Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Brazil Sunday to attend the sixth Brics summit that starts on July 15. This will be his first multi-lateral engagement with world leaders.
Before his departure, Modi said he was looking forward to holding discussions to deepen intra-Brics economic cooperation and advance global economic stability and prosperity — with greater Indian engagement.
The summit is widely expected to announce the creation of a new development bank and a reserve fund to fend off currency crisis.
“I look forward to the successful conclusion of major Brics initiatives like the new development bank and the contingent reserve fund, which have seen significant progress since their launch in New Delhi in 2012,” the PM said.
The two initiatives are seen as a counterweight to Western-dominated financial organisations such as the World Bank. The group — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South America -- makes up nearly one-fifth of global GDP and 40% of the world’s population but feels marginalised by the global banks.
On the sidelines of the summit, Modi will also hold one-on-one meetings with the leaders of the emerging nations. With Chinese President Xi Jinping, Modi is expected to discuss border issues and increased access to Indian products to bridge the trade deficit that has already touched US $13 billion this year.
“I look forward to meaningful meetings with them to intensify bilateral relations and exchange views on global and regional developments,” Modi said.
At the summit, the PM will also meet leaders of South American countries invited by host president Dilma Rousseff.
En route to Brazil, Modi landed in Berlin where he will stay the night. A meeting between him and Chancellor Angela Merkel was scrapped after Germany made it to the World Cup finals. On arrival he tweeted: “Best wishes to Argentina & Germany for the FIFA World Cup Final. It is amazing how the tournament brought fans across the world together”.