Xi signals direction for BRICS cooperation in 2nd "golden decade"

By: XinhuaFrom:English Edition of Xinhua | Updated: 2018-Jul-27 16:41
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BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping highlighted key points to lead BRICS cooperation into its second "golden decade" while attending the BRICS Johannesburg Summit in South Africa from July 25 to 27.

While addressing Wednesday's BRICS Business Forum at the summit, Xi called on BRICS countries to keep abreast of the trend of the times to achieve common development, stressing win-win cooperation, innovation, inclusive growth and multilateralism.

Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said, "a clear message is that BRICS should pay closer attention to the 4th industrial revolution, which is crucial for every BRICS economy and Africa at large."

The new revolution in science, technology, and industry is gaining momentum, featuring artificial intelligence, big data, quantum information, and biotechnology. The Chinese leader called on emerging markets and developing countries to seize the opportunity and achieve leapfrog development.

"China has taken a step ahead in industrial transformation, but the room for cooperation is huge," Chen said.

Xu Xiujun, executive director of the BRICS Study Base under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the past three industrial revolutions were all led by developed countries, however, this time, developing countries, particularly the BRICS, will not miss out.

To succeed, Xu said, BRICS countries need to cooperate in innovative manufacturing, while deepening ties in trade, finance, technology, and health, among other areas.

Another key point is support for multilateralism and the open world economy. The summit is held against the backdrop of rising unilateralism and protectionism in some parts of the world.

Xi called on BRICS countries to firmly promote an open world economy, be resolute in rejecting unilateralism and protectionism, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and jointly steer the global economy toward greater openness, inclusiveness, balanced growth, and win-win outcomes for all.

The summit provides BRICS countries with an opportunity to speak with a clear and loud voice to uphold multilateralism and enhance cooperation, said Chen.

The third message, the experts said, is to continue improving global governance for an enabling and stable environment for emerging markets and developing countries, which contribute 80 percent of global economic growth.

Xi said the collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries is unstoppable. "We should make sure that the views of emerging markets and developing countries are heeded, their interests and demands are taken into consideration, and there are sufficient opportunities for their development," he said.

BRICS groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRIC, its predecessor, was first coined in 2001. The concept turned into a formal cooperation framework in 2006. The acronym changed to BRICS after South Africa joined the grouping in 2010.

The BRICS cooperation mechanism has become an increasingly important platform for cooperation in the developing world.

BRICS Plus cooperation, created at last year's Xiamen summit, is continued at the Johannesburg summit, with leaders of developing countries outside BRICS invited to join the dialogue.

Xu said by continuing BRICS Plus, BRICS is becoming a platform to strengthen ties between all emerging markets and developing countries across the world.

"This is exactly where a platform such as BRICS can play a better role," Chen said. "By developing itself well, it can take the lead in South-South cooperation to benefit more countries."