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Jointly Drawing A New Blueprint for BRICS’ Economic and Trade Cooperation

Submit Time:11-09-2017 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Zhong Shan | Source:People’s Daily (July 31, 2017)

Abstract:

In September this year, China will take the rotating BRICS presidency and hold the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen before BRICS’ cooperation entering the second “Golden Decade”. 

At the BRICS Leaders’ Informal Meeting in Hangzhou in 2016, President Xi Jinping expressed that if we constantly strengthen partnerships in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation regardless of wind or rain, the BRICS will certainly make more progress. 

The last “Golden Decade” makes BRICS’ cooperation an irresistible trend. The institutionalization, systematization and substantialization of BRICS’ economic and trade cooperation have greatly promoted the progress of the world multi-polarization, economic globalization, growth diversification and the democratization of the global governance. 

During the last decade, the BRICS have become an important engine for the world economy by letting its member countries work together and improve hand in hand. The proportion of BRICS’ national aggregate economy in world economy increased from 12% to 23%, trade volume from 11% to 16% and foreign investment from 7% to 12%, contributing to more than 50% of the world’s economic growth. 

During the last decade, the BRICS countries have pulled together in times of trouble, and strived to promote a new global partnership for development. By working together and fighting against international financial shock jointly, the BRICS has achieved a win-win situation and opened up a new approach to South-South cooperation. 

During the last decade, the BRICS countries have deepened their cooperation and sought common development, letting the world gaining a new understanding about the BRICS’ mechanism. With the deepening economic and trade cooperation, the BRICS proposes an open world economy and supports the multilateral trading system, making it become an important constructive force for improving global economic governance. 

Looking forward, opportunities and challenges both exist in the BRICS’ cooperation. On the one hand, with an upbeat economy and positive growing signs, the external development environment has been improved. On the other hand, the deeper problems of world economy remain unsolved. Trade and investment protectionism is rising, and numerous unstable and uncertain factors still threaten the future development. 

At a historic juncture of following the past and breaking new grounds for the future, the 7th Trade Ministers’ Meeting of the BRICS will be held in Shanghai, China. The BRICS, the bellwether for emerging market countries and developing countries, has responsibility, confidence and capacity to seize opportunities and meet challenges, and will continue to draw a new blueprint for economic and trade cooperation. 

This new blueprint means a closer, more comprehensive and firmer economic and trade partnership among the BRICS countries that will continue to put new power in world trade and investment. This new blueprint means the BRICS countries should build a community of shared interests by bringing into play their own advantages and building an integrative market in trade and investment. . This new blueprint means more countries could share the BRICS’ fast development by strengthening South-South cooperation and benefiting from the Belt and Road Initiative. It also means a more open, more inclusive and more balanced globalized economy, and it means enhancing mutual trust, building consensus and improving global economic governance. 

China and other BRICS members will deepen economic and trade cooperation and solidly implement the achievements of the former Ministers Meetings, striving to make more economic and trade contribution in Xiamen’s meeting. 

First, we should improve the trade development level. We propose the BRICS countries should act together to lead a road of open development and mutual benefits. We should jointly build Model E-Port Network, draw up the roadmap for service trade cooperation, improve e-commerce cooperation mechanism and release the principles and action plan for intellectual property rights cooperation. We should seize the opportunities for trade development to improve the BRICS’ trade facilitation and interconnection.  

Second, we should strengthen the cooperation for investment facilitation. We propose the BRICS countries should act together to continue to push ahead the process of investment facilitation based on the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking passed at the G20 Hangzhou summit. We should enhance the transparency of investment policies, improve the administrative efficiency and service level and strengthen the adjustment of the policies for investment facilitation. 

Third, we should deepen economic and technological cooperation. We propose the BRICS countries should act together, strengthen unity and support each other. Other successful experience of multilateral cooperation mechanism should be taken into consideration. We should enhance the BRICS’ trade investment capacity fundamentally by actively carrying out capacity building and economic and technological cooperation in sectors such as trade investment facilitation, e-commerce, IPR and service trade. 

Forth, we should jointly support multilateral trade system. We propose the BRICS countries should act together to send off powerful signal of multilateral trade system and enhance the system’s role as the main channel. We should oppose trade protectionism and continue to support the WTO and other international organizations’ important role in supervising the trend of protectionism. We should appeal to the WTO members for working around e-commerce and investment facilitation and get balanced, meaningful and development-oriented results at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference. 

At this new starting point, let us work together to tap the potential of economic and trade cooperation deeply, tighten the link of economic and trade interests. In this way, we will jointly build the BRICS’ second “Golden Decade” of cooperation and make new contribution to world economy growth.

(Author: Minister of Commerce) 


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