New Delhi, Jul 13: On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to attend the five-nation BRICS summit in Brazil, his first multilateral summit meeting since taking over office May 26, where he would also meet for the first time with the other heads of the bloc which include Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. Among the leaders he would be meeting for the first time are Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since becoming prime minister, he has only visited neighbouring Bhutan in his first foreign foray.
The Sixth BRICS Summit is being held in Fortaleza and Brasilia on July 15-16. The bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa accounts for 40 per cent of the global population and a combined GDP of $24 trillion. Modi would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma.
The prime minister will also meet the heads of governments of South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela, who have been invited by host Brazil. Modi would be accompanied by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (independent charge) Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
In a pre-departure statement, Modi said he looks at the BRICS Summit as an opportunity to discuss with his BRICS partners “how we can contribute to international efforts to address regional crises, address security threats and restore a climate of peace and stability in the world”.
“I also look forward to our discussions to further advance intra-BRICS economic cooperation and our collective efforts to advance global economic stability and prosperity. In particular, I look forward to the successful conclusion of major BRICS initiatives, like the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which have seen significant progress since their launch in New Delhi in 2012. These initiatives will support growth and stability in BRICS and also benefit other developing countries,” he said.
Modi said the “Summit theme, “Inclusive Growth; Sustainable Development”, will enable us to shape the post-2015 Development Agenda being discussed in the United Nations”. He said the Summit “will also be an occasion for my first meetings as Prime Minister with the leaders of our important global partners – Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa. I look forward to meaningful meetings with them to intensify bilateral relations and exchange views on global and regional developments”.
The prime minister said he also looks forward to meeting the heads of the South American countries. “India has traditionally enjoyed close, cordial and mutually beneficial ties with these countries. We share common aspirations and challenges. The Indian Diaspora in these countries also serves as the continent’s enduring link with India.
South America’s all round progress makes it a potentially important pole of the global economy and a land of enormous opportunities for us. My interactions would enable us to explore new ideas on further consolidating and expanding our ties with South America.”
The proposed BRICS bank, called New Development Bank is expected to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five countries. The bank will have an initial capital of $50 billion, with China contributing $41 billion, Brazil, Russia and India giving $18 billion each, and South Africa contributing $5 billion.