The second BRICS summit that gets underway here on March 29 could set the ball rolling on a pact for extending cross-country credit in local currencies of member nations.
This comes at a time when development banks of Brazil,Russia,India,China and South Africa are said to be in advanced stage of reaching a path-breaking currency agreement.
Such intra-BRICS initiatives will not only contribute to enhanced intra-BRICS trade and investments but would also facilitate our economic growth in difficult economic times, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today.
Sharma and the other four BRICS trade ministers would be meeting on Wednesday,in the run-up to the summit on Thursday. Inter-BRICS trade is estimated at around $85 billion.
Sharma said there is a large untapped growth potential of intra-BRICS trade and investments,at a time when demand slowdown in the western markets are hurting export and growth prospects of some members,including India. A number of new areas for deepening cooperation among the BRICS countries are expected to be discussed at the meeting.
India as the chair of BRICS till the next summit and draft-country for the action plan will be entrusted with drawing up a realistic timetable of follow-up meetings.
The meeting comes at a time when China has cut its economic growth forecast to 7.5 per cent from 8 per cent earlier. Indias economy is expected to grow by 6.9 per cent in the current fiscal,the slowest pace in three years.
Meanwhile,Li Zhongmin of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences today pushed for setting up of a development bank for the BRICS countries. This would facilitate funds at lower cost. The thinking behind the proposal is that BRICS economies as well as other emerging economies have a large savings base.