BRICS can also help getting India an endorsement of the need for UN Security Council. A BRICS Development Bank may have its headquarters in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves today for Brazil for attending the five-nation summit of BRICS nations on July 14 and 15.
After a stopover in Berlin on Sunday night, he will leave for Fortaleza, the north-eastern coastal city of Brazil, on Monday for the summit of leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to be held on July 15.
This will be his first opportunity at multilateral engagement.
Along with prime minister will go a high-level delegation that includes minister of state for finance Nirmala Sitharaman, national security adviser A.K. Doval, foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and finance secretary Arvind Mayaram.
The sixth summit of BRICS will follow up on the decisions of the Durban meeting last year. A Fortaleza Declaration containing the summit outcome is also on the cards.
The prime minister made a bold start by inviting all SAARC leaders to his swearing in ceremony in new Delhi. This strengthened the nation’s ties with its neighbours.
It should be noted that BRICS accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s land mass, 40 per cent of its population and a combined GDP of $24 trillion. The leadership opportunity that BRICS provides is enormous. It will help us put our best foot in the global affairs.
It can also help getting India an endorsement of the need for UN Security Council reforms and also those of the Bretton Woods institutions like the World Bank and IMF. Getting a permanent UNSC seat will also require building coalitions with other key aspirants, such as Brazil and South Africa, and getting the support of China and Russia, which are permanent members. The BRICS summit is a chance to open the dialogue.
A BRICS Development Bank is also on the cards which are expected to take further shape with a decision to concretise its corpus at $100 billion. It is possible that the headquarters of this bank is set up in New Delhi if Shanghai accepts to follow India.
For India, which has maxed out its borrowing capacity at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the new bank could be a great opportunity to get long-term capital for its huge infrastructure needs.
Discussions are on about the contribution from each member state for this bank. It will be a development bank which will give concessional credit to members of BRICS and other developing countries.
There will be a ministerial meeting ahead of the summit and also a BRICS business council with businessmen from member-countries who will be meeting on July 14 and 15.
On the sidelines of the summit, prime minister Modi will also be meeting South African President Jacob Zuma besides host President Dilma Roussef of Brazil.
The Prime Minister will get an opportunity to engage with the Latin American region through meeting the leaders of South America on July 16, including heads of state and government from countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Prime minister’s meetings with these leaders would further strengthen the already close bilateral relations with these countries and will be an opportunity to reinforce them.
(with inputs from agencies)