DURBAN, March 26 (Itar-Tass) – The mutual trade between the BRICS states will exceed 500 billion dollars in two years, Russian Minister of Economic Development Andrei Belousov said with confidence in his speech at the BRICS Business Forum before the opening of a BRICS summit in Durban on Tuesday.
“The figure of 500 billion dollars in mutual trade by 2015 will not only be reached, but also will be exceeded,” the Russian minister said. Meanwhile, he noted that “the period of extensive development of economic ties between the BRICS states is over and the BRICS states should pass to a new period of investments and production cooperation.”
In his view, the establishment of a permanent BRICS Business Council by Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa will help to accomplish this task. The leaders of the BRICS states will announce the establishment of the BRICS Business Council at an upcoming BRICS summit. “This council will help develop the direct dialogue between the business quarters,” Belousov noted.
Agriculture, the energy sector, infrastructure, mining, pharmaceuticals, information and communication technologies will become the most important trends of cooperation in the near future, he said. “The Russian delegation has brought concrete projects on these trends in Durban,” the minister stated.
Belousov noted that Russia “supported with enthusiasm the South African initiative as the host of the BRICS summit to boost cooperation with the African countries.” He believes that this cooperation will confirm that the BRICS group is developing as “a new mutually beneficial and just mechanism of cooperation in world economy.”
The minister also made public the current economic figures of Russian development, which, in his view, make Russia a promising and reliable economic partner. For instance, he said that Russia is ranked sixth in the world for the GDP rate in terms of the purchasing power parity, the country’s gold and foreign currency reserves reached 520 billion dollars, the size of the Reserve Fund and the National Welfare Fund reached 171 billion dollars. The unemployment rate is at the historically lowest level.
“Today Russia is an island of macroeconomic stability,” Belousov said to the applauds of the participants in the forum.