BRICS Summits

BRICS Summits

BRICS Innovation Base for 5G and AI Technology

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : BRICS, AI

Mains level : 5G Technology and the Huawei issue

China has made a proposal to create what it has termed a BRICS innovation base to take forward 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI) cooperation.

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Q.With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?

  1. LTE ‘is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.
  2. LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

BRICS Innovation Base

  • China is considering the establishment of a BRICS innovation base in China, in order to strengthen practical cooperation with the BRICS.
  • It has urged fellow nations, including India, to boost cooperation in areas including 5G and AI in partnership with Huawei.
  • The move could pose an awkward question for India, which is the only country in the grouping that is leaning towards excluding Chinese participation in the roll-out of India’s 5G networks.

Huawei in BRICS

  • In South Africa, Huawei is providing services to three of its telecom operators in the roll-out of their 5G networks.
  • Brazil has allowed participation in trials but yet to take a final call.
  • India is unlikely to allow Chinese participation in 5G, particularly in the wake of recent moves to tighten investment from China and national security concerns.

Back2Basics: BRICS

  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The BRICS Leaders Summit is convened annually. It does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
  • On November 30, 2001, Jim O’Neill, a British economist who was then chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, coined the term ‘BRIC’ to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
  • The grouping was formalized during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UNGA in New York in September 2006.
  • The first BRIC Summit took place in 2009 in the Russian Federation and focused on issues such as reform of the global financial architecture.
  • South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.

BRICS Summits

BRICS’ fight against COVID

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : BRICS, NDB.

Mains level : Paper 2- BRICS's potential for coordination on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief .

“BRICS” is an acronym coined by Jim O’Neill in 2001. In the start of the 21st century, BRICS seemed like the future economic powerhouse. Somehow this picture faded a little with time. This article shows the resilience and potential demonstrated by BRICS in times of Covid-19. It throws light on the latest initiatives of BRICS like New Development Bank. Finally what lies in the future for BRICS?

The “I” in BRICS

  • India has reinforced its reputation as a rapidly emerging pharmacy of the world.

  • As the world’s largest producer of hydroxychloroquine, India has exported the drug to many countries like Russia, Brazil, Israel, U.S,  SAARC and Gulf nations.

  • Pharma-alliance: The above developments have set the stage for India to forge an inclusive BRICS-driven pharma alliance, which could also actively explore the production of vaccines.

The “C” in BRICS

  • Despite allegations, China has responded strongly in containing the pandemic, leveraging its position as the workshop of the world.

  • China, using it’s manufacturing capabilities, responded to the disease by providing the “hardware” — masks, gloves, coveralls, shoe covers and testing kits — to hotspots across the globe.

  • Under its Health Silk Road doctrine, the Chinese are reaching out to two of the worst global hotspots, Italy and Iran.

  • China has also rolled out a medical air bridge for Europe.

The “R” in BRICS

  • Despite fighting the virus at home, Russia too has sent its doctors and virologists overseas including an air mission to Italy.

  • At the request of U.S. President Donald Trump, Russia offered help in the form of medical experts and supplies.

The “S” in BRICS

  • South Africa, the current rotating head of the African Union, is engaged in framing a pan-African response to COVID-19.

The “B” in BRICS

  • Only Brazil’s response may need a course correction.

  • In Brazil’s case resistance to breaking the infection chains through travel bans, lockdowns, isolation and testing appear to have led to an infection surge.

Where does the NDB’s model fit in this picture?

  • The New Development Bank of the BRICS has already demonstrated the way forward to allocate financial resources to combat COVID-19.

  • In April, NDB announced that it is going to disburse a $1 billion emergency loan to China, and subsequently to India, South Africa and Brazil.

  • The NDB had the financial heft to provide $10 billion in “crisis-related assistance” to BRICS member countries.

The next step for BRICS –  COORDINATION

  • BRICS has demonstrated their comparative strengths as providers of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).

  • BRICS countries now need to pool and coordinate their efforts, in partnership with the WHO, and Europe and North America, as part of a global assault on the virus.

  • BRICS countries also need to earmark resources and assets to combat a whole range of natural disasters, with special focus on the emerging economies and the global south.

  • The NDB’s financial model demonstrated to address the pandemic, can now become a template to address natural disasters.

Bodies like BRICS have remained the favourite child of UPSC. Be it questions in prelims or mains. A question based on the regional grouping could be asked by the UPSC, for ex- “BRICS nations have proved to be more than merely an economic grouping. In light of the above statement, discuss the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) potential of the BRICS countries.”

Conclusion

BRICS in future can leverage the coordination among them to work on finding the vaccine and also build on the experience gathered from the pandemic to form a disaster response policy in the future.


Back2Basics: BRICS

  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
  • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20.
  • Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 2017, while Brazil hosted the most recent 11th BRICS summit on 13-14 November 2019.

New Development Bank and the Fortaleza Declaration

  • During the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014), the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • In the Fortaleza Declaration, the leaders stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
  • The bank was established in July 2015 by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
  • The aim of the bank is to mobilize funding for infrastructure and sustainable development.
  • Its ownership structure is unique, as the BRICS countries each have an equal share and no country has any veto power.
  • In this sense, the bank is a physical expression of the desire of emerging markets to play a bigger role in global governance.
  • NDB was created to help fill the funding gap in the BRICS economies and was intended to grow its global scope over time.
  • The bank, with its subscribed capital base of US$50bn, is now poised to become a meaningful additional source of long-term finance for infrastructure in its member countries.

