President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, friends, let me welcome you all to St Petersburg.
By tradition we have an informal exchange of opinions with our BRICS colleagues ahead of the G20 meeting. This is a very good practice, and I’m sure it will achieve substantial positive results.
Our agenda is comprised of three main issues. We will discuss coordinating approaches on key aspects of the G20 summit. BRICS countries have contributed constructively to the substantive content of Russia’s priorities as the presiding country.
A considerable package of agreements has been prepared for the G20 summit. The main one is the St Petersburg Action Plan. We also have to think together about one of the most problematic global governance issues, namely the International Monetary Fund reform.
We consider establishing the BRICS Development Bank to be one of our group’s most important achievements. Its initial charter capital will be $50 billion.
The implementation of initiatives to establish a foreign exchange fund are in their final stages; BRICS countries agreed on a contingent arrangement of $100 billion. Russia will also contribute to this work.
Thank you for your attention. Once again, as the host of today’s event allow me to welcome you to Russia and to St Petersburg. We are pleased to give the floor to the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, current chairman of BRICS, who will chair our meeting.
Thank you very much.