Representing over 40 per cent of the world’s population,the leaders of five leading economies- Brazil,Russia,India,China and South Africa (BRICS)- will meet here tomorrow to discuss ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.
The leaders have been arriving since yesterday for the fourth Summit,which is themed ‘BRICS Partnership for Global Stability,Security and Prosperity’.
While Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived this afternoon,accompanied by a high-profile delegation comprising Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi,State Councillor Dai Bingguo,senior ministers and business leaders,Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,who arrived early this morning,has a big business group apart from senior officials.
Brazil President Dilma Roussef arrived yesterday morning,while South African President Jacob Zuma arrived with his wife Nompumelelo Ntuli and official delegation this morning.
Ahead of the Summit tomorrow,the leaders will attend a banquet hosted by President Pratibha Patil in the evening.
There is also a bilateral meeting between Russian President with his Chinese counterpart.
After the Summit,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold bilaterals with the leaders,including the Chinese President that will cover various issues including bridging the trade deficit and fast-tracking the new confidence-building measures.
In the meeting,India is expected is to raise the issue of huge imbalance in bilateral trade which has exceeded about USD 70 billion,with the surplus heavily in China’s favour.
Singh will also hold bilateral talks with the Russian President during which civil nuclear cooperation and other strategic issues are likely to figure.
At the Summit during which India will take over the chairmanship of BRICS,the member countries are expected to sign two enabling agreements — Master Agreement on Extending Credit Facilities in Local Currency and another one on local credit facility.
The BRICS nations had during their last summit in Sanya in China had signed a framework agreement to enable them to grant credit in local currencies.
Though the BRICS countries have sharply varying political systems,they share some common geopolitical,economic and trading interests.
BRICS has no fixed agenda,but on certain issues like reform of the United Nations; greater representation in Bretton Woods institutions; managing global financial crisis and boosting intra-BRICS trade and cooperation,they mostly have common positions.
BRICS traces its origin to the BRIC acronym coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’ Neill in a paper entitled ‘The World Needs Better Economic BRICs,’ based an economic modelling exercise to forecast global economic trends over the next half century. He predicted that Brazil,Russia,India and China will become major economic powers over the next few decades.
Till 2011,it was BRIC and later with the inclusion of South Africa in a Summit in Sanya in April last year,the grouping became BRICS.
BRICS accounts for 26 per cent of the world’s landmass and 42 per cent of the global population,including India and China,two of the world’s most populous countries.
It accounts for 40 per cent of global GDP (USD 18.486 trillion) and its proportion is rapidly increasing.
The first BRICS Summit was held in Yekaterinburg,Russia (2009),followed by Brasilia (2010) and Sanya,China (2011).