24 October 2015

BRICS Industry Officials Strike Positive Note At Moscow Meeting

By Tai Adelaja, Senior Account Manager and member of the Russia-RSA Business Council

Since Russia assumed the chairmanship of BRICS in April, many Russian cities – from Ufa to Khanty-Mansiysk – have been keen to accommodate visiting contingents from member states. Last week Moscow hosted a gathering of BRICS industry officials. In addition to developing a short-term action plan, meeting participants discussed industrial cooperation between BRICS countries and the various ways and means of implementing key joint projects that should boost economic growth within the group.

The BRICS group of emerging economies, comprising China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa, together account for one-third of the world’s economy and 40 percent of its population.

Denis Manturov, Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister, revealed that Russia has already developed a roadmap for trade and investment cooperation with all the BRICS countries through 2020. This includes projects in manufacturing, mining, engineering, energy and many other sectors of the economy, he said.

“The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which has already started the selection of next year’s priority projects, will contribute in attracting investment in joint projects in a wide range of industries,” Manturov highlighted. The NDB was established by BRICS member states in 2014 to complement the World Bank, with its main goal being to promote sustainable development in BRICS states.

Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov talks to journalists.

Russia would also like to see closer cooperation and coordination between the BRICS countries and the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the Russia-led trade bloc comprising some former Soviet states.

“We should consider reducing trade barriers between the BRICS countries and EEU in order to increase mutual trade, investment and develop new large industrial projects,” said Manturov, adding that the “Eurasian Economic Union is not an exclusive club in which only CIS countries can be members”.

South Africa, a PBN H+K client, was represented by the country’s Deputy Economic Development Minister Madala Masuku, who noted: “We are meeting at a time when the global economy is going through fundamental structural changes, but we are able overcome our existing uneven position through sober understanding of our comparative strengths and weaknesses. By learning from each other, and exchanging experience and technology, each BRICS country will be able to draw strength from the other’s economic differences.”

Chinese Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei also struck a positive note, saying that member states should strive to develop technical standards and create industrial parks in addition to promoting clean energy, economic growth and innovation among BRICS countries.