BRICS to expand functions

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-10 0:43:01

Bloc pledges cooperation on fighting terrorism

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets China's President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony in Ufa, Russia on Thursday at the start of the 7th BRICS summit. Leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) gathered in Ufa on Thursday to discuss regional and global issues. Photo: AFP

Leaders of BRICS nations on Thursday pledged to expand the emerging-market bloc's cooperation from merely economic to areas such as counterterrorism.

Observers said that this signals a new direction in collaboration within BRICS countries, whose global influence has also been on the rise.

The BRICS Ufa Declaration adopted Thursday during the annual BRICS summit, this time in Ufa, Russia, says that BRICS nations will strengthen cooperation to counter international terrorism, giving the central role to the UN, Russia's Sputnik News reported.

BRICS leaders stressed that nothing can justify terrorism whether it is based upon ideology, religion, politics, race, ethnicity, or any other reason.

Fighting against the Islamic State and other associated terrorist groups is outlined as one of the key points of BRICS group, the Ufa Declaration reads.

"Cooperation among BRICS countries will become more profound and wide-ranging after the Ufa Declaration. By including consensus on terrorism, it forms a response to the pressing threat of terrorism worldwide," Li Xing, director of Russian studies at the School of Political Science and International Studies at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times Thursday.

Other points noted in the declaration included reflections on the current state of the global economy and concern "about potential spillover effects from the unconventional monetary policies of the advanced economies."

The Ufa Declaration also makes references to "fascism" and "militarism" during World War II and denounces attempts to rewrite history, but did not mention Japan.

Four-pronged partnership

Addressing the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on BRICS countries to build a four-pronged partnership - safeguarding world peace, boosting common development, promoting diversified civilization and strengthening global economic governance.

Xi also urges BRICS to safeguard the common interests of emerging markets and push for reform of the governance structure of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by increasing representation from emerging and developing countries.

Wu Enyuan, a research fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the summit reflects opposition against unipolarity in the international system by rising powers and a hope for a diversified international political and economic order.

BRICS leaders also held dialogues with heads of international agencies and representatives of the BRICS Business Council. Addressing the summit, Xi said that BRICS countries are facing new challenges, but all economies hold great potential for more cooperation, reported the China News Service.

NDB on track

The New Development Bank (NDB), a multilateral development bank started by BRICS member states, will consider providing reconstruction aid to Syria and other war-torn countries across the world, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, newly appointed chief of the NDB, told Sputnik News.

The declaration said the bank will "serve as a powerful instrument for financing infrastructure investment and sustainable development."

By Tuesday, all member countries had ratified the NDB agreement and had deposited their share of the initial capital.

Kamath said Thursday that the bank plans to raise money on both local and global markets. 

The bank's capital will expand from $50 billion to $100 billion within the next couple of years. It plans to issue its first loans, yet to be agreed, in April - a plan Kamath said was on track.

African pledge

In talks with South African President Jacob Zuma, Xi said that China is willing to strengthen cooperation with South Africa within the BRICS mechanism, while enabling them to play a constructive role in international affairs.

Xi added that China is willing to join hands with Africa to translate their friendship into a cooperation and development momentum.

Another final document approved by the leaders of the five nations is the Strategy of Economic Partnership of BRICS countries up to 2020, which is aimed at expanding multilateral business cooperation with the goal of stepping up social and economic development and increasing the competitiveness of BRICS countries in the global economy, said Russian News Agency TASS.

Tighter cooperation can in turn help BRICS countries deal with economic downturns with improved quality of economic growth and enhanced industrial cooperation, said Su Jingxiang, a research fellow of Center for Globalization Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

China has always been a mainstay and an active team player of BRICS. In the face of economic pressures, China has also presented a model to other BRICS countries with its active adjustment on its economic development, said Fan Yongming, director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Fan suggested that the BRICS group should propose its own development path featuring equality, independence, inclusiveness and environmental protection.

Agencies contributed to the story

Posted in: Diplomacy

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