Address by H.E. Ambassador Victor I. Sibilev at Friendly Meeting of BRICS Countries' Ambassadors, December 14, 2016
It has become a tradition that at the end of the year, just before Christmas, we all meet each other in our capacity as BRICS countries’ ambassadors to Botswana in the company of our friends.
As we all know, BRICS is playing all the more important role in international affairs. In 2007, the group accounted for less than 24 percent of global GDP, but this year it accounts for over 31 percent. The five BRICS countries are active participants in developing multilateral decisions and agreements that will accelerate global growth and trade and help to create new jobs.
The Group has been continuously improving its extensive architecture of cooperation mechanisms intended to promote hands-on enhancement of the global financial system’s stability and reliability and the strengthening of trade, economic and investment cooperation between the BRICS participants and with other countries. The operationalization of BRICS financial institutions crowned our joint efforts in this area.
In this regard, it is commendable that meetings of heads of state and senior officials continue on different occasions. The latest BRICS summit was held fr om 15 to 16 October 2016 in Benaulim, Goa, India. The summit’s agenda included plans to strengthen the BRICS strategic partnership as a key international organisation and develop multifaceted cooperation through the group.
The BRICS joint declaration signed at the summit offers a multilateral vision of the world, wh ere regional and local trade deals are only a supplement to the larger framework of the World Trade Organization.
Over the past year, the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement have begun their practical work. The Development Bank has already approved the first five investment projects in the clean energy sector, one project in each member country. The bank will actively develop project financing in the BRICS countries’ national currencies.
The launch of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement gives the BRICS countries opportunities to better protect their currencies from financial market fluctuations. Starting from February, the BRICS countries’ central banks have opened special correspondent accounts in our national currencies.
BRICS member states also agreed to set up an independent rating agency based on market-oriented principles. The decision came as a result of concerns over methodologies of the big three global agencies (S&P, Moody’s, Fitch), which constrain growth in emerging nations.
Speaking at the Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the BRICS states should foster cooperative efforts in fighting dangerous diseases. Moreover, Putin invited representatives of the BRICS states to attend the high-level global conference on tuberculosis. The conference, which will be held in Moscow in November 2017, is expected to focus on measures to fight Ebola, Zika and other diseases.
I believe that all these positive developments show us that BRICS is an example of a new approach to multilateral partnership based on openness, equity, solidarity, non-interference into each other’s affairs and equal rights. Not only is it new but also efficient, aimed at finding joint responses to global challenges.
Dear friends, I believe that in spite of serious economic, political and security challenges facing our countries and the whole world, BRICS will remain consolidated in pursuing its agenda and will contribute to the global efforts to the benefit of the entire world! Allow me to propose a toast for the health and well-being of the BRICS Heads of State and prosperity of our countries!