BRICS Summits

[op-ed snap] As India prepares to honour Bolsonaro

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2- BRICS- challenges and areas of cooperation.

Context

India has invited the Brazilian President to be a guest of honour for Republic Day 2020. It is also a good opportunity for focusing on intra-BRICS partnership and trade.

Future of the BRICS

  • To move towards multi-polarity: This was set up as a move towards greater multi-polarity; hence the spread across three continents and both hemispheres.
    • Infirmities in the group: The BRICS combination accounts for about one-third of global output, but a glance at the GDP t and growth rates will show the infirmities of the group.
    • Differences in GDP: In terms of GDP, China occupies the second position; India the fifth; Brazil the ninth; Russia the 11th; and South Africa the 35th.
    • Differences in growth rate: In terms of growth rates, China grew at 6%; India at 4.5%, Russia 1.7%, Brazil 1.2% and South Africa 0.1%.
    • Both politically and economically, Brazil and South Africa have been the laggards in recent years. But there are certain similarities as well.
  • Similarities in the group: Each country has different economic and political leverage and its own burden of domestic and external issues.
    • Decision-making structure: They all share the benefits of autonomous decision making.
    • Non-affiliation: The members of the group have non-affiliation with any binding alliances.
    • Informal structure: The group’s informal structure is an advantage for coordination among the most influential non-Western countries.
  • Challenges to the survival of the group: The BRICS group can survive only if its members maximise their congruencies to the extent possible. Following are the challenges to the existence of the group-
    • The growing intensity of Sino-Russian ties.
    • The pro-American leanings in Brazil.
    • The socio-economic difficulties of South Africa after nine years under the controversial Jacob Zuma.
    • India’s many difficulties with China, including its abstention from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Achievement of the grouping

  • New Development Bank: The main achievement of BRICS is the New Development Bank, with each country contributing equally to its equity.
    • The bank has so far financed over 40 projects at a cost of $12 billion.
    • The BRICS countries are also developing a joint payments mechanism to reduce foreign trade settlements in U.S. dollars.
  • BASICS: An offshoot of the group, dealing with climate change, is BASIC (BRICS without Russia).
    • BASICS met at the Spain conference last month and reiterated its support to the Paris Agreement.
  • India’s lead role: India is taking the lead role in-
    • Digital health, Digital forensics
    • Film technology.
    • Traditional medicine.
    • Sustainable water management,
    • Internships and fellowships.

Brazil-India relation

  • Visa waiver for Indians: Brazil declared the decision to waive visa requirements for Indian citizens.
  • Potential for investments: There is potential for Brazilian investments in the sectors of space and defence, agricultural equipment, animal husbandry, post-harvest technologies, and bio-fuels.
  • Low two-way trade: The total two-way trade is at a paltry $8 billion, and the prospect of closer economic ties, however desirable, would require considerable optimism.

Conclusion

Both India and Brazil need to further deepen the ties and increase cooperation in various areas of cooperation. BRICS, despite the various challenges, need to focus on congruencies between them and work towards greater cooperation.

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BRICS Summits

[pib] BRICS remote Sensing Satellite Constellation

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Remote sensing constellation

Mains level : Space cooperation amongst BRICS nations

The space agencies of BRICS nations have been negotiating a Framework Agreement to formalize the cooperation on building a ‘virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites’.

About the constellation

  • The purpose of the proposed virtual constellation is to get access to satellite remote sensing data, which could be used by the individual BRICS nations for various applications including natural resources management and disaster management.
  • There are two phases proposed for the Constellation: phase one, comprising a virtual constellation of existing satellites; and phase two, a new satellite constellation.
  • It will create a system for the sharing of remote sensing data, meaning the data from each of the member countries’ existing Earth observation satellites will be made available to all the other members.

Why need such constellation?

  • The BRICS represents 43 percent of the world’s population, 30 percent of gross domestic product and 17 percent of global trade and they have been trying to enhance co-operation in different fields, including space.
  • Currently, only Brazil, Russia, India and China have remote-sensing satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit, and they will provide data to South Africa, which does not have a satellite of its own.

BRICS Summits

BRICS Summit in Brazil

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : BRICS

Mains level : Significance of BRICS for India

What is the news: The 11th BRICS Summit took place from 13th 14th November 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil.

  • The theme of the 2019 BRICS summit is “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.”
  • BRICS countries adopted the Brasilia Declaration.

Brasilia Declaration

  • It advocates and supports multilateralism, the central role of the U.N. in international affairs and respect for international law.
  • Reforming Multilateral Systems: There is an urgent need to strengthen and reform the United Nations and other multilateral organisations, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to address the significant challenges being faced by the developing countries.
  • Support to Multilateralism: The trade war between China and the U.S. and rising protectionism is hurting the global economy. Multilateralism is crucial for emerging countries to protect their own interests.

India’s Stand at the Summit

  • Intra-BRICS trade accounts for just 15% of world trade, it needs to be increased. India invited business leaders of the member nations for investment, particularly in infrastructure development.
  • India proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India.
  • India highlighted the menace of terrorism which has resulted in the loss of $1 trillion to the world economy.

Meetings on the sidelines of the Summit

India – Brazil

    • India invited the President of Brazil as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day 2020.
    • Brazil has decided to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.

