Trade ministers of BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on Wednesday called for a combined effort to deal with problems of a bumpy world economy hit by sovereign debt worries in many European countries and protectionist tendencies in some developed economies.
The ministers underlined the need for “greater policy coordination” ahead of a scheduled summit meeting of the group’s heads of states on Thursday.
“The ministers agreed to coordinate their positions at the World Trade Organisations (WTO) and in other multilateral fora such as G20,” a joint statement issued after the trade ministers’ meeting said. “(There is) a need to resist protectionist tendencies.”
“Adversity of financial crisis is being faced by all,” commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said. “There is a need to work together to overcome from this problem.”
Other trade ministers echoed his view. “The world has to stop accumulating risks. There is a need to work closer,” Russia’s minister for economic development and trade Elvira Nabioullina said, adding that more than half of Russia’s trade is with the crisis-hit euro zone.
Euro zone refers to the group of European nations that use the euro as common currency.
Fernando Pimentel, Brazil’s minister for development, industry and foreign trade, said his nation would support a proposal to set up a development bank specifically for BRICS countries.
“This (a BRICS development bank) is a very powerful tool. Creating such a tool may be a major support to overcome the EU crisis," he said.
South African trade and industry minister Rob Davies said there was vast scope for expanding the trade among BRCIS nations from the current level of $230 billion (about R1,150,000 crore). “Not only governments, but also the business community of BRICS needs to come closer,” he said.
Chen Deming, China’s minister of commerce, said global uncertainties such as the European soverign debt crisis and volatile prices of bulk commodities, particularly in west Asia, were significant worries.