In a significant step towards enhanced economic cooperation, India, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa on Thursday signed an agreement that will enable them to provide credit to each other in local currencies and collaborate in capital markets and other financial services.
The Agreement was signed by the designated banks of the five countries at a Summit of Brazil-Russia-India-China- South Africa (BRICS) here which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The pact was signed in tune with the BRICS countries’ commitment to increased cooperation in economic, finance and trade matters to support their sustained national economic growth and contribute to the “long-term steady, sound and balanced growth of the world economy.”“Our designated banks have signed a framework agreement on financial cooperation which envisages grant of credit in local currencies and cooperation in capital markets and other financial services,” Prime Minister Singh announced at a joint press conference along with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma.
Earlier, addressing the Summit, Dr. Singh said the challenge before the BRICS countries was to harness the vast potential that exists among them as all are rich in resources, material and human.
“We have the opportunity to give concrete meaning to the concept of sustainable and balanced development, and produce innovative models of development,” he said.
Dr. Singh said India stood ready to work with other BRICS countries to realize these goals.
Our economy is more open and more connected to the world than it has been in the past. Our financial and capital markets are sound, and eager to absorb foreign direct investment.
“We have put in place ambitious schemes for the social and infrastructure sectors which have begun to bear fruit. The creative energies of our people have been unleashed. The economy is well on its way to a long term annual growth rate of more than nine per cent,” the Prime Minister told the leaders of other fast emerging economies.
He remarked that BRICS had travelled a long distance in a short span of two years since the first Summit in 2009.
Referring to the international economic and financial situation, he said the “quality and durability” of the recovery process in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis “depends to a great measure on how the BRICS economies perform.”
He said the BRICS countries had reason to be satisfied with the management of their economies, “but there is no room for complacency.”
Dr. Singh said the BRICS countries, as members of the G-20, closely cooperate with the rest of the world.
“We will continue to do so as we prepare for the next G-20 Summit in France.” The Sanya Declaration, adopted at the Summit, said, “the world economy is gradually recovering from the financial crisis, but still faces uncertainties.”
The BRICS countries asked major economies to continue to enhance coordination of macro-economic policies and work together to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
Referring to the next G-20 Summit to be held in France, the Declaration said the BRICS countries expected “new positive” outcomes in the fields of economy, finance, trade and development.
BRICS nations speak out against use of force in Libya
India and four other nations of the BRICS grouping collectively voiced their opposition to the use of force in Libya and pitched for a central role for the United Nations and regional organisations in resolving the matter.
Reflecting on the situation in the Middle East and North African countries at the Summit of Brazil-Russia- India-China-South Africa (BRICS), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed that there was a “shift of power towards ordinary citizens” and “people were determining their own future”.
Dr. Singh, along with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma, discussed the volatile situation in that region, particularly Libya, and its impact on the five emerging nations.
“We share the principle that the use of force should be avoided,” said a Declaration issued in China after Summit.
The Declaration, however, refrained from calling for an end to the NATO airstrikes on Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s military assets.
The five countries, all of which are interestingly members of the UN Security Council at present, pledged to continue their cooperation in the world body on Libya.
While Russia and China are the permanent members, India, Brazil and South Africa are non-permanent members.
“We are of the view that all the parties should resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the UN and regional organisations should as appropriate play their role,” said the Declaration of the Summit.
They expressed support for the African Union High-Level Panel Initiative on Libya.
Expressing concern over the “turbulence” in the Middle East, the North African and West African regions, the leaders said, “We underscore that the concurrent presence of all five BRICS countries in the Security Council during the year of 2011 is a valuable opportunity to work closely together on issues of peace and security, to strengthen multilateral approaches and to facilitate future coordination on issues under UN Security Council consideration”.
They “sincerely” wished that the affected countries achieve peace, stability, prosperity and progress and “enjoy their due standing and dignity in the world according to legitimate aspirations of their peoples”.
The BRICS maintained that independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of each nation should be respected.