President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Zuma, heads of state and government, ladies and gentlemen,
Russia will continue developing close cooperation with its BRICS partners and will do everything it can to facilitate the group’s development.
Our hosts’ active position has enabled us to hold a very energetic and productive summit. The eThekwini Declaration that we approved today reflects in full our countries’ common positions on a wide range of global political and economic issues.
The ambitious BRICS Action Plan for the coming year that we adopted today includes new areas of cooperation such as information security, joint efforts to combat drugs trafficking and terrorism, and promotion of youth and educational exchanges.
Economic partnership issues were discussed in detail at the summit. Russia supports the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank. We think that work should now continue at the expert level to settle the principles and rules for the institution’s operations.
The BRICS countries are aware of their role and responsibility as global growth leaders. As has already been noted today, our countries account for more than 27 percent of world gross domestic product – a total of $15.4 trillion.
We reaffirmed our commitment to continue expand trade and investment flows, strengthen our technical and industrial cooperation, stimulate the growth of our huge domestic markets, and carry out mutually advantageous business projects in third countries.
Russia put forward the initiative to draft a long-term economic cooperation strategy that would take into account national development plans and help to consolidate growth in all of the BRICS economies.
The summit paid particular attention to expanding business ties. We hope that the establishment of the BRICS Business Council will bring new substance and initiatives to our business communities’ work.
It is symbolic that all of our countries are putting the emphasis on not just the pace but also the quality of economic growth. This requires us to introduce the most stringent and advanced environmental and nature protection standards.
In this respect I note the signing of the multilateral agreement on financing green economy projects, including use of energy-saving technology and recycling of raw materials.
Development assistance is another important aspect of our work together, and in this respect we have signed the multilateral agreement on co-financing infrastructure projects in Africa. This shows the BRICS group’s interest in expanding our cooperation with the African continent.
In conclusion, I want to thank the hosts and organisers of today’s summit for their hard work and for their leadership in reaching the results achieved today.
Thank you all very much.