BRICS countries agree to boost trade
Chinese President pushes the grouping for more 'just' international order
8 September, 2017
The leaders of BRICS countries have agreed to enhance and broaden trade, and investment cooperation mechanisms and scope, the Xiamen declaration adopted by the group on 4 September said. The summit in the south-eastern city has given host China a chance to position itself as a bulwark of globalization in the face of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
According to the declaration, the leaders welcomed the adoption of cooperative frameworks, roadmaps and outlines on trade and investment facilitation and connectivity and enhanced policy sharing, information exchange, capacity building through enhanced joint efforts on trade and investment facilitation, trade in services, E-commerce, IPR (in synergy with the cooperation activities among BRICS IP authorities), economic and technical cooperation, SMEs and women economic empowerment. They also welcomed the initiative to set up the BRICS E-Port Network, which will operate on a voluntary basis, and to establish the BRICS E-commerce Working Group.
"We also welcome China's initiative to host an International Import Expo in 2018 and encourage our business communities to actively participate in it," the declaration said.
BRICS countries have also welcomed the initiative to compile a compendium on fighting corruption in the five countries. "We acknowledge that corruption, including illicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions, is a global challenge, which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruption on the basis of the UN Convention against Corruption, and other relevant international legal instruments," the BRICS leaders said.
According to the declaration, they are also ready to use opportunities that the digital economy provides and address challenges it poses for the global growth. "We will act on the basis of principles of innovation, partnership, synergy, flexibility, open and favourable business environment, trust and security, protection of consumer rights in order to ensure the conditions for a thriving and dynamic digital economy, that will foster global economic development and benefit everyone," the document said.
In his closing remarks, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged on 5 September the grouping to battle for more “representation power” for emerging and developing countries, which some analysts say are often under-represented in global institutions such as the World Bank, by comparison with the dominance of the United States and Western Europe. Reiterating that emerging and developing markets have been the primary engine of global growth, he called for a bigger role for BRICS in speeding economic governance reforms and promoting trade, especially as rising risks veil a global recovery.
“We should work together to address global challenges,” Xi said. “Leaders from the BRICS countries are determined to work toward another ‘golden decade’,” he added.
Egypt, Guinea, Tajikistan, Thailand and Mexico joined the three-day summit as observer nations, and Xi called for a “BRICS Plus” plan to potentially expand the bloc, although no new member has been formally announced.