BRICS trade ministers on Thursday urged for greater cooperation on e-commerce among the member nations, besides calling for removal of non-tariff barriers to boost participation of emerging economies in the world trade. The ministers also emphasised the need to enhance cooperation in the areas of intellectual property rights (IPRs).
The five-nation grouping - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - has formed the BRICS IPR Cooperation Mechanism (IPRCM).
The leaders instructed the IPRCM to commence work on the terms of reference decided and increase efforts to advance cooperation in a more systematic and coordinated manner. “The ministers reiterated the importance of strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation on e-commerce...The ministers have emphasised the need for cooperation to boost e-commerce development in the BRICS countries, enhance capacity building and promote cooperation on infrastructure,” the joint communique said. The communique was issued after the sixth BRICS trade ministers meeting here. On non-trade barriers, the ministers emphasised that increase in the hurdles constraints the participation of developing countries in the global trade.
“The ministers agreed in principle to the concepts in the mechanism and urged the CGETI (BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues) to advance this work including on the issue of scope,” it said. The trade ministers meeting made an assessment of the BRICS economic scenario in relation to areas of cooperation on trade and investment. They also recognised the importance of preserving policy space to promote industrialisation and value addition and to enhance cooperation for structural transformation and sustainable development of BRICS countries.
“The ministers agreed that close cooperation among the CGETI, the BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank is useful for implementing and bringing the BRICS economic cooperation to a new high quality level,” the communique said. The ministers also acknowledged the role of MSMEs as the engines of export led growth and employment generation.
With a view to ensure greater business engagement amongst MSMEs in the BRICS region, the ministers underlined the importance of developing cooperation among MSMEs in the crucial areas of trade and investment.