India – China

    • The Chinese President invited the Indian Prime Minister for the 3rd informal summit in China in 2020. The first informal summit took place at Wuhan (China-2018) and second at Mamallapuram (India-2019).
    • Both the leaders reviewed preparations for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2020.

India – Russia

    • 1st Bilateral Regional Forum at the level of Russian Provinces and the Indian States will be held in 2020.
    • India has been invited for investment in the Arctic region. The US $ 25 billion targets of bilateral trade by 2025 has already been achieved.

BRICS

  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The BRICS Leaders’ Summit is convened annually.
  • It does not exist in the form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.

Its inception

  • On November 30, 2001, Jim O’Neill, a British economist who was then chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, coined the term ‘BRIC’ to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
  • He made a case for BRIC on the basis of econometric analyses projecting that the four economies would individually and collectively occupy far greater economic space and become among the world’s largest economies in the next 50 years or so.

Formation

  • The grouping was formalized during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UNGA in New York in September 2006.
  • The first BRIC Summit took place in 2009 in the Russian Federation and focused on issues such as reform of the global financial architecture.

Members

  • South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS. South Africa subsequently attended the Third BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, in March 2011.
  • The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • BRICS now brings together five economies accounting for 42% of the world’s population, 23% of the global GDP and an around 17% share of world trade.
  • The five BRICS countries are also members of G-20

BRICS Summits

IBSA Dialogue Forum

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IBSA

Mains level : Kochi meet revive IBSA to secure south south cooperation.

CONTEXT

Even as two member-states (India and South Africa) of the IBSA Dialogue Forum have been busy with national elections and the third (Brazil) is settling down after its recent presidential elections, their foreign policy mandarins met in Kochi, May 3-5. The central goal was to develop a blueprint to rejuvenate IBSA, widely viewed as a unique voice for the Global South. Will this endeavour succeed?

History of IBSA

  • The idea of creating a grouping composed of major democracies of three continents, Asia, Africa and South America, emerged from the disarray at the end of the 20th century, and the perceived need for developing countries to forge decisive leadership.
  • IBSA was launched through the Brasilia Declaration in 2003.
  • Its summits, between 2006 and 2011, gave it a special global profile.

Downfall of IBSA

  • But, 2011 onwards, BRICS, the larger group comprising IBSA countries, China and Russia, started to overshadow IBSA.
  • IBSA has been unable, until now, to hold its sixth summit.
  • Nevertheless, a series of events marking its 15th anniversary, held during 2018-19, have imparted new momentum to the endeavour to revitalise IBSA.

Importance of IBSA

Solidarity among developing countries – Throughout the period of its marginalisation by BRICS, a strong body of officials and experts in the three countries has held the view that IBSA is the true inheritor of solidarity among developing countries, which was nurtured from the Bandung Conference (1955) through UNCTAD and G-77 to the BAPA+40 Declaration (2018).

South – South Cooperation – It is the champion of South-South Cooperation, and the advocate of a coordinated response by developing economies to secure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 Shared Values – The glue that binds IBSA countries together is their faith in democracy, diversity, plurality, inclusivity, human rights and rule of law. This was reiterated through the IBSA Declaration on South-South Cooperation, issued in Pretoria in June 2018.

Reforms in International Organisations –

  • Notably IBSA remains determined to “step up advocacy for reforms of global governance institutions in multilateral fora”.
  • In particular, it is strongly committed to the expansion of the UN Security Council.
  • As Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj put it, “We three have to ensure that our collective voice is heard clearly in BRICS and other groups on UN Security Council reforms, since if we do not speak for our own interests, no one else will.”

Kochi meeting

  •  The IBSA Academic Forum, comprising independent experts, held its sixth session in Kochi after a hiatus of over seven years.
  • This forum hosted a candid and comprehensive exchange of views on the continuing relevance of IBSA; the need for a strategy to secure SDGs and cement South-South Cooperation; expanding trade cooperation; and the shared goal of enhancing academic collaboration on issues relating directly to the needs of democratic societies.

Revitalisation Of IBSA

  • First, the three Foreign Ministers have been meeting regularly to provide coordinated leadership to the grouping.
  • Second, while the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund) is small in monetary terms, it has succeeded in implementing 31 development projects in diverse countries: Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, State of Palestine, Cambodia and Vietnam, among others.
  • Third, India has been running an innovative IBSA Visiting Fellows Programme through the Delhi-based think tank, RIS or Research and Information System for Developing Countries.

 

Conclusion

  • The idea of IBSA remains valid.
  • The special responsibilities it bears cannot be discharged by BRICS. I
  • n fact, strengthening IBSA could increase the effectiveness of BRICS and encourage it to follow a more balanced approach on key issues of interest to India, Brazil and South Africa.
  • Hence, the current endeavours to infuse greater dynamism in IBSA are well-timed.
  • They would need buy-in by the government that comes to power in India. Support by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, who has just won re-election as President, would be crucial.

BRICS Summits

[pib] Cabinet approves MoU amongst BRICS nations regarding cooperation in the social and labour sphere

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BRICS LEM Meeting

Mains level:  BRICS and its mandate for Labour and Employment


News

Context

  1. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU among BRICS nations regarding Cooperation in the Social and Labour Sphere.
  2. The MoU was signed on 3rd August, 2018 during BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers (LEM) Meeting.

BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers (LEM) Meeting

  1. The BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial meeting took place in August, 2018 at the South African Presidency in Durban, South Africa.
  2. The Draft MoU between BRICS countries regarding cooperation in the social and labour sphere was discussed deliberated and finalized and was signed by respective labour Ministers of BRICS member countries.
  3. The provisions of the MoU clearly indicate its objectives as cooperation in the nature of successful sharing of policy measures; exchange programmes; consultations; expert meetings and conference etc. in the social and labour sphere.

What MoU brings in?

  1. The parties including India have agreed to cooperate and hold mutual events in the prominent areas viz. labour legislation and enforcement, protection of workers’ rights with focus on vulnerable groups.
  2. It would focus on Employment and labour market policies, Professional education, skills and training and social protection.
  3. The member countries may utilize the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes and BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework for cooperation on Social Security and other labour issues. T
  4. The MoU is not an International Treaty and does not create rights and obligations for the parties governed by international law.

Benefits of the MoU

  1. The MoU provides a mechanism for cooperation, collaboration and maximum synergy amongst BRICS member countries with the common objective of inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the new industrial revolution.
  2. This would facilitate member countries to share knowledge and also implement joint programmes on matter of Labour and Employment, Social Security and Social dialogue.
  3. This would also ensure networking of international Training Centre of International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the BRICS Network of Labour Institutes which includes National Labour Institute of India.
  4. This network would specifically focus on the theme of youth employment and research on new forms of employment.
  5. This network will also explore new learning technologies, including virtual network to deepen cooperation, exchange of information and capacity building.

BRICS Summits

[op-ed snap] The big five at 10

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Johannesburg Declaration, BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR)

Mains level: Initial aim of BRICS and its current agenda


Context

BRICS Summit, 2018

  1. The heads of state and government of all five BRICS nations including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa convened for the 10th BRICS Summit from July 25-27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. The summit saw the BRICS leaders come together and discuss various international and regional issues of common concern and adopted the ‘Johannesburg Declaration‘ by consensus
  3. The declaration reaffirms principles of democracy, inclusiveness and agrees to fight unilateralism and protectionism

Johannesburg Declaration

  1. In the age of Twitter, BRICS has produced a 102-paragraph-long Johannesburg Declaration, one of the longest in recent years
  2. It implies that this important multilateral grouping has a lot to say about the state of the world
  3. The leaders jointly reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, democracy, inclusiveness and strengthened collaboration
  4. The BRICS leaders have used the summit to reject the growing unilateralism and instead reiterate their commitment to the strengthening of multilateral institutions, calling for stronger intra-trade within member states
  5. This stemmed from their broader commitment to cooperate for strengthening multilateralism, the rule of law and an equitable international order

BRICS not performing as per agenda

  1. BRICS is still far from achieving its initial goals: reform of global financial governance, the democratisation of the United Nations, and expansion of the Security Council
  2. This is partially because two of its members (China and Russia) do not want the other three members (India, South Africa and Brazil) to obtain parity in the global pecking order

Fourth Industrial Revolution

  1. The other big idea emanating from the summit is to help nations to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  2. Participants embraced it, articulating the need for a new strategy on employment, education and skill development as the digital revolution unfolds
  3. The leaders commended the establishment of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR)
  4. The BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) aims to deepen BRICS cooperation in digitalisation, industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment and to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution
  5. PartNIR will make a meaningful contribution only if it goes beyond the five ministries of industry
  6. It should engage with the private sector and young innovators working at the cutting edge of technology today

BRICS Plus continues

  1. The BRICS outreach to Africa began at the last summit hosted by South Africa, in 2013
  2. It has picked up momentum now but African leaders want more
  3. They need big loans from the New Development Bank (NDB) for their infrastructure projects
  4. China introduced the “BRICS Plus” format at the Xiamen summit last year by inviting a few countries from different regions
  5. South Africa emulated it, arranging the attendance of top-level representation of five nations of its choice: Argentina, Jamaica, Turkey, Indonesia and Egypt
  6. The precise role of “BRICS Plus” countries will take time to evolve
  7. An immediate benefit is the immense opportunities it provides for networking among leaders

The relevance of BRICS today

  1. As a partnership that represents over 40% of the world’s population and accounts for 22% of global GDP, BRICS will continue to be an influential voice as long as its convergences prevail over its divergences
  2. With 10 years of development, BRICS has grown into an important platform for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries
  3. Together, the nations account for 26.46 per cent of the world land area, 42.58 per cent of the world’s population, 13.24 per cent of the World Bank voting power and 14.91 per cent of IMF quota shares
  4. According to IMF’s estimates, the BRICS countries generated 22.53 per cent of the world GDP in 2015 and they have contributed more than 50 per cent of world economic growth during the last 10 years

BRICS Summits

[pib] BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings, New Development Bank (NDB), BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)

Mains level: BRICS and India


News:

  • The meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was held in the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings on 19thApril, 2018 in Washington D.C.
  • The main issues that the meeting discussed were related to enhancing the project pipelines of New Development Bank (NDB) evenly across member countries.
  • The expansion of NDB’s membership.
  • the proposal of the South African Presidency for setting up a working group on illicit financial flows and a BRICS Task Force on Public Private Partnership.
  • Issues related to BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) as well as BRICS Bond Fund were also discussed

BRICS Summits

[op-ed snap] Raja Mandala: Rearranging the BRICS

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, BRICS leaders from left, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a group photo at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in southeastern China’s Fujian Province, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (Zhang Duo/Xinhua via AP)

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: The article effectively explains the issues related to the BRICS. Very important neewscard. After going through the newscard, one should also read the complete article.


