FORTALEZA, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the BRICS countries to expand economic cooperation.
“I am confident that closer cooperation between the BRICS states in the area of economy and finance will facilitate the implementation of really large-scale joint programs in the interests of sustainable development of our countries,” Putin said on Tuesday at a plenary meeting of the summit of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
The BRICS Business Council currently works on a number of promising multi-party projects, including those aiming at improving investment climate. Moreover, the BRICS banking forum has been functioning efficiently. “An important area of economic cooperation is a stock exchange alliance,” Putin said, adding that this alliance ensured cross-listing of shares of more than 7,000 companies from the BRICS countries with an overall capitalization of about $8 trillion by means of expanding the circle of investors and helping to bolster liquidity of shares.
Putin noted that the BRICS had more than 20 cooperation formats - from annual summits to working groups on international information security, healthcare, farming, science and technology, and others.
Draft strategy of multy-party economic cooperation
Russia has prepared a draft strategy of multi-party economic cooperation between the BRICS countries, Putin saida plenary meeting of the summit of the leaders of the BRICS countries.
“The Russian side has prepared a draft strategy of multi-party economic cooperation between the BRICS countries. We refer it for discussion. We think it is expedient to set up a working group to work on the draft strategy,” he said.
The Russian leader noted that, in conditions of toughening international competition, the task of encouraging closer trade and investment cooperation within the BRICS was coming to the fore. Closer cooperation, according to Putin, would make it possible to take maximum advantages of the mutual supplementary nature of the BRICS economies. Moreover, it would reduce exposure of each of the BRICS member states to unfavorable tendencies of the global market situation.
“Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa are already accounting for 11% of cumulative investments and for about 20% of global trade,” the Russian president said. “Trade among BRICS countries is growing, too.”
The key provisions of the strategy, according to Putin, are specified in another document prepared by the Russian side - a roadmap of investment cooperation, which incorporates 37 projects in various areas from high technologies to humanitarian matters.
Cooperation in mining and processing
Russia calls on its BRICS partners to expand cooperation in mining and processing, Putin said. “BRICS state should cooperate more closely on the raw materials markets, since they have a unique base of raw materials: from 30 to 60% of the global reserves of various resources,” the Russian leader said. “That is why we think it is necessary to expand cooperation in mining and processing. We can organize a training center for BRICS metallurgy specialists.”
The Russian president also called for expanding humanitarian cooperation, to form the BRICS parliamentary, civil, trade union and youth cooperation formats. Apart from that, Putin suggested signing an agreement on cultural cooperation and setting up a BRICS Network University that would incorporate leading universities of these countries.
Cooperation on GLONASS
The Russian president noted that joint use of Russia’s GLONASS navigation system by the BRICS countries looks quite promising.
“I think it rather promising to jointly use the Russian global navigation system GLONASS in various areas - in transport, in public security, even in agriculture, where the use of GLONASS technologies, according to expert estimates, might help increase crop yield by 30-50% through optimized application of fertilizers,” Putin said at a plenary session of the summit meeting of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Growing global role of BRICS
The association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is playing a significant role in global politics and economy, Putin stressed.
“Our countries are playing an ever growing role on the global political arena,” he said. “It is important that we are united by the commitment to share positions on issues of global development, reforming the global financial and economic architecture.”
The BRICS countries, according to the Russian leader, are successfully cooperating within the G20, promoting substantive relevance of its agenda and agreements targeted to accelerate global economic growth and trade and find solutions to unemployment problems. “We are working together to promote the solution of one of the most acute problems of global governance, the reform of the International Monetary Fund,” he said.