Seeming to outline his government’s foreign policy approach before leaving for the five-nation BRICS Summit on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will discuss “how we can contribute to international efforts to address regional crisis, address security threats and restore a climate of peace and stability in the world”.
This will be Modi’s first multilateral summit after taking charge on May 26. “I also look forward to our discussions to further advance intra-BRICS economic cooperation and our collective efforts to advance global economic stability and prosperity,” he said in his pre-departure statement.
The Sixth BRICS Summit, being held in Brazil on July 15-16, is expected to see finalisation of the setting-up of the long-discussed BRICS bank — a major initiative of the grouping that together represents 18 per cent of the world trade. The proposed bank, called New Development Bank and with an initial capital of $50 billion, and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement are seen as a counter-weight to the West-dominated financial organisations — the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“In particular, I look forward to the successful conclusion of major BRICS initiatives like the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which have seen significant progress since their launch in New Delhi in 2012. These initiatives will support growth and stability in BRICS and also benefit other developing countries,” said Modi.
The bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, accounts for over 40 per cent of the global population and has a combined GDP of $24 trillion. Modi said the Summit theme, “Inclusive Growth; Sustainable Development”, will enable the group to shape the post-2015 development agenda being discussed in the UN.
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Modi is set to hold bilateral meetings with Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Jacob Zuma of South Africa on the sidelines of the summit. He will also meet the heads of governments of 11 South American countries including Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela who have been invited by Rousseff.
“It will also be an occasion for my first meetings as Prime Minister with the leaders of our important global partners — Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa. I look forward to meaningful meetings with them to intensify bilateral relations and exchange views on global and regional developments,” said Modi.
Stating that he looks forward to meeting the heads of the South American countries, he said, “South America’s all-round progress makes it a potentially important pole of the global economy and a land of enormous opportunities for us. My interactions would enable us to explore new ideas on further consolidating and expanding our ties with South America.”
Modi is accompanied by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.