In the 11th annual meeting, the BRICS countries met last week in Brazil with the theme of the summit this year as Economic Growth for an Innovative Future’.
BRICS is currently a group of five major developing economies. Initially, the bloc included only four nations and was termed as BRIC, as South Africa became a member of the bloc only in 2010.
As leaders did voice upon the questions of multilateralism in the summit, prime minister Modi has articulated a vision for strengthening and reforming the multilateral system itself. He has underlined India’s outlook for multilateralism, and made it clear that it isn’t a step to reinforce the status quo of multilateralism but to reform it since this is what BRICS had originally planned to do.
During the plenary session, Modi stressed on intra-BRICS trade and goods and services, and welcomed the BRICS joint statements endorsement on reformed multilateralism.
The Summit will be an opportunity for India to lay the groundwork for hosting the 2021 Summit scheduled in India. The last Summit took place in Goa in 2016. India will also be mindful of the fact that the G20 Summit to be hosted in India will take place in 2022, and this will not only be an opportunity to synergise the two agendas from New Delhi’s lens but also to exercise the best diplomatic and beneficial instruments for Indian foreign policy to foster.
In a statement, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of a rule-based world order which represents diversity, equality and prosperity. He stressed on the challenges to sovereignty arising from factors like terrorism which seeks to undermine the nation-state.
• In addition, since India has been a world leader in film production and technology India will host the BRICS film technology symposium in conjunction with FICCI frames in Mumbai in March 2020.
• At the same time, the Prime Minister also announced his intention to build on the workshops hosted on traditional medicine and have a BRICS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on traditional medicine, an initiative that was taken up under India’s presidency of BRICS in 2016.
Water and Sustainance~
He proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India in order to push for sustainable water management and clean sanitation.
“Sustainable water management and sanitation are important challenges in urban areas. I propose to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India,” he said.
Narendra Modi met Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on the sidelines of the Summit on November 13, 2019. The Brazilian President accepted PM Modi’s invitation to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day on January 26, 2020.
During their bilateral talks, the two leaders touched upon areas such as agricultural equipment, biofuels, post-harvest technologies and animal husbandry for potential investment from Brazil.
They also agreed to comprehensively enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries. The two leaders also discussed other areas of cooperation such as defence and space sector. Jair Bolsonaro informed PM Modi that he would be accompanied by a large business delegation during his visit to India in January. Further, the Brazilian President’s decision to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens was welcomed by the Indian Prime Minister.
When Jinping and Putin met Modi in the sidelines~
India and China are preparing for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China in 2020. During the bilateral talks, the Sino head invited PM Modi to China for the third informal summit between the two nations in 2020.
The leaders also reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and security in border areas and exchanged views on many issues including RCEP, WTO and BRICS.
Also the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi met, the two leaders noted that the USD 25 billion bilateral trade target by 2025 has already been achieved. And, Prime Minister Modi accepted the Russian President’s invitation to participate in Russia’s Victory Day celebrations in 2020.