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(From Left) President Michel Temer, President Xi Jingping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Vladimir Putin and President Jacob Zuma pose in front  of sand art representing national monuments from BRICS member countries in Goa on October 15.
(From Left) President Michel Temer, President Xi Jingping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Vladimir Putin and President Jacob Zuma pose in front  of sand art representing national monuments from BRICS member countries in Goa on October 15.

India, Russia, China Discuss Security, Trade, Terrorism

The five countries represent almost half the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s economy at a combined $16.6 trillion

India, Russia, China Discuss Security, Trade, Terrorism

The BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—are hoping to boost trade and economic development as they meet for a summit on cyber security, counterterrorism and energy security in Benaulim, in the western Indian state of Goa, Saturday.
The host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the other BRICS leaders—Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Michel Temer, and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma—hope to cooperate on cyber security, counterterrorism and energy security, news outlets reported.
The five countries represent almost half the world's population and a quarter of the world’s economy at a combined $16.6 trillion.
Efforts to intertwine their economies more closely come at a time when the BRICS nations, once hailed as the engines of global growth, have been hit by a slowdown.
Indo-Russia Deals Worth Billions
India and Russia signed billions of dollars of defense and energy deals at the summit that sought to inject new life into a relationship that has been tested by shifting global alliances and conflict in the Middle East.
Under the biggest agreement, a group led by Russian state oil major Rosneft said it would pay $12.9 billion for a controlling stake in both India's Essar Oil and port facilities that it owns.
The countries, which had strong ties during the Cold War, announced plans for a joint venture to build helicopters in India. New Delhi said it would also buy surface-to-air missile systems and stealth frigates from Moscow.
India announced that it will buy the S-400 Triumf air defense system from Russia, worth over $5 billion, procure and collaborate in making frigates and set up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters.
The deals were announced after talks between Modi and  Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit.
The Rosneft-Essar deal will be the biggest foreign takeover in India, and Russia's largest outbound deal, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"Ours is a truly unique and privileged relationship," Modi said and added that his views were aligned with Putin's on the unstable situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East, where Moscow is at odds with the West in the five-year-old civil war in Syria that has killed hundreds of thousands.
Terrorism
Modi and Xi Jinping recognized terrorism as a “key issue”, an Indian official said after a meeting between the two leaders. But Beijing gave no assurance on supporting New Delhi's bid on a UN ban against Pakistan-based militant leader Masood Azhar.
Modi said, "My meeting with President Xi Jinping was fruitful. We discussed various aspects of India-China ties."
"Both sides have recognized terrorism as a key issue. President Xi said we should strengthen our security dialogue and partnership," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters.
Modi later commended South Africa for the tremendous contribution it has made to the BRICS grouping.
Zuma in turn called for expanding cooperation in various areas between the two countries and simplification of visa regime.
Revival
Russia and Brazil are in recession, China’s growth is down to its weakest in a quarter century, South Africa’s economy has also contracted, and although India’s economy has revived, the country is still struggling to increase investment and create jobs.
Ahead of the summit, China proposed a free trade area among the group to advance commerce, but the idea has not found favor from the others who fear being swamped by Chinese goods.
Trade experts say that to make progress, leaders at the BRICS summit will have to cut back on competition and increase cooperation in hopes to improve markets.
While expanding trade ties may take time for these countries, experts say the group has some achievements to its credit on the economic front. To date, the group's biggest achievement has been setting up a BRICS bank to expand lending for infrastructure projects, initially within their countries.

 

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