Brics summit takes off in Russia with an agenda full of economic and political issues

Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Wednesday with his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff at the Siberian city of Ufa, where the Brics group summit is taking place. Previously, Putin had met with president Xi Jinping (China); Jacob Zuma (South Africa) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the five countries that make up the group.

Sergei Katinin, president of Brics’ Business Council and head of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the five country-members support Brazil’s railway infrastructure project, which could be funded by the group’s development bank.

The Brics meeting hosted by Moscow, coincides in Ufa with a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

More specifically the Brics summit is expected to address billion-dollar initiatives, but also address current world challenges.

“The Brics’ Summit in Ufa is probably the most important and nerve-racking than even the year of its launch” said Victoria Panova, Strategy Planning adviser at the National Committee on Brics Research.

“Expectations include supporting Russia’s longstanding view of the need to deepen Brics’ cooperation with practicalities of… enhancing ties in all areas of social, economic and political life through outreach with involvement of different stakeholders.”

2“Priority social issues on the agenda, like healthcare, education [and] labor would certainly take their proper place with a number of concrete proposals,” Panova said. “Political problems of regional conflicts, combat against illegal drug trafficking and terrorism will be discussed to demonstrate a consensus” are also to be addressed.

In May, Russia’s upper house of Parliament ratified a proposal to establish a reserve pool of 100bn dollars for Brics’ members. This would be devoted to protecting national currencies so members would no longer be dependent on the International Monetary Fund.

The creation of the development bank will serve as an alternative to the IMF, a key initiative this week. The financial institution would be located in Shanghai and headed by K.V. Kamath, an Indian private banker for the first six years. Five-year terms each for Brazil and Russia would then follow.

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi met with Putin on Monday, as India and Pakistan are set to become full members of the SCO. India applied to become a full member in 2014 while Pakistan’s request has been pending for years. Both countries are currently observers. Besides Russia and China, SCO’s members are the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Merco Press

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MercoPress is an independent news agency started in 1993 which focuses on delivering news related to the Mercosur trade and political bloc, and member countries, covering an area of influence which includes South America, the South Atlantic and insular territories. MercoPress offers an update of the main events which model the Mercosur integration process, the current customs union, its influence on the main players of the region as well as the relations with other economic-political spaces.

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