Qingdao (China), June 15 (IANS) The BRICS Sherpas on Thursday agreed to further strengthen the BRICS partnership, deepen practical cooperation and jointly usher in a second “golden decade” of BRICS cooperation.
The pledge came as the second BRICS Sherpa meeting was held on Wednesday and on Thursday in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province, Xinhua news agency reported.
Participants in the meeting reviewed the progress of the BRICS cooperation in key areas such as political, security, economy, people-to-people and cultural exchanges and focused on the outcome of the upcoming 2017 BRICS Summit due September 3-5 in Xiamen city.
Indian Deputy Sherpa Alok Dimris said the priority of the BRICS was the economic and financial market forum, which focuses on the reform of the economic and global governance system.
“There are multiple dimensions and initiatives on which BRICS is working together. We have the New Development Bank (NDB), which works on infrastructure, and lots of initiatives in the fields of finance and people-to-people exchanges,” he said.
Brazilian Sherpa Georges Lamaziere said: “The five countries are not together by chance. The consensus building is very easy among us. We think very similarly on most issues such as international relations, foreign policy and the importance of the multilateral system. We are all in favor of openness in the economy, free trade and climate change agreement, and I think that’s the most important message that BRICS is sending to the world.”
The NDB was established by the BRICS in 2014. BRICS brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“The bank can be seen as a platform for the BRICS as a whole to reach out to other countries. One of its central aspects is to support the financing of infrastructure in member countries. So it will be able to assist the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Paulo Batista, Vice President of the NDB.
“BRICS represents over 40 percent of the global population. When the five leaders meet for the summit in Xiamen, it’s not just the five leaders’ meeting. We are looking forward to a fruitful summit,” said Anil Sooklal, the Sherpa from South Africa.