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NDIA TO FOCUS ON ECONOMIC COLLABORATION IN BRICS GROUP
ENERGY SECURITY, LIBERALISED VISA SYSTEM TOP SUMMIT AGENDA
By Nitya Chakraborty
India as the chairman of the BRICS group, will pursue a pro-active economic collaboration strategy to improve the economies of the five members of the group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, at the coming summit in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made a major impact at the 2015 summit at Ufa in Russia by elaborating on his plans about speeding up the process of cooperation among the members in the context of the global financial crisis, is working on a renovative programme which will take care of the immediate issues confronting the BRICS members.
India is planning to push for an agreement among the BRICS nations on business visa liberalization and issuing business travel cards during the eighth summit in September this year. Despite the fact that the original four nation BRIC group held its first summit in 2009,the problems of business travel are still creating hassles for the industry people and in the last seven years, not enough has been done to ease the restrictions on visa for the businessmen. India wants to focus on this issue this time and the Prime Minister is working on a programme which will help the member countries in facilitating the process of setting up businesses with ease.
The visa liberalization proposal is expected to allow businessmen multiple entry business visas for a longer period of time. The objective is to see that there is easy movement of the industrialists as also high level professionals within the BRICs nations and more and more joint venture projects are set up. India is also focusing on the role of MSMEs and how the BRICS as a group can collaborate to set up more such units having big potential for job generation. India is pursuing its own Make in India programme and MSME development policy. Prime Minister wants to give that Indian imprint at the BRICS summit.
Sources indicate that the theme of the New Delhi summit under India’s chairmanship will be Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions. The objective is to ensure that all the five nations will work together to find out solutions to the problems facing the BRICS economies in the context of the ailing global economy. As of now, excepting India, all other economies are facing crisis. Russia and Brazil are faced with severe crisis as a result of drop in the prices of crude oil and commodities, China and South Africa are having financial crisis. China was the model of development but the Chinese economy is showing signs of instability which is not good for the future of the global economy as also the BRICS.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is taking special interest in making the New Delhi summit a success, has instructed his officials to work on a ten point programme which will take the collaboration among the BRICS nations forward in the background of the present global economic reality. India will be hosting the first BRICs Trade Fair and there is a proposal to set up a railway research centre as also agriculture research centre. Indian Prime Minister is focusing on the collaboration amongst the BRICs nations in matters of local government and urbanization. There is a proposal for a BRICs Film Festival as also BRICS Sports meet. In fact, Indian policymakers are working on BRICS collaboration in every areas concerning people to people contact.
India has taken note of the Ufa declaration after the 2015 summit and as a follow up, India wants the New Development Bank(NDB) to work vigorously for financing the projects in the member countries as also in other developing countries in the areas of clean energy and infrastructure. India has its plans and NDB will be apprised of that. Presently Indian nominee KV Kamath is heading the NDB. The Ufa declaration adopted the strategy of Economic Partnership and as a follow up, India is working on the programme to expand trade and investment, manufacturing and minerals processing, energy and agricultural cooperation .India is also working into the feasibility of developing a BRICS, economic and investment cooperation trade map for the period upto 2020.
At the seventh summit at Ufa, India reversed its stand on e commerce at the BRICS and agreed for a framework to e-commerce cooperation among the BRICS members. India is now a big player in e commerce and this sector is growing exponentially in the country. India wants to play a proactive role in fostering the cooperation in e-commerce area among the BRICS group. The summit itself instructed the BRICS trade ministers to explore ways and means in strengthening cooperation in e-commerce. As the chairman in 2016, India is expected to play a leading role in making this e commerce collaboration a big success.
As of now, the BRICS economies comprise 43 per cent of the world population with 37 per cent of world gross domestic product and 17 per cent share in global trade. Earlier, the BRICS contributed in a big way to the global growth with India and China leading the group. The latest slowdown in the global economy has hit the BRICS members and now, only through cooperation and joint fight at the global forums against the economic policies of the developed countries, the process can be reversed. India believes that the BRICS government have to effectively cooperate in the present period to make the body a proactive one and contribute to the economic growth. India will contribute its share to the optimum level as the chairman this year. (IPA Service)