BRIC Countries: Common Goals – Common Actions
The BRIC Summit, which will take place in Brazil on April 15-16, 2010, is a young forum that nevertheless has gained great international recognition from the outset.
And this is no surprise, since its member countries combined account for 26% of the world’s land area, 42% of the world's population, and 14.6% of the world’s GDP. In recent years, BRIC's share in global economic development has exceeded 50%.
What place does Russia hold in this group of states?
Overcoming the impact of the global crisis, our country at the same time follows the path of comprehensive renovation. Our key task is to achieve sustainable economic growth and an increase in the income of citizens based on a diversified economy, technological modernization and innovative development. We increasingly invest in further space exploration, energy efficiency, development of nuclear and alternative energy, information, telecommunications and new medical technologies, and development of drugs. We attach great importance to the processing of mineral resources our country is rich in, as well as to agricultural production growth. I am convinced that our BRIC partners will find these Russian achievements useful.
For our part, we have been following with interest and appreciation the dynamic development of other alliance members. A combination of our countries’ relative competitive advantages is mutually beneficial in many areas, and offers us unique opportunities to boost cooperation. Many of such advantages have been already made use of.
Here is one example: at a recent meeting in Moscow our agriculture ministers have decided to create a joint database to assess food security in the BRIC countries and promote cooperation in agricultural technology development and exchange. Such technologies are designed to reduce the negative impact of climate change on food security, and ensure adaptation of agricultural industry to such changes.
There are also wide opportunities for multilateral cooperation in nuclear energy, aircraft engineering, space exploration and use, and nanotechnologies. Such cooperation can be enhanced through financial interaction of the BRIC countries, in particular in the form of agreements on the use of national currencies in mutual trade.
In our view, joint economic security measures are also important, such as exchange of information on possible speculative attacks on currency, stock and commodity markets.
We appreciate the active and creative efforts of the Brazilian Chairmanship that brought BRIC cooperation to a qualitatively new level. BRIC has recently held a number of very useful meetings of finance ministers, senior representatives on security issues and development banks’ officials. What is especially important is that our cooperation is expanding due to the involvement of business communities and the civil society. These days, Brazil is hosting a meeting of commercial banks’ representatives, along with a business forum and a conference of the quartet’s scientific and research centers.
Since the first full-scale BRIC summit in Yekaterinburg (June 16, 2009), we have managed to make a good start in many areas of work that we have identified. Our states actively participate in the Group of Twenty that has become the key mechanism for coordination of international efforts aimed at establishing a new system of global economic governance. Thanks to a common approach, we were able to successfully redistribute five percent of voting shares in the IMF and three percent in the World Bank in favor of emerging and developing economies at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. We advocate the adoption of clear “rules of the game” that would ensure equal participation for all G20 members in its activities.
In addition, the BRIC countries will be pushing for a successful completion of the long-overdue reforms of the Bretton Woods institutions now underway. I believe we could also join our efforts to promote the development of the G20 Action Programme for the post-crisis period and perform joint contribution to this work.
By strengthening the economic foundation of the multipolar world, the BRIC countries are objectively contributing to creating conditions for strengthening international security. We share an imperative that the international community should resolve conflicts through political, diplomatic and legal means, rather than the use of force. In our view, it is necessary to strengthen collectivist principles in international relations and to establish a just and democratic world order.
Russia, China, India and Brazil actively cooperate within the United Nations. The most notable example is the collaboration of these states with the UN General Assembly in drafting resolutions on the prevention of the deployment of any weapons in outer space and of the use of force or threats to use force against space facilities.
I am confident that cooperation among our countries has a great future. Although we are just at the beginning, the solid foundation for our dialogue within the BRIC format – the reliable and mutually beneficial partnership relations – allows us to count on the success of this promising forum for the benefit of our countries and peoples.
This article originally appeared in Vedomosti (in Russian)