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DURBAN, March 27 (Itar-Tass) – Russia calls for boosting mutual trade and investments using the BRICS potential, President Vladimir Putin during a working lunch with representatives of business circles on Wednesday.
"Russia advocates a more effective use of BRICS' economic potential while leaning on business, in order to boost mutual trade, investments and industrial and technological cooperation," Putin said, "the establishment of a BRICS Development Bank will certainly provide good support to this work."
"BRICS has a unique place in the global economy. It is the world's largest market. Our countries account for 40 percent of the planet's population /2.9 billion people/. BRICS states possess huge natural resources, a ready industrial basis and skilled personnel. They create almost 30 percent of the world's GDP.
"It is important that our countries keep fast economic growth rates. The aggregate annual growth rates reached 4 percent in 2012 versus 0.7 percent for the G-7 countries. "The different is more than five-fold," Putin said noting that the figure was impressive.
Putin underlined that Russia and its economy are open for new trade and investment projects. Russia keeps a trade surplus /195 billion dollars in 2012/, and consistently reduces unemployment /which is at a record low of 5.5 percent/. We secured a predictable rouble exchange rate and consumer price dynamics. Russia is pursuing a responsible and well-calculated budget policy. The government debt is one of the smallest in the world at 2.5 percent," the president noted, adding that "we're ready to strengthen cooperation in high technologies, space exploration and science development."
In 2012, Russia's trade with BRICS reached a record high 105 billion dollars. The Russian president expressed confidence that trade potential had not been fully tapped.