Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday unilateral sanctions were hurting the world economy, a veiled criticism to economic penalties imposed by the West on Russia, as he made a strong pitch for a united fight against terrorism.
Modi’s statement in Ufa was in line with New Delhi’s position of disagreeing with sanctions not imposed by the United Nations and came on a day he met Iran president Hassan Rouhani.
“Unilateral sanctions are hurting the global economy. So it is very essential that Brics economies deepen their cooperation. Brics should also work with other developed regions,” Modi said at the Brics Business Council meeting that comprised 25 prominent businessmen from the five member nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The remarks also came in the backdrop of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies on Russia over its actions in Ukraine and on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, both without a UN mandate.
The five emerging market economies that account for 40% of the world’s population and 30% of its GDP between them came together in 2009 for a bigger say in the global financial order and counterbalance institutions controlled by the West. India will host the Brics summit next year.
Terrorism was the focus of the summit, with the word mentioned 17 times in the declaration as the group decided to boost security cooperation.
“It is imperative to speak in one voice without distinction and discrimination between groups and countries, sponsors and targets”, Modi said.
“Peace and stability is the foundation for social and economic progress. It is our responsibility that we deal effectively with the current challenge of terrorism.”
Modi also laid out a roadmap of 10 steps – Dus Kadam -- for the grouping, including a trade fair, a railway research centre, a digital initiative, a film festival and urban cooperation.
The $100 billion Brics development bank will start offering loans by April 2016, said KV Kamath, the first president of the bank.
“By April next year we want to make our first loans, so we will have to build teams to identify projects, build simultaneously internal processes and procedures, hire people and then get to the funding process,” Kamath said.