The BRICS meet is intended to coordinate positions among the five big developing economies of the world, so that they can pull in their combined weight at the G20 Summit.
Modi called for close coordination on unaccounted money stashed abroad, and said that its repatriation to India was a key priority for his government. “Unaccounted money abroad is also linked to security challenges,” he told the leaders of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.
At the informal meeting, the five leaders also took stock of the progress made in the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) that was agreed upon in the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza in Brazil in mid-July this year.
The leaders asked their finance ministers to designate the president and vice-presidents of the new bank well in advance of the next BRICS Summit.
Modi said the NDB and the CRA signal the group’s collective capacity to create and manage global institutions. India hoped to ratify the agreement by the end of the year, he said. “We will soon nominate our candidate for the post of the presidency,” the PM said in his opening remarks.
The seventh BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in the Russia city of Ufa in the middle of next year. “The leaders also announced the setting up of an interim Board of Directors that will lead the next phase establishing the NDB,” a media note on the informal meeting said.
The leaders also asked the governors of their central banks to ensure that the Inter-Central Bank Agreement foreseen in the CRA be concluded by the time of the Summit in Russia.
The PM said the NDB could be effective in promoting sustainable development and bridging infrastructure gaps. “We can be more aligned to local conditions and requirements. We should focus on next generation infrastructure,” he said. According to Modi, BRICS could promote new models of governance and financing, while maintaining the highest standards of banking.
The leaders — President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Xi Jinping of China, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, and Prime Minister Modi — exchanged views and shared perspectives on measures to promote growth and create jobs. The G20 has set a target for growing their economies by an additional 2 per cent over the next five years. They also discussed issues related to infrastructure, trade, energy, strengthening of the financial system, and cooperation in tax matters.
At the fifth Summit in Fortaleza, India had wrenched the presidency of the NDB, while China had got to locate the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai. India also got BRICS to agree to same contributions to the bank’s capital. The 72-point declaration included the announcement on the bank, with an authorised capital of $ 100 billion, and a CRA of $100 billion.
At the informal meeting on Saturday, the five leaders reiterated their commitment towards the expeditious ratification of both instruments. These instruments would contribute to the stability of the international financial system, they noted.