Speech of V. Putin at BRICS Summit plenary session
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ms Rousseff, colleagues, friends,
Our summits are always held in a constructive, business-oriented setting. We have a common interest in broadening multidimensional cooperation, strengthening trust and mutual understanding.
BRICS holds a unique place in the global economy. It is the largest market in the world. Moreover, our combined gross domestic product has reached 21% of the global volume and continues to grow steadily.
Our nations play an increasingly significant role in the global political arena as well. It is thanks to Russia and China’s firm stance in the UN Security Council, with support from other BRICS participants, that we were able to rally most international dialogue participants – including the European Union and the United States – and prevent a foreign invasion in Syria, achieving the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons.
It is important that we are united by a desire to act from unified positions in all issues of global development and the formation of the global financial and economic architecture. BRICS nations are cooperating constructively within the framework of the G20, actively contributing to substantively enhancing the G20’s agenda, developing agreements aimed at accelerating global economic growth and trade and resolving employment problems. We are working together to move forward on one of the most difficult problems in global governance: IMF reform.
In the time that has passed since the Durban summit, we have been able to achieve significant successes. I want to stress that all the plans we set for ourselves a year ago have come to fruition. I am referring, first and foremost, to our plans to create a new Development Bank and a Currency Reserve Pool for BRICS nations. Today, we have confirmed their founding documents.
The BRICS bank will become one of the largest multilateral financial development institutions in the world. Its stated capital will be 100 billion dollars.
The scale of possible operations within the framework of the Currency Reserve Pool may also reach 100 billion dollars. This mechanism creates the prerequisites for effectively protecting our countries from financial market crises.
The bank and the Currency Pool, with combined resources of 200 billion dollars, lay the foundation for coordinating a macroeconomic policy between our nations.
I am confident that closer economic and financial cooperation between BRICS countries will allow us to implement truly large-scale joint programmes with the aim of securely developing our nations.
I will note that recently, the BRICS Business Council has been working actively. Earlier, we acted as initiators in creating this organisation. We have already used it to prepare several promising multilateral projects, including improving the investment climate.
The BRICS Banking Forum is functioning effectively. The BRICS Exchanges Alliance is an important direction for economic cooperation. It provides a cross-listing of shares from over 7,000 BRICS companies with a total capitalisation of about eight trillion dollars.
BRICS already has more than twenty cooperation formats, from yearly summits to working groups, addressing international information security, healthcare, agriculture, science and technology, and many other fields.
We are developing BRICS cooperation in the “outreach” format, which was launched in Durban by President of South Africa Mr Zuma during a meeting between BRICS and African Union leadership, as well as eight other leading integrated groups in Africa.
Tomorrow, we will hold a joint session with South American heads of state. I think such contacts with the leaders of various regions throughout the world help increase the prestige of our organisation.
In the conditions of increased international competition, the challenge of activating trade and investment cooperation between our nations becomes particularly important. This will allow us to realise the advantages resulting from the complementary nature of our economies, and to reduce the vulnerability of each BRICS nation to adverse global trends.
Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa already account for 11% of accumulated investment and nearly 20% of global trade. Trade between BRICS nations is growing. In the last five years, this indicator has nearly doubled.
The Russian side has prepared a draft BRICS Strategy for Multilateral Economic Cooperation. We are submitting it for discussion. We feel it would be useful to create a special high-level working group to work in depth on developing the draft Strategy.
The Strategy’s key positions are specified in another document prepared by the Russian side: the Roadmap for Investment Cooperation. It includes 37 projects in various areas, from high technologies to the humanitarian sector. Please allow me to highlight just a few of the most important ones.
We propose the establishment of the BRICS Energy Association. We could create a Fuel Reserve Bank and a BRICS Energy Policy Institute under its roof. These steps would allow us to strengthen our nations’ energy security and prepare us for the creation of new instruments and new institutes to trade energy resources.
The joint use of the Russian global navigation system, GLONASS, in a wide range of areas – transport, public safety, and agriculture – seems very promising. According to expert assessments, the use of the GLONASS system in agriculture alone will allow for a 30-50 percent increase in crop capacity. A similar effect, and even better, is expected in other areas.
BRICS nations should cooperate more closely in commodities markets. We have a unique resource base; our nations hold 30 to 60 percent of global reserves of various resources. Therefore, we believe it is imperative to develop cooperation in mining and processing, and organise a centre for training experts in the metals industries in BRICS nations.
We believe it is important to broaden humanitarian contacts and form parliamentary, civic, trade union and youth dimensions within BRICS. We propose signing an Agreement on cooperation in culture and creating a BRICS network university that will include our nations’ leading schools.
Russia will follow Brazil in chairing BRICS. We will certainly ensure continuity in the work of our association, taking into account the priorities put forward by our Brazilian colleagues. At the same time, we will try to enrich our practical work with new ideas. Overall, we will do everything necessary for further strengthening the role of BRICS in world affairs and in addressing regional problems.
I invite everyone to the BRICS Summit to be held in Ufa, Russia on July 9-10, 2015.
Thank you for your attention.