World Economy

BRICS Summit Opens: China's XI Calls for Enhanced Mutual Trust, Coop.

BRICS Summit Opens; China's XI Calls for Enhanced Mutual Trust, Coop.BRICS Summit Opens; China's XI Calls for Enhanced Mutual Trust, Coop.
BRICS countries should implement agreements and consensus already reached while actively exploring new ways and areas of practical cooperation

Chinese President Xi Jinping asked BRICS members to shelve their differences and accommodate each other's concerns by enhancing mutual trust and strategic communication, as he opened the three-day 9th annual summit of the five member emerging economies in the southeastern city of Xiamen, China.

"Economic cooperation is the foundation of the BRICS mechanism," Xi said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum. Some 1,200 industry representatives from the BRICS nations and other countries were in attendance at the forum, news outlets reported.

BRICS groups five emerging-market countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Its leaders—Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Michel Temer, South African President Jacob Zuma and Russian President Vladimir Putin—will attend the summit.

BRICS leaders will be joined by observer countries Thailand, Mexico, Egypt, Guinea and Tajikistan, and officials will discuss a “BRICS Plus” plan to possibly expand the bloc to new members.

In his speech broadly focusing on enhancing cooperation between the BRICS members, Xi said, "construction of a tall building starts with foundation. We have laid the foundation and put in place the framework for BRICS cooperation."

Xi said the BRICS nations had led the way in increasing the say of emerging economies and developing countries. "The law of the jungle where the strong prey on the weak and the zero-sum game are rejected," he told the audience, AP reported.

"We should not ignore problems arising from economic globalization or just complain about them," he said. Rather, BRICS nations should work together with other members of the international community to find solutions, he said.

Seeking Common Ground

Outlining BRICS cooperation in the last 10 years, he said treating each other as equals and seeking common ground while shelving differences is important part of cooperation. "Given difference in national conditions, history and cultures, it is only natural we may have some differences in pursuing our cooperation," he told about 1000 delegates from different countries.

"However with strong faith in cooperation and enhancing collaboration the BRICS countries can achieve steady progress in our cooperation," he added.

Xi 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, OutlookIndia reported.

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

Xi said BRICS economies are facing challenges posed by shrinking global demand and rising financial risks. To get through this stage, BRICS economies should pursue innovation-driven development created by smart manufacturing, the Internet Plus model, digital economy and sharing economy, he said.

He said BRICS countries should improve macroeconomic policy coordination, synergize development strategies, leverage strengths in industrial structure and resources endowment, and create value chains and a big market for shared interests to achieve interconnected development.

"We should blaze a new path which may also help other emerging market and developing countries to seize opportunities and meet challenges," Xi said.

Xi said he still had “full confidence” in BRICS countries’ development despite claims that the bloc’s relevance had faded due to slower growth. “The development of emerging market and developing countries won’t touch anyone’s cheese, but instead will diligently grow the world economic pie,” he said.

Holistic Approach

Xi also called on BRICS countries to adopt a holistic approach to fight terrorism in all its forms and ensure that terrorists have no place to hide. BRICS countries should take a constructive part in the process of resolving geopolitical hotspot issues and make due contributions, moneycontrol reported.

"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," he said.

His remarks came days after US President Donald Trump hit out at China's close ally Pakistan for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harboring terrorists.

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