Experts suggest annual BRIC summit and democratisation of IMF-Part V

May 15th, 2009 - 6:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Trade and Industrial Policy

32. It was emphasized that the need to understand the differences and contradictions is critical for fuller collaboration.

33. It was explicitly recognized that before identifying concrete areas of collaboration some detailed