New Delhi, Oct 22: India has agreed to consider a Russian proposal aimed at developing multilateral economic cooperation within the BRICS grouping.
Russia has proposed that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) members develop a strategy of multilateral economic cooperation.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Vladimir Putin discussed this at the just concluded India-Russia annual summit in Moscow.
The BRICS countries together account for around 3 billion people, and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over $16 trillion.
For its member countries, BRICS is a platform for dialogue and cooperation in economic, financial and development spheres.
India and Russia, in the joint statement issued at the end of Manmohan Singh’s visit, stressed upon the importance of developing all aspects of multilateral cooperation within BRICS as the most solid basis for further strengthening of diverse ties among its members.
At the fifth BRICS summit in March in South Africa, the members agreed on a number of new initiatives, including the establishment of a new Development Bank with initial subscribed capital of $50 billion, and a contingency reserve arrangement of $100 billion.
India and Russia expressed confidence that the forthcoming BRICS summit in Brazil will help strengthen the role of BRICS in the international stage.
The goals set by the BRICS countries include gradual strengthening of positions, ensuring equity with traditional centres of power in managing the global economy and global finance, and closer interaction with international financial and economic institutions.
The Putin-Singh summit also highlighted the role of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as an important mechanism for trade and investment cooperation and developing regional integration in the Asia-Pacific.
Reiterating its support for India’s accession to APEC membership, Russia said that having India in APEC would facilitate addressing key issues of regional and global trade.
(Biswajit Choudhury can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)