News

Context

  1. The article talks about the Sino-Indian relationship, BRICS Summit and its effects on the foreign policy of India

Main Focus of India’s Foreign policy from last 2 decades

  1. India’s central theme of foreign policy was to build a multipolar world
  2. For nearly a decade, the BRICS has been the main forum for the pursuit of that objective

Why has China’s influence made India to rethink about its policy of Multipolar World?

  1. Because China is squeezing India’s space in the Subcontinent and the Indian Ocean
  2. And it is becoming a lot more assertive in the bilateral disputes with India

Challenges infront of India in the BRICS

  1. The internal changes within the BRICS and external environment altered the dynamics of the BRICS
  2. And posed new challenges for India’s engagement with the forum

Some of the crucial challenges are:
(1) China’s massive economic weight in the forum

  1. Its GDP at nearly $12 trillion is now more than twice that of the other four members put together
  2. This has changed the internal balance in the BRICS in favour of Beijing

(2) Concern of China led Globalisation

  1. Apprehension about US-led globalization was one of the motivations behind India’s quest for a multipolar world in the past
  2. But India is now struggling with the issue ofChina-led globalisation
  3. Belt and Road initiative has added to India’s concerns about China’s rise

(3) Sensitive Relationship

  1. India’s contribution to the BRICS while deepening the strategic partnership with the USA and Japan looked quite impressive so long as there were no major tensions between the US, Russia, China and Japan

The way forward

  1.  India now faces relentless pressure on a range of issues
  2. The willingness of both Russia and China to cut deals with the US (on their own terms), makes the BRICS less about ideological posturing and more about repositioning India in changing great power equations
  3. That means India should cooperate China where it is necessary and possible
  4. And maintain the partnership with Russia and the USA

BRICS Summits

[op-ed snap] BRICS off the wall

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Q.) “A crucial challenge for India is likely to arise from China’s plan for a “BRICS-Plus” or “Friends of BRICS” grouping, where it wants to include Pakistan.” How can India counter this issue?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the BRICS

Mains level: BRICS 2017 Summit is going to be a crucial summit for both India and China, post-Doklam standoff.


News

Context

  1. The articles talks about the future of Sino-Indian Standoff and the BRICS, amid Doklam Standoff

Some important outcomes of the BRICS

  1. BRICS countries has improved their positions in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
  2. They also struck a small blow against Bretton Woods institutions
  3. And the BRICS New Development Bank set up in 2015 has already given out about $6 billion in loans for 23 projects across BRICS countries

Most Challenging BRICS Summit(2017)

  1. BRICS now faces its most challenging summit, not because of the West or the developed world
  2. But because of growing differences between its two biggest members, India and China
  3. It is now important to see how the bilateral relationship and several other changes in geopolitics are now going to change the course of the BRICS engagement as well
  4. The bilateral tensions will no doubt spill over(uncontrolled) to the multilateral negotiations at BRICS
  5. Especially given the negative atmosphere built up by state-run Chinese media these past few weeks

Other possible discussions(much debated) at the BRICS Summit

  1. (1) Nuclear Suppliers Group membership for India,
    (2) terrorism
    (3) the Dalai Lama and others
    (4) the rift over China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
    is also likely to dominate discussions at BRICS
  2. India will have to use considerable leverage(advantage) with other members to ensure that its concerns prevail

Some concerns regarding the BRI and the other BRICS Members

  1. It must be remembered that Russia and South Africa are important parts of BRI
  2. And while Brazil is not, it is a recipient of Chinese investment, with a $20 billion Brazil-China infrastructure fund inaugurated this year

Another significant challenge for India

  1. It is likely to arise from China’s plan for a “BRICS-Plus” or “Friends of BRICS” grouping
  2. China is planning to include Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mexico to an expanded version of BRICS
  3. The suggestion of including Pakistan is something India has opposed

Concerns related to Russia

  1.  Russia has moved closer to China and away from India
  2. This could affect the language of the joint statement, especially on issues like Afghanistan, on which BRICS members had previously been on the same page

The Way Forward

  1. It is an indicator of the importance of BRICS that both countries appeared to have exerted enough pressure on officials to bring about the disengagement in Doklam
  2. It remains to be seen how the two countries use next week’s bilateral encounter to chart a road map to repair ties
  3. This could provide a realistic understanding of where the road ahead leads for BRICS as well

BRICS Summits

[op-ed snap] BRICS falling apart. Why?

  1. Concern: Instead of using the Brics summit to push for greater economic growth and a greater global governance role, India sought to use it more for dealing with Pakistan
  2. India’s adopted I4C (Institution building, Implementation, Integrating, Innovation and Continuity) approach was overshadowed by one geopolitical agenda: how to isolate Pakistan!
  3. The summit declaration makes no mention of India’s singular contribution to the global economic recovery – India had registered highest growth among BRICS members
  4. Instead of using the Brics summit to push for greater global governance role – India invited BIMSTEC countries to push a SAARC – 1 agenda
  5. Concerns: This approach leaves India vulnerable to China’s veto and highlights China’s growing economic and geopolitical influence in India’s immediate neighbourhood
  6. India has opted out of groups like Saarc and the Non-Aligned Movement and looks like China is having an upper hand in BRICS

BRICS Summits

‘India used BRICS summit to outmanoeuvre Pakistan’

