India is hosting the Fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi 29 March 2012. On the preceding day, i.e. tomorrow the trade Ministers of the five BRICS nations are meeting for the Second Trade Ministers Meeting. The First BRICS Trade Ministers meeting was held in Sanya, China on 13 April 2011 on the sidelines of the 3rd BRICS Summit. Trade Ministers also met on the sidelines of the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva in December 2011. Highlighting the context of the meeting, the Union Minister of Commerce Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma said While the new risks to global economy emanating from euro zone debt crisis and uncertainty in global energy markets will have their impact upon economic growth in the BRICS countries, I am confident BRICS countries will continue to register strong growth.
Elaborating on the growing momentum of BRICS cooperation Shri Sharma further stated There is a large untapped growth potential of intra-BRICS trade and investments which we are presently focusing on for exploitation. BRICS Development Banks are in the advance stages of concluding Agreements on Extending Credit Facility in Local Currencies, and Multilateral Letter of Credit Confirmation Facility Agreement to facilitate further consolidation of trade and investment ties. Such intra-BRICS initiatives will not only contribute to enhanced intra-BRICS trade and investments but would also facilitate our economic growth in difficult economic times. (A copy of last Ministerial Declaration by the BRICS Trade Ministers in Sanya can be seen at http://bricsindia.in/trade.html)
Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) was established following BRICS Trade Ministers meeting in Sanya. The CGETI is entrusted with the task of proposing an institutional framework and concrete measures to expand economic cooperation both among BRICS countries and between BRICS countries and all developing countries, within a South-South perspective. The CGETI has met twice so far i.e. on 2 December 2011, in Beijing, China and on 6-7 March, 2012 in New Delhi.
A number of new areas for deepening intra BRICS cooperation are expected to be discussed at the meeting of the Ministers on 28 March. The recommendations of the Ministers would feed into the Summit being hosted by India on 29 March.
The five Trade Ministers are also expected to jointly inaugurate the Business Forum that is being organized jointly by the three major India Chambers of Commerce and Industry ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI). Over 500 business leaders from the five countries are expected to attend this forum.
As per UNCTAD data the share of BRICS economies in the Global Trade has been increasing over the years. In 2010 it stood at 15 per cent up from 13.7 per cent the year before. In 2010-11 India had total trade worth USD 7519 million with Brazil. During the same period trade with Russia was USD 5179 million, with China USD 63095 million and with South Africa USD 11,125 million.
The last BRICS Summit was held in Sanya, China in April 2011. The theme of the Third Summit was Broad Vision and Shared Prosperity. The Sanya Summit was the first after inclusion of South Africa in BRICS. A Framework Agreement on `Financial Cooperation within the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism` was signed on 14 April in Sanya; the agreement envisages extending Line of credits in local currencies. An MoU was also signed at the Business Forum in Sanya establishing permanent business contact points; FICCI signed from India. A Plan of Action was endorsed at the Sanya Summit to strengthen cooperation among BRICS countries in areas of security, finance, business links, agriculture, health, culture, sports, science and technology and green economy.
The Delhi Summit is to build on these measures and also identify new areas for intensive cooperation. The theme of the BRICS summit is Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth.