6TH BRICS SUMMIT BEGINS TODAY IN FORTALEZA, AGREEMENTS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENTS OF A NEW $100 BILLION DEVELOPMENT BANK AND THE CREATION OF A $100 BILLION CONTINGENCY RESERVE ARRANGEMENT WILL BE SIGNED
The Sixth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, where the five countries will sign off on a rival to the World Bank, officially starts on Monday in Fortaleza, Brazil, but Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma have already arrived in the country to watch the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup final between Argentina and Germany in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday evening.
Putin is attending the final World Cup match in a ceremonial handover of host duties for soccer’s marquee tournament, which takes place in Russia in 2018.
Leaders of the five BRICS nations fueling global economic growth will discuss strengthening ties within the bloc and rallying emerging economies to play a greater role in world affairs, economic and political.
The theme of the 2014 summit is “inclusive growth: sustainable solutions”. According to Brazilian Ambassador Graça Lima, one of the goals of the summit is to highlight the achievements the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the five BRICS countries, aimed at eradicating poverty, improving health and education as well as gender equality.
During the BRICS summit, agreements for the establishment of a new $100 billion development bank and the creation of a $100 billion Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) will be signed.
The CRA will provide an additional line of protection to the BRICS countries during difficult balance of payment scenarios and the new development bank will finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects.
In Fortaleza, the focus on the streets was on Brazil’s woeful performance against Germany in the semi-final and then its loss against the Netherlands in the third place match on Saturday evening.
“It is good for business that we are hosting the BRICS summit, as that takes us beyond the Soccer World Cup final, but my preference would have been for Brazil to be the champions and somebody else could have hosted the summit,” one hotelier said.
Some hotel websites have not kept up with the changes to the BRICS leadership and still feature former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, rather than current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BRICS summit will be Modi’s first multi-lateral diplomatic engagement.
The BRICS leaders summit will be preceded by a number of events which will see finance ministers and central bank governors meet. In addition there will be meetings of the BRICS Business Forum and Business Council; as well as the BRICS Financial Forum, which groups the existing development banks of BRICS member countries.
The BRICS Business Council, which was launched at the Durban summit last year, would table a report on how the five governments could make it easier for BRICS businesses to thrive in these countries.
The council, headed by South African billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe, would also discuss trade opportunities that BRICS businesses can explore.
On Tuesday the leaders of the BRICS will discuss international political, economic and financial issues. The session will be followed by the event’s official photo and a working lunch. The afternoon begins with the official signing ceremony, followed by a plenary session.
The five countries boast nearly half the world’s population and account for about 20 per cent of global GDP, giving the group considerable heft.