Five leaders of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, vowed to deepen and strengthen cooperation in a bid to bolster their role as engines of global economic growth and prosperity.
BRICS leaders made this commitment in the Xiamen Declaration they signed during the 9th BRICS Summit held from September 3-5 in Xiamen, a coastal city of Fujian province in China.
“We will energize our practical cooperation to boost development of BRICS countries,” they stated in the Xiamen Declaration.
After increasing its combined gross domestic product (GDP) by 179 percent in the last 10 years, BRICS leaders believed that more can be done as they commit to second “golden decade” of practical and vigorous cooperation.
“We endeavor to build on our achievements already made with a shared vision for future development of BRICS,” they said.
Last year, BRICS’s trade has increased by 98 percent while their combined GDP hit USD16.3 trillion or 26.9 percent of the world’s number.
BRICS, which has total population of 3.6 billion, also posted USD179 billion worth of outbound investment in 2016 but only 5.7 percent of it took place among its five countries.
“This means BRICS cooperation still has broad space,” Xi said in his remarks during the plenary session attended Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Michel Temer, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In pursuing practical economic cooperation, BRICS leaders emphasized the need to be vigilant against protectionism and inward-looking policies.
“We note that against the backdrop of more solid global economic growth, enhanced resilience and emerging new drivers, BRICS countries continue to play an important role as engines of global growth,” they said in the Xiamen Declaration.
They stressed the importance of an open and inclusive world economy where all countries and peoples can share the benefits of globalization.
“We will continue to firmly oppose protectionism,” BRICS leaders declared.
To foster a more just and equitable international economic order, BRICS promised to enhance communication and coordination with emerging market and developing countries (EMDC) to improve global economic governance.
This year, BRICS Summit was attended by five leaders of EMDCs. They are Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Guinea President Alpha Conde, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Tajikistan President Emomalii Rahmonov and Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.
“We will work together towards enhancement of the voice and representation of BRICS countries and EMDCs in global economic governance and promote an open, inclusive and balanced economic globalization,” they said.
BRICS agreed to explore ways to innovate economically, saying innovation is a key driver for mid and long-term economic growth and global sustainable development.
“Living in the era of digital economy, we are ready to use opportunities it provides and address challenges it poses for the global growth,” they said.
They promised to support the implementation of the BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan 2017-2020 while committing to further promote green development and low-carbon economy.
BRICS also emphasized fairness and justice to safeguard international and regional peace and stability under the guidance of the United Nations.
They condemned the terrorist attacks worldwide, seeking for comprehensive approach to combat terrorism by countering radicalization and blocking its sources of funds.
“We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomever and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. We reaffirm that those responsible must be held accountable,” they stressed.
The leaders also “strongly” deplored the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“We express deep concern over the ongoing tension and prolonged nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” they said.
BRICS, however, underscored the need to address all conflicts based on universally-recognized norms of international relations and not at the expense of the security of others.
“We reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations as the universal multilateral organization entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advance global development and to promote and protect human rights,” they declared.
They expressed strong support for multilateralism and the central role of the UN in international affairs while promised to strengthen cooperation with the UN to increase BRICS’s voice in international fora.
BRICS gave importance of people-to-people exchanges to promote development, mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation.
The leaders agree to deepen cooperation in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, sports and health as well as media organizations and local governments.
With China as rotating chair this year, BRICS has formulated BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap, Outlines for BRICS Investment Facilitation, BRICS E-Commerce Cooperation Initiative, BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation and Action Plan for Deepening Industrial Cooperation.
BRICS has also launched the African Regional Center of the New Development Bank (NDB), set up BRICS Model E-Port Network and reached extensive agreement on taxation, e-commerce, local currency bond, public-private partnership, and the network of financial institutions and services.
During the BRICS Summit, Xi announced that China will launch the Economic and Technical Cooperation Plan for BRICS Countries with RMB 500 million (USD75 million) for the first term to facilitate policy exchange and practical cooperation in the economic and trade fields.
He said China will contribute USD4 million to the NDB Project Preparation Facility to support the business operation and long-term development of the bank established two years ago.
BRICS leaders expressed gratitude to China for the successful hosting of the BRICS Summit while promising support for South Africa as the bloc’s next rotating chair. (PNA)