Vice President proposes 5-pronged approach to boost intra-BRICS trade

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Thursday proposed a five-pronged approach to boost intra-BRICS trade and investments.

“Trade and investment are two focus areas among BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. We within BRICS need to take five steps to boost these,” Ansari said at the first BRICS trade fair, organised here from October 12 to 14 in which over 400 companies and 1,000 entrepreneurs are participating from the member countries.

First, there needs to be a business-friendly environment for investors and entrepreneurs in all member countries with a view to promote mutual trade and investment and facilitate market inter-linkages and enhance market access opportunities, he said.

Secondly, BRICS would need to foster the liberalisation of trade in services, especially in promoting movement of people for commercial activity, both with BRICS and globally.

The proposal for a BRICS visa on a long-term basis for genuine travellers, is one such effort aimed at stimulating greater economic activity by enhanced mobility of our entrepreneurs, Ansari added.

“Also, we need to enhance and diversify trade and investment cooperation that supports value addition. Value-added trade has a role in transforming our economies from providers of raw material into key players in the global economy,” he said.

“We also need to build resilience to external economic shocks and strengthen macro-economic policy coordination by promoting information exchange through agreed platforms and by deepening our interaction and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, international organisations and forums,” Ansari added.

Lastly, there is need to increase trade in each other’s currency to further pluralise trading currencies and lessen the use of a single dominant currency.

“Transition to trade in national currencies will reduce the risk volatility and protect us from adverse fluctuations, which often cause huge economic and trade losses,” the Vice President noted.

“Intra-BRICS synergies need to be strengthened. BRICS countries account for 15 per cent of global trade. We need to translate growth into inclusive development,” Ansari said.

The identification of specific cooperation areas– innovation, technology, energy, infrastructure and agri-business — spanning trade in goods and services, as well as the participation of investment promotion agencies, will reap rich dividends, he added.



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