PM Modi has arrived in Brasilia to attend the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil. A large business delegation from India is also expected to be present during the visit, to attend the BRICS Business Forum where PM will address. The theme of this year’s summit is “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.”
Before his departure, Prime Minister in a series of tweet said, he is looking forward to exchanging views with leaders to enhance cultural and economic linkages between BRICS nations. This is Prime Minister’s second visit to Brazil and his first since President Jair Bolsonaro took the charge this year.
The Prime Minister also said the visit to Brazil will give him an opportunity to hold talks with President Jair Bolsonaro on ways to deepen the India-Brazil strategic partnership as there is great potential in sectors like trade, defence, agriculture and energy.
Interestingly, besides representatives from these nations, civil society members, labour union leaders, researchers and political activist from these countries had also gathered in Brasilia, on November 11 and 12 for the People’s BRICS to set the pro-people agenda to be deliberated at the Summit.
BRICS comprises of five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was proposed to be a platform for regional cooperation to counter the economic hegemony of U.S and dollar and Brettenwood institutions in the world market. But the narrow geopolitical interests and political tension among and between the member countries didn’t help them in their collective objective. Since last year, the United States and China are engaged in trade-war and have been imposing embargo and increased tariffs against each other. Indo-China relations have never been better off-late and there is no chance that it will get any better in the future as well. Political instability is at its helm in Brazil. Similarly, Russia is facing U.S illegal trade and economic sanctions for various reasons.
The expansion of New Development Bank is also on the agenda at the annual summit. New Development Bank (NDB) was created in 2014 when five BRICS nations came together to set up a financial institution to cater to developing nations need for money. The idea of NDB was initially propounded by India which after two years of negotiations materialized. NDB as a development bank was set up with a vision to challenge the domination of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on one side, and on the other side to finance sustainable development projects in developing countries. Five years since its inception, the NDB has failed in fulfiling its objectives and promises. Recently, it approved loans for projects which are environmentally threatening which includes trans-Amazonian highway in Brazil, a highly controversial project that has resulted in heightened deforestation in the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest.
The Chinese officials claimed that the BRICS Summit will mark the beginning of a new “golden decade” of cooperation between the five nations. However, this time Brazil, Russia and India have an uncanny similarity. All the three countries are now either ruled by right-wing governments which can hopefully be seen as a potential for cooperation. Under Modi, India has shown some allegiance to the U.S, but it needs to play its diplomacy quite well this time in order to keep the interest of China and Russia.