  1. Chinese govt-run ‘Global Times’ said that India successfully projected itself as the fastest growing economy compared to other members of the BRICS
  2. India has also “outmanoeuvred” Pakistan by effectively branding its neighbour as a “regional pariah” at the BRICS summit
  3. By bringing BIMSTEC and BRICS together India breathed legitimacy and substance into BIMSTEC
  4. The summit also helped India to push for its membership of the NSG as well as for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC)

BRICS Summits

BRICS agrees to set up credit rating agency

  1. The five-nation group BRICS agreed to set up an independent rating agency
  2. It will be based on market-oriented principles
  3. The BRICS declaration stated that the BRICS Rating Agency was an important step towards transforming the global financial architecture

BRICS Summits

BRICS meet declaration pledges to fight terror

  1. The 8th BRICS summit ended here on Sunday with the adoption of the Goa Declaration which pledged opposition to terrorism, even as India failed to get a consensus on references to “cross-border terror” and Pakistan-based terror groups in the final statement.
  2. The Goa Declaration, pointed out the need for countering the Islamic State which has occupied territories in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It also called for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the U.N. General Assembly.
  3. The declaration called for resolution of the civil war in Syria.
  4. Other points: The final statement also called for all nations to counter radicalism, and block sources of financing international terrorism, “including through organised crime by means of money-laundering, drug trafficking, criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases and countering misuse of the Internet including social media by terror entities through misuse of the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)”.

BRICS Summits

China moots BRICS free trade area ahead of Goa summit

  1. Ahead of the BRICS Summit in Goa, China mooted a free trade area for the five-member bloc of emerging countries
  2. It said that such a move would constitute significant form of cooperation
  3. By setting up a free trade area, BRICS countries would be able to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers, give play to their comparative advantages and advance trade and investment liberalisation between them
  4. It would help BRICS nations achieve mutual benefit and development and promote South—South cooperation on a global scale

BRICS Summits

India fair to boost intra-BRICS trade

  1. What? India, for the first time, will organise BRICS Trade Fair & Exhibition
  2. Why? To boost trade among the BRICS nations
  3. Origin: This initiative was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year
  4. Focus: Building BRICS – Innovation for Collaboration
  5. Will showcase about 20 key sectors- aerospace, agro-processing, auto, chemicals, green energy, healthcare, railways, textiles, infrastructure, IT, engineering goods, tourism, gems & jewellery and skill development
  6. Besides established companies, start-ups and innovators from BRICS will showcase their offerings to help technology solution providers share knowledge in dealing with challenges in healthcare, education, energy efficiency, waste management and urbanisation management

BRICS Summits

BRICS MoU on climate cooperation signed

  1. What? India signed an agreement with fellow BRICS countries
  2. Why? To deepen cooperation in abatement and control of air and water pollution, efficient management of liquid and solid waste, climate change and conservation of biodiversity
  3. Key issues: Technology transfer and finance need to be addressed to limit global warming
  4. Background: Recently, the Environment Ministry announced a collaborative R&D programme to develop next generation, sustainable refrigerant technologies as alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons
  5. Key players: The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and its allied institutions; Department of Science and Technology; Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and key industry players

BRICS Summits

BRICS members to unite against terror groups- II

  1. The High Representatives encouraged cooperation and exchanging of best practices, expertise, information and knowledge on counter terrorism issues
  2. Agreed to expand BRICS counter-terrorism cooperation further to include measures for denying terrorists access to finance and terror hardware such as equipment, arms and ammunition
  3. The High Representatives also discussed non-traditional threats like cyber hacking
  4. Agreed to join hands for capacity building and research and development

BRICS Summits

BRICS members to unite against terror groups- I

  1. Context: The meeting of the High Representatives on security issues of BRICS countries, in New Delhi, led by NSA Ajit Doval
  2. Underscored the demand for an international legal order to deal with the threat of terrorism
  3. Agreed to intensify cooperation against terror groups like the IS in West Asia and North Africa region (WANA)
  4. Highlighted the growing convergence of BRICS members on the threats from West Asian region

BRICS Summits

China’s BRICS trade pact idea finds no takers

  1. What? The countries in the BRICS bloc have cold-shouldered China’s attempt to bring to the negotiating table a proposal for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the five major emerging economies
  2. Why? Apprehensions that it could lead to a surge in imports of Chinese goods into their territory — in turn, hurting local manufacturing
  3. BRICS FTA: It is aimed at boosting trade ties in the grouping through binding commitments on eliminating tariffs
  4. Background: The development comes amid hectic preparations for the BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting on October 13 and the first BRICS Trade Fair from October 12 to 14 (both in Delhi)
  5. Also, Eighth BRICS Summit to be held in Goa on October 15-16
  6. India is hosting these events as it currently holds the BRICS Chairmanship

BRICS Summits

BRICS will discuss sustainable and inclusive solutions

  1. News: The 8th BRICS summit to be held in Goa in October will be discussing ‘sustainable and inclusive solutions to the global problems’
  2. Significance: A stronger BRICS equals a more equitable world order as no country can by itself respond to today’s challenges
  3. By pooling capabilities, resources and ideas over shared concerns, BRICS is giving the world its contribution, at the same time ensuring its members a fair stake in the decision making process

