BRICS urged to deliver tangible benefits
February 07, 2013, New Delhi

“BRICS cooperation should move from policy discussions to delivering tangible benefits for the people of these five countries, in areas of sharing technology, increase in bilateral investment and trade etc,” said Rajeev Kher, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

He was speaking on the occasion of the roundtable meeting organised by CUTS International for BRICS Ambassadors in New Delhi yesterday in the run-up to the BRICS Leaders Summit which will be held in Durban, South Africa in March 2013.

“Issues of energy security and trade relations can be better addressed by a multilateral approach which BRICS can provide,” he added.

Drawing from the Sanya Declaration of the BRICS Leaders Summit held in China in 2011, five reputed policy research organisations came together to form the Track 2 initiative called BRICS Trade & Economic Research Network (TERN) which will work on a range of issues on south-south cooperation. The five founding members are Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil; EcoAccord, Russia; CUTS International, India; Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center, China; and South African Institute of International Affairs.

Welcoming the participants, Mr Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International urged the BRICS countries to answer critical questions like: “Are we, the BRICS group of countries, becoming relatively rich nations with many poor people, or are we poor countries with some rich people?”. He added: “As against emerging nations, is it more appropriate to describe us as re-emerging powers?”

“Our world is a beautiful place to live in and collectively we have to make it prettier and secure. Our Common Future lies on us and we have to act, not just talk. To use a famous Pogo quote: “We have found the enemy and it is us”, he added.

Carlos Sergio Sobral Duarte, Ambassador of Brazil made an informative presentation, highlighting several issues: BRICS as a coalition has evolved on economic and financial fundamentals and now it is also acquiring a political identity as well. He also highlighted the commonalities among BRICS “economic strengths (land, population, regional importance); challenges in terms of social and economic inclusion; and desire to make the international order more representative”.

Deng Xijun, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counsellor, Embassy of China said “The BRICS countries and other emerging economies have become an important force in the new world order; their significance cannot be denied.”

He also informed currently BRICS countries are cooperating in thirty areas, and coordinating positions on important regional and international issues. This is also due to the common aspirations of these countries for development and poverty reduction.

Alexey M. Idamkin, Counsellor (Political), Embassy of Russia presented his view on BRICS from the G20 perspective. He opined the BRICS have played a leading role in prevention of uncontrolled proliferation of world economic crisis. The G20 is working to bring harmony to sometime contradictory objectives of developed and developing countries.

Mark P. Reynhardt, Counsellor-Political responsible for multilateral affairs & BRICS, South African High Commission in India gave insight on the run up to upcoming BRICS summit in Durban. He said one of the most important issues is the proposed BRICS Development Bank, which should be seen as an instrument of niche financing for the needs of emerging economies, rather than an alternate to multilateral development banks. The establishment of the BRICS Bank will be a long process and we must not hasten it as there are several relevant factors to be considered.

“The summit will also address thematic issues of BRICS and Africa and how south south cooperation can help African countries to progress”, Reynhardt added.

There were comments and questions raised by various participants which led to an interesting discussion. Axel Harneit-Sievers, Country Director, India, Heinrich Boell Foundation, raised the need for institutional mechanisms in the on-going cooperation. Responding to which Rajeev Kher mentioned the BRICS are in process of establishing various institutional mechanisms and this will take some time as we are in the “toe holding” stage right now.

Pranav Kumar, Director and Head, International Policy and Trade raised the point about BRICS and its engagement with IBSA. Carlos Duarte, responded by saying that IBSA is now a 10 year old alliance of India, Brazil and South Africa, which has different contours than Russia and China, and some problems which are unique to the three countries.

Reynhardt added that South Africa is equally committed to IBSA, whose agenda is different than BRICS and will complement each other.

The roundtable also identified the need to have a systematic and continuous flow of information from the BRICS coalition. A website/portal which can be managed by a Track 2 network should be developed and the network should be responsible for preserving the institutional memory of this on-going cooperation.

The participants agreed that the expectation from the BRICS coalition is quite high and the institutional mechanisms should help in delivering measurable outcomes for these countries in areas of trade, investment, climate change and poverty reduction among others.

For more information, please contact:
Bipul Chatterjee, + 91 98292 85921,
Kshitiz Sharma, + 91 98288 89991,



Roundtable of BRICS Ambassadors -Significance of Emerging Economies and the Way Forward for Cooperation
February 06, 2013,
New Delhi
Agenda | Press Release | Media | Report