Com­mon Eco­nomic Strat­egy on the anvil to boost in­tra-BRICS trade

FICCI Business Digest - - Special Features -

Com­mon Eco­nomic Strat­egy on the

anvil to boost in­tra-BRICS trade

ACom­mon Eco­nomic Strat­egy is be­ing chalked out to bring about a user­friendly and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble trade frame­work for boost­ing in­tra-BRICS trade, said Sujata Me­hta, Sec­re­tary (ER & DPA), Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, in New Delhi on April 17, 2015, at a Ca­pac­ity Build­ing pro­gramme on 'Pro­mot­ing Trade and In­vest­ments with BRICS coun­tries', or­gan­ised by FICCI, un­der the aegis of the BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil, in part­ner­ship with Exim Bank.

She said that there were sev­eral shared in­ter­ests of the in all our coun­tries. The syn­er­gies and com­ple­men­tar­i­ties be­tween the economies un­der­score the op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­rat­ing across a wide range of ar­eas from agri­cul­ture to in­fras­truc­ture to en­ergy and financial mar­kets.

She wel­comed sug­ges­tions with re­gard to do­ing busi­ness with any of the BRICS coun­tries, which could be taken up at the G2G level. Me­hta urged FICCI to com­pile all such sug­ges­tions and for­ward them to her min­istry so that con­cerned de­part­ments of the gov­ern­ment and ex­e­cut­ing agen­cies could bring fur­ther im­prove­ments that could help ma­jor agenda of the group­ing is to re­form the global gov­er­nance ar­chi­tec­ture which is yet to re­flect the chang­ing global pic­ture where the emerg­ing economies are play­ing a larger role. Me­hta added that over the last two years the BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil has played an im­por­tant role in en­sur­ing that there was a reg­u­lar di­a­logue be­tween the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties and gov­ern­ments of the BRICS na­tions.

Me­hta said that the BRICS economies present huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tion which can take eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment to the next level

ex­porters and in­vestors.

On the oc­ca­sion, Me­hta re­leased an EXIM Bank study 'Re­search & De­vel­op­ment in BRICS: An insight'.

Geetha Mu­ralid­har, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor (CMD-addl. charge), ECGC Ltd., ex­horted the busi­ness com­mu­nity to make plans to en­hance trade. She added that though the trade now stands in favour of China, but with Brazil's in­creas­ing im­ports in the last three to four years and South Africa's abil­ity to ab­sorb more, In­dia could boost its trade vol­ume by en­gag­ing with other BRICS na­tions, apart from China.

On the lines of EXIM Bank, Mu­ralid­har said that ECGC had also signed MOUs with its coun­ter­parts in re­spec­tive BRICS na­tions. The MOUs, be­sides ex­change of in­for­ma­tion would also look at sup­port­ing com­mon projects un­der­taken by two or more BRICS coun­tries in a third na­tion and re­spec­tive ex­port credit agen­cies of the BRICS na­tions could join hands to take such en­deav­our for­ward.

Yadu­ven­dra Mathur, CMD, EXIM Bank of In­dia, said that the financial in­sti­tu­tions of the BRICS coun­tries cre­ated a frame­work and signed nine MOUs amongst them­selves over the last four years to en­hance the trade ties. He added that the five banks have been meet­ing on the side­lines of BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil meet­ings to in­no­vate and ar­rive at real col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­cesses. Mathur said that trade fig­ures have been in favour of China but at­tempts were be­ing made to bring the other four BRICS coun­tries at par.

Onkar Kan­war, CMD, Apollo Tyres and Chair­man, BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil In­dia Chap­ter, said that sev­eral sug­ges­tions were drawn out based on the in­puts re­ceived from in­di­vid­ual com­pa­nies, industry as­so­ci­a­tions and other de­vel­op­ment agen­cies from across BRICS coun­tries. One re­lated to is­suance of visa for travel to BRICS coun­tries by bonafide busi­ness peo­ple. This has been a sub­ject of con­cern for some time now and re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments have been re­quested to look into this mat­ter. Also, the busi­ness com­mu­nity was look­ing for­ward to the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of the New De­vel­op­ment Bank and felt that this in­sti­tu­tion must on pri­or­ity sup­port projects that pro­mote in­tra-re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity, fur­ther use of re­new­able en­ergy and fo­cus on skill de­vel­op­ment in the BRICS coun­tries.

Kan­war said that the con­sid­ered view of the BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil was that pro­mot­ing trade in lo­cal cur­ren­cies would pro­vide a great im­pe­tus to in­tra-BRICS trade. Fur­ther, hav­ing a com­mon dec­la­ra­tion on in­vest­ment prin­ci­ples was sug­gested. It was felt that if all BRIC coun­tries agree on such a dec­la­ra­tion it would bring trans­parency in in­vest­ment pro­ce­dures and guar­an­tee in­vest­ments made by busi­nesses from BRICS in any of the mem­ber coun­tries.

In his con­clud­ing re­marks Sid­harth Birla, Im­me­di­ate Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI and Chair­man, Xpro In­dia Lim­ited, said that one of the fun­da­men­tal con­tri­bu­tion or rather achieve­ment of BRICS group­ing is its demon­strated ca­pac­ity to set up global in­sti­tu­tions. The New De­vel­op­ment Bank, is a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward in our mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion.

He in­vited Mu­ralid­har to have ECGC join the BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil Work­ing Group on Financial Ser­vices and added that EXIM Bank was al­ready a mem­ber of this group and ECGC's pres­ence would fur­ther strengthen In­dia's po­si­tion.

“The BRICS economies present huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tion which can take eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment to the next level in all our coun­tries. The syn­er­gies and com­ple­men­tar­i­ties be­tween the economies un­der­score the op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­rat­ing across a wide range of ar­eas from agri­cul­ture to in­fras­truc­ture to en­ergy and financial mar­kets”.

Sujata Me­hta, Sec­re­tary (ER & DPA), Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia (right) with Onkar Kan­war, CMD, Apollo Tyres and Chair­man, BRICS Busi­ness Coun­cil In­dia Chap­ter.

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