BRICS Summits

Technical issues delay launch of BRICS university

  1. News: BRICS will be unable to launch its showpiece university in 2016 as foundational issues are yet to be resolved
  2. Background: BRICS Network University (BRICS-NU) was first mooted in March 2015 and was scheduled to be launched in 2016 but the member countries are yet to find common modalities for the unique venture
  3. Technical issues: Curriculum, language differences among the students of member countries and nature of infrastructure
  4. Nature of university: This is a major issue, with some sections insisting that it should be a virtual facility providing distance education and training
  5. Way ahead: These issues are likely to be taken up by the education ministers of the member-countries of BRICS during the upcoming summit in Goa

BRICS Summits

New Development Bank defines its brand identity as an eco-friendly lender

  1. News: The New Development Bank (NDB) of BRICS has developed a defining brand identity- of a pronounced eco-friendly lender of the emerging countries
  2. Green Bonds: NDB reinforced its eco-centric credentials by issuing its first Green Financial Bond worth 3 billion Yuan, in the Chinese Interbank Bond Market
  3. The response to the bond issue shows that that in addition to accessing global capital markets, considerable scope exists for the NDB to raise funding from local capital markets of the BRICS member countries
  4. Funding: The bank has so far funded five projects for each of its members, all related to renewable energy
  5. Examples: India’s Canara Bank has received $250 million that would be channeled to develop 500 MW of renewable energy
  6. Brazil will develop 600 MW of renewable energy from a funding of $300 million
  7. NDB: It is inclined to fund projects which conform to high environmental standards, including those in the field of infrastructure, such as energy, railways and highways in the future
  8. Sustainable development, which means a heavy focus on environmental protection is part of its mandate

BRICS Summits

India to discuss trade curbs, projects at BRICS meeting

  1. Context: Govt is preparing a list of priority projects for which investments could be sought from other BRICS nations
  2. Investments would be sought for projects, mostly in infra sector, from other member nations
  3. Proposal: To set up a mechanism to expeditiously resolve non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that are hurting goods trade between BRICS member countries
  4. This will be taken up for discussion during the next month’s meeting of the grouping’s Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI)
  5. CGETI meeting: Sets agenda for BRICS trade and economy ministers’ meeting
  6. BRICS Chair: India is chairing the influential bloc BRICS for an 11-month term till Dec 2016
  7. India will seek cooperation between BRICS countries on standards and technical regulations in goods and services trade
  1. Context: Govt is preparing a list of priority projects for which investments could be sought from other BRICS nations
  2. Investments would be sought for projects, mostly in infra sector, from other member nations
  3. Proposal: To set up a mechanism to expeditiously resolve non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that are hurting goods trade between BRICS member countries
  4. This will be taken up for discussion during the next month’s meeting of the grouping’s Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI)
  5. CGETI meeting: Sets agenda for BRICS trade and economy ministers’ meeting
  6. BRICS Chair: India is chairing the influential bloc BRICS for an 11-month term till Dec 2016
  7. India will seek cooperation between BRICS countries on standards and technical regulations in goods and services trade

BRICS Summits

New BRICS bank set to fund green energy projects

  1. News: New Development Bank(NDB) multilateral lender is all set to fund more than a dozen projects this year, which will focus on renewable energy.
  2. Focus of NDB: on green energy projects
  3. For Capital: NDB would include market borrowing to raise capital, but bonds in local currency, rather than hard currency, would be favoured
  4. NDB clarification : It will not geared to issue soft loans
  5. NDB’s initial capital: Fixed at $50 billion, and the total paid in capital would be $ 10 billion
  1. News: New Development Bank(NDB) multilateral lender is all set to fund more than a dozen projects this year, which will focus on renewable energy.
  2. Focus of NDB: on green energy projects
  3. For Capital: NDB would include market borrowing to raise capital, but bonds in local currency, rather than hard currency, would be favoured
  4. NDB clarification : It will not geared to issue soft loans
  5. NDB’s initial capital: Fixed at $50 billion, and the total paid in capital would be $ 10 billion

BRICS Summits

BRICS MoU on cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation(STI)

  1. Context: India signed BRICS MoU at Brasilia, Brazil on the sidelines of 3rd BRICS STI Ministerial meeting
  2. The News: envisages promotion of cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation by means of mutually agreed S&T events and activities
  3. Objectives: To establish a strategic framework of cooperation in STI
  4. To address the common global, and regional socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences
  5. Co-generate new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes etc.
  1. Context: India signed BRICS MoU at Brasilia, Brazil on the sidelines of 3rd BRICS STI Ministerial meeting
  2. The News: envisages promotion of cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation by means of mutually agreed S&T events and activities
  3. Objectives: To establish a strategic framework of cooperation in STI
  4. To address the common global, and regional socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences
  5. Co-generate new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes etc.

BRICS Summits

Visa pact likely in 8th BRICS summit

  1. What? India is planning to push for business visa liberalization and issuing business travel cards among the BRICS
  2. Occasion: During 8th annual BRICS summit whose chairmanship is with India this year
  3. Benefits: Allow businessmen multiple-entry business visas for a longer period of time
  4. Theme: “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”
  5. India leaving BRICS? The meeting will be held amid calls that India should dissociate itself from BRICS as it is an outlier among the 5
  6. Why? Brazil and Russia are in deep economic trouble because of the crash in oil and commodity prices
  7. Both China and South Africa have slowed sharply because of domestic economic difficulties
  1. What? India is planning to push for business visa liberalization and issuing business travel cards among the BRICS
  2. Occasion: During 8th annual BRICS summit whose chairmanship is with India this year
  3. Benefits: Allow businessmen multiple-entry business visas for a longer period of time
  4. Theme: “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”
  5. India leaving BRICS? The meeting will be held amid calls that India should dissociate itself from BRICS as it is an outlier among the 5
  6. Why? Brazil and Russia are in deep economic trouble because of the crash in oil and commodity prices
  7. Both China and South Africa have slowed sharply because of domestic economic difficulties

BRICS Summits

China hosts 1st BRICS media summit

  1. China has taken initiative for creating an alternative media platform for 5 emerging economies.
  2. It aimed to create a new institutional framework to benefit the media of five emerging economies of BRICS grouping.
  3. The summit proposed the formation of a BRICS Media Foundation for supporting and protecting journalists belonging to grouping.
  4. In the first summit, leaders of 25 Media organisations from the BRICS, pitched for building consensus to deal with climate change, terrorism, & key global issues.

