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BRICS asks G20 to work harder on economic policy cooperation

business Updated: Nov 16, 2015 01:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Antalya: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS meeting, on the sidelines of G20.(PTI)

The BRICS group of emerging nations called on the group of 20 (G20) top developed and developing nations on Sunday to strengthen their macroeconomic policy cooperation to prevent bad effects from a weak global economy and reduce risks to growth.

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, who met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Turkish town of Antalya, said global economic recovery was not yet sustainable.

“(This) underlines the importance of strengthening macroeconomic policy coordination and cooperation among G20 members to avoid negative spillovers and to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth,” the group said in a statement after the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the relevance drawn upon by the five nations together to the world.

“There was a time when the logic of BRICS and its lasting capacity were being questioned. We have provided proof of the relevance and value of BRICS through our actions. And, this has come at a time of huge global challenges,” Modi said.

The launch of The New Development Bank, also called BRICS Bank, a multilateral institution along with the setting up of a $100 billion crisis fund to contain currency volatility, is seen as counterweights to the US and Europe dominated financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

“We hope that the New Development Bank will start its operations quickly. As I said in Ufa, its first project should be on clean energy, preferably across all BRICS countries,” he said.

BRICS, which have been meeting regularly since 2009, account for a fifth of the world’s economic output and 40% of its population.

Modi made a strong pitch for a rule-based global trading system and “ensuring that new trading blocs do not lead to division of the global trade regime”.

Promoting greater mobility of skilled professionals across countries was crucial, mirroring his domestic focus to enhance skill levels among millions of young Indians to enter the job market every year.

On climate change, Modi said that the G20 must align itself with the sustainable development goals (SDGs). “In doing so, we will also stimulate faster and a more broad-based economic growth,” he said during his intervention at the G20 Working Lunch on Development and Climate Change.

“G20 countries should increase the share of traffic on public transportation in cities by 30% by 2030. We should shift from ‘carbon credit’ towards ‘green credit’. When we speak of targets, we must not only reduce the use of fossil fuel, but also moderate our life style,” he said, citing the various initiatives that India has launched, including additional capacity of 175GW of renewable energy by 2022, cut in subsidies on fossil fuel and tax on coal, and the setting up of a National Clean Energy Fund of US$3 billion to promote clean technologies.