President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
We continue our meeting in expanded format with the participation of our delegations. In line with the agenda, we will have a detailed discussion of the pressing issues pertaining to BRICS activities, primarily in the economic sphere.
The organisation’s member states play an important role in the global economy. At the end of last year, the BRICS aggregate GDP exceeded $32 trillion, which is a 60 percent growth since the foundation of BRICS accounting for almost 30 percent of the global GDP.
BRICS nations produce a third of the world’s industrial products and one half of agricultural goods. We have huge human resources: 43 percent of the world population – this is an enormous consumer market with a constantly growing demand for modern goods and services.
Close economic cooperation ties the BRICS nations closer together. Internal trade is growing – it has gone up by 70 percent since 2009, while Russia’s trade with its member states, for instance, has doubled.
Last year, the BRICS economies attracted 20.5 percent of the world’s total direct foreign investment, while in 2009 the number stood at only 16.9 percent. The share of our countries in capital investment on the global markets has gone up significantly – from 9.7 to 14 percent.
Significant work has been done to strengthen economic cooperation between the BRICS nations. I would like to note that we see this as support from all our partners in this organisation, and I would like to thank you, colleagues, for this.
Significant work has been done to implement the resolutions of last year’s summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. One of the top achievements was the launch of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement and the New Development Bank. Our countries have successfully completed the ratification of the relevant agreements.
We have approved the procedures for the Contingent Reserve Arrangement bodies and appointed heads of the New Development Bank: Mr Kamath representing India is the bank’s President, and vice-presidents from Russia, Brazil, China and South Africa will assist him in his work.
The Contingent Reserve Arrangement with a capital of $100 billion will make it possible to timely and adequately respond to financial market fluctuations. The New Development Bank, in its turn, with a capital of another $100 billion, will implement large-scale development projects in the organisation’s member states.
We expect to see the first ones launched next year. As we have seen earlier today during the meeting with representatives of the BRICS Business Council, companies from our countries are ready to create joint ventures and enhance mutual investment and trade.
Among the documents prepared for approval by the summit is the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy through 2020. It sets the task of making our economies more competitive on the global markets, strengthening ties in energy, high technology, agriculture, science and education. Russia has also drafted a road map for BRICS investment cooperation. We expect our partners to contribute to it so that we could finalise the document before the end of the year.
We had consultations with our business representatives and have already placed some 50 projects and business initiatives on this roadmap. These include proposals to set up an Energy Association, create an International Centre for Energy Studies and a Foundry Union.
The joint use of navigation systems, including the Russian GLONASS, opens up broad opportunities. Russian companies are interested in developing cooperation in such areas as production of medical and electronic equipment, software and other.
We also propose launching within the framework of this organisation, a mechanism for joint studies of competition and unification of anti-trust regulation, developing closer cooperation on the subjects of labour and employment, population and workforce migration – as I have already said today, I had a detailed discussion on this issue with the leaders of BRICS trade union organisations. They supported Russia’s initiative to hold meetings of relevant ministers.
Russia considers broader humanitarian cooperation within BRICS of major importance. The Agreement on Cooperation in Culture that our ministers are to sign today aims at further deepening the friendly ties between our peoples.
The year of Russia’s presidency saw the first meetings of the Civic BRICS, the BRICS Parliamentary and Youth forums. We are working on the issue of creating a BRICS Network University and are analysing the initiative to create a Council of the regions of the BRICS nations.
The launch of a ‘virtual secretariat’ will contribute to further reinforcement of the organisation’s institutional foundations. This modern internet portal will make it possible to further simplify interaction between our countries, while the public will get access to current information on the BRICS activities.
These and many other products developed during Russia’s presidency have found their reflection in the Ufa Declaration and Action Plan. These are complex documents that we are to approve at the end of our meeting; they set the key targets not only for the coming year, but for a longer term as well.
I would like to thank you for your attention and give the floor to Mr Narendra Mori, Prime Minister of India, the country that will take over the presidency of this organisation next year.