China’s Xinhua news agency is the initiator of the project which adds one more dimension to the BRICS format.

  1. China has taken the initiative for creating an alternative media platform for the 5 emerging economies.
  2. It aimed to create a new institutional framework to benefit the media of five emerging economies of BRICS grouping.
  3. The summit proposed the formation of a BRICS Media Foundation for supporting and protecting journalists belonging to the grouping.
  4. In the first summit, leaders of 25 Media organisations from the BRICS, pitched for building consensus to deal with climate change, terrorism,and other key global issues.

BRICS Summits

BRICS can give shape to G20, says Modi

  1. The BRICS could give shape to G20, a signal from the BRICS nations to the developed countries of their rising significance in global matters.
  2. Mr. Modi demanded that the target lowering of the cost of global remittances be advanced to sooner than 2030.
  3. He also made a case for close coordination to prevent corruption and for cooperation to freeze unaccounted money hoarded abroad.
  4. He cautioned against new trading blocs leading to division of the global trade regime.
  5. He called for strengthening the rule-based global trading system and speeding up the completion of the Doha Development Agenda of the WTO.
  1. The BRICS could give shape to G20, a signal from the BRICS nations to the developed countries of their rising significance in global matters.
  2. He also made a case for close coordination to prevent corruption and for cooperation to freeze unaccounted money hoarded abroad.
  3. He cautioned against new trading blocs leading to division of the global trade regime.
  4. He called for strengthening the rule-based global trading system and speeding up the completion of the Doha Development Agenda of the WTO.

BRICS Summits

India Calls for Multilateral Funding in Science-Tech among BRICS Countries

  1. India supports Multilateral Funding System, provides basis for announcing BRICS Call for Proposal to support multi-country research projects.
  2. India has supported creation of BRICS Research and Innovation Networking Platform (RINP).
  3. Under which, BRICS Innovation Corps to be created and that an inventory of innovative products, services and solutions maintained.
  4. India also welcomed the proposed BRICS initiative on ‘Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network’ (GRAIN).

The 3rd Ministerial Meeting of BRICS held on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) at Moscow on 28th Oct.

  1. India supports Multilateral Funding System, provides basis for announcing BRICS Call for Proposal to support multi-country research projects.
  2. India has supported creation of BRICS Research and Innovation Networking Platform (RINP).
  3. Under which, BRICS Innovation Corps to be created and that an inventory of innovative products, services and solutions maintained.
  4. India also welcomed the proposed BRICS initiative on ‘Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network’ (GRAIN).

BRICS Summits

New Development Bank opens in Shanghai

  1. Main reason for the birth of NDB has been the reluctance of US and Europe on giving more say to developing countries in the Bretton Woods institutions.
  2. A ‘hotline’ was established between AIIB and NDB for closer cooperation.
  3. NDB will have initial capital of $50 Billion and will be further raised to $100 Billion by next two years.
  1. Main reason for the birth of NDB has been the reluctance of US and Europe on giving more say to developing countries in the Bretton Woods institutions.
  2. A ‘hotline’ was established between AIIB and NDB for closer cooperation.
  3. NDB will have initial capital of $50 Billion and will be further raised to $100 Billion by next two years.

Importance for Exams

Mains : This year is special because India holds chair of the BRICS Summit from February to December. Though the exact outcome of all the Conferences, Meeting, MoUs, Declarations leading to the main Summit is not important, the themes being discussed are independently very important.

Prelims : All the declarations(Jaipur, Udaipur, etc), places(Khajuraho) where meetings were held and other keywords(like the BRICS Wellness Index) are important from a prelims perspective.

In News

The 2016 8th Annual BRICS Summit will be held in Panaji, Goa, from 15th to 16th October. The theme this year is Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions. It will be attended by the heads of state/government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Timeline

September – Events and Outcomes
1 -2 Sept – BRICS Convention on Tourism, Khajuraho
2-6 Sept – BRICS film festival
10-11 Sept – BRICS Wellness Workshop, Bangalore
The Ministry of AYUSH, in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS).
14 Sept – BRICS Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism
16 Sept – BRICS Environment Ministers.
GOA MoU on setting up of JWG environment-related issues
14-16 Sept – 3rd BRICS Urbanisation Forum, Visakhapatnam
17 Sept – MOU on Climate co-operation

 


August – Events and Outcomes

1-2 Aug – BRICS Workshop on Strengthening Health Surveillance, Bengaluru
22 Aug – BRICS Women Parliamentarians’ Forum, Jaipur
Jaipur Declaration – Enablers for achieving SDG
22-23 Aug – 2nd meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Disaster Management, Udaipur
Udaipur Declaration – to enable Disaster Risk Management
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