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PM at BRICS meet; world growth revival on agenda

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left here on Monday on a 4-day visit to Durban for attending the BRICS Summit expressing the hope that ways to revive global growth and faster movement on reform of institutions of global, political and economic governance will be discussed at the meeting of the emerging economies.

Accompanied by a high-power delegation including Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Singh will attend the summit of five nations on 26 and 27 March when discussions will also be held on steps to ensure global macroeconomic stability as well as mechanisms and measures to promote investment in infrastructure and sustainable development.

In his departure statement, the Prime Minister said he looked forward to meeting with the new Chinese President Xi Jinpeng to discuss how India and China can maintain the positive trajectory of relationship and further strengthen 'this very important bilateral relationship'.

The first BRICS Summit on the African soil is expected to declare the launching of a development bank for undertaking infrastructure and development projects. The idea of the bank, mooted by India last year during its presidency, has been supported by China.

However, the Prime Minister's statement made no mention on the BRICS bank.

Finance Ministers of BRICS nations will meet in Durban on Tuesday to give final touches to the bank.

In his statement, Singh said the Durban Summit provides a useful and timely opportunity to consult and coordinate on a broad range of issues with BRICS partners.

'We will discuss ways to revive global growth and ensure macroeconomic stability as well as mechanisms and measures to promote investment in infrastructure and sustainable development.

'India will also urge faster movement on reform of institutions of global political and economic governance.It is important that BRICS continue to consult closely on developments affecting global peace and security,' he said in an obvious reference to higher quota for developing countries in Bretton Woods institutions like World Bank and IMF and the reform of the UN Security Council. The Prime Minister noted that this would be the first BRICS Summit on African soil and said the 'Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation' between BRICS and Africa will be an important theme of the Durban Summit.

Given India's long-standing and close friendship with Africa and the growing economic partnership with the continent including through the India-Africa Forum Summit mechanism, Singh said he looked forward to the dialogue that BRICS leaders would have between themselves and, in a special retreat, with a larger number of distinguished African leaders who would be coming to Durban.

'I will reaffirm our strong and enduring commitment as a steadfast partner for inclusive development in Africa and for advancing our common interests in international forums,' he said.

Singh said over the last few years, BRICS has emerged as a consequential voice in the international arena. Close coordination between its members through the means of an annual summit and several area-specific meetings as necessary has strengthened cooperation and improved the effectiveness of the forum.


POWER OF FIVE

  • PM Manmohan Singh is accompanied by a high-power delegation including Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma

  • The first BRICS Summit on African soil is expected to declare the launching of a development bank for undertaking infrastructure and development projects

  • The idea of the bank was mooted by India last year during its presidency and has been supported by China

  • Finance Ministers of BRICS nations will meet in Durban on Tuesday to give finishing touches before the formal launch of the bank
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