BRICS Nations Talk Cooperation, Blue Economy at 2017 Summit in China


Xiamen, China – Deepening cooperation in the maritime sector is one of four major trade and economic topics being deliberated at the 9th BRICS business summit held in China with global peace and security also highlighted.

Report by Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, [email protected]

President Xi Jinping, in his keynote address at the opening of the summit Sunday, September 3, stressed the significance of global peace and security calling for political settlement of issues.

He said BRICS countries should implement agreements and consensus already reached while actively exploring new ways and areas of practical cooperation.

BRICS, comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is a group of the five biggest emerging economies in the world cooperating for share economic progress.

Their leaders have “attached great importance” to the cooperation following increasing rapid growth for the five countries in the last decade.

This year’s gathering, from September 2 – 5, is being held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, southeast of China’s main land. 

‘Upholding Global Peace’

President Xi said BRICS countries should uphold global peace and stability, a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

“We BRICS countries are committed to upholding global peace and contributing to the international security order,” he said.

BRICS have set up regular dialogue mechanism on Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue, Counter-Terrorism Working Group, Cyber security Working Group, and the Consultation on Peacekeeping Operations.

Xi said these mechanisms strengthen consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues among BRICS countries.

“We should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, firmly support multilateralism, work for greater democracy in international relations, and oppose hegemonism and power politics,” he said.

“I am convinced that as long as we take a holistic approach to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and address both its symptoms and root causes, terrorists will have no place to hide.”

This year’s forum is held under the theme, “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.

The main focus is on trade and investment, financial cooperation, connectivity, and blue economy, which seek to enhance deepening collaboration in the maritime sector amongst member countries with an eye also on other nations for partnership.

The Chinese leaders also called for deepening economic cooperation and improve global economic governance as developing countries exert efforts to achieve growth amid the fragility of the world’s economic recovery.

The BRICS summit will see the leaders of the five countries in full attendance Monday, September 4.

The leaders will deliberate major cooperation pacts to strengthen world economic development, promote trade liberalization as a means of fostering globalization.

Guinea Amongst BRICS Plus Invitees

China, as the rotating chairman of the bloc this year, has invited the leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand as part of a new model, dubbed: BRICS Plus.

BRICS Plus intends to strengthen dialogue cooperation between the five members and other emerging economies or developing countries by promoting the establishment of broader partnerships, fostering mutual development and prosperity on a larger scale.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Egypt – a leading country in northern Africa, has “much political sway in the Middle East”, as well as Thailand in Southeast Asia, Mexico in Latin America and Tajikistan as its “strategic partner” which plays an important role in its border security. 

The Republic of Guinea chairs the African Union and enjoys ties with the Asian nation. The West African country is also rich in natural resources, and would use the forum as a means of advancing its economic relations within BRICS.

BRICS Aiming High

Already enjoying staggering progress over the past decade, BRICS nations make up 50 percent of the global economic growth, 23 percent of the world’s economy and a comprehensive GDP of US$6.78 trillion.

President Xi said the bloc should work to usher in the second “golden decade” of cooperation, and allow their achievements from economic cooperation have more substance.

Outlining some of progress in 2017, he said: “This year BRICS countries have made progress in the operation of the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement and in e-commerce, trade and investment facilitation, trade in services, local currency bond issuance, scientific and technological innovation, industrial cooperation and public-private partnership.”

The five countries make up 44 percent of world’s population, and experts say, enjoy abundant natural and human resources, vast markets, huge growth potential and bright prospects from their policy coordination”.

Blue Economy’

On Saturday, September 2 the director of BRICS business forum announced ‘blue economy’ or the maritime sector, as one of four areas for discussion on the sideline of the summit. The others are trade and investment, financial cooperation and development and connectivity.

“The Blue economy is an important topic for us to extend new cooperation space and under the guidance of it we can strengthen cooperation in relevant areas such as shipping and energy and other related areas,” said Jiang Zengwei, director of the organizing committee of 2017 BRICS business forum.

Jiang said the economic bloc would contemplate exchanges with other countries after thorough study of the maritime sector.

This will be an important part of development strategies for cooperation amongst BRICS countries and through this cooperation we’ll further extend our trade and investment cooperation, he said.

“We also need to closely study before the BRICS countries can cooperate with developed countries, particularly those countries with advance technologies in this regard to extend our cooperation in blue economy and inject new dynamism into our trade,” said Jiang, who is also the Chairman of China council for the promotion of international trade (CCPIT).

Over 1200 persons including top manufacturing, IT, agriculture and science multinational companies amongst the world top 500 firms are attending the summit.

 “We hope that through the allocations of market factors and resources, we can include cooperation into competition, create more conducive condition for enterprises so that we can develop better and generate more wealth which in turn will benefit our own countries and the people around the world,” he said.