Meeting were: 1. the world economic situation and macro-policies of each country post financial crisis; 2. to deepen trade and economic cooperation under BRICS cooperation mechanism; 3. to safeguard the interests of developing countries under BRICS multilateral cooperation.
Since international financial crisis in 2008, the recovery of world economy remains, however, it is uneven and faces risks. In particular, uncertainties of the world economy have been intensified by the sovereignty debt crisis in Europe, the recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hitJapan. BRICS countries should continue making contributions to the global economic growth. The Meeting called on all countries to strengthen coordination on macro-economic policies so as to secure world economic recovery and achieve a robust, sustainable and balanced growth.
The Meeting reviewed achievements of trade and economic cooperation among BRICS countries. From 2001 to 2010, trade among the five BRICS countries grew at an annual rate in average of 28%, reaching nearly US$230 billion. The Meeting agreed to intensify cooperation among member countries through expanding mutual trade and investment and committed to oppose trade and investment protectionism in all its forms. For this objective, the Meeting agreed to set up a liaison group, put forward organizational set-up and specific measures, based on the analysis on the current trade and economic cooperation among BRICS and scientific assessment on its development trend, so as to expand the economic cooperation among BRICS countries and South-South Cooperation with other developing countries.
Additionally, ministers reiterated their support for Russian accession into the WTO and discussed that BRICS countries collaborate in the multilateral cooperation to safeguard the benefits of developing countries. The ministers also maintained that it was necessary for the BRICS countries to strengthen communication and coordination in G-20, climate change negotiations, development cooperation and other multilateral arenas so that the interests of developing countries would be better upheld.
BRICS countries, namelyBrazil,Russia,India,ChinaandSouth Africa, are the most typical emerging countries. The five countries’ population was about 3 billion, making up 42 percent of the world’s total and their combined gross domestic product (GDP) was US$11 trillion, accounting for 18 percent of the global GDP. Their trade volume took up 15 percent of the world’s total, reaching US$4.6 trillion. Given their different resource endowment and technologies, industries of the five countries have strong complementarity. In addition, the five countries have become “pacemakers” in global economic recovery for their great performance when coping with the financial crisis.
After the meeting, ministers of the five countries jointly met the press.Yi Xiaozhun,China’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the WTO, was present at related activities.
Source: Ministry of Commerce Website; http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/newsrelease/significantnews/201104/20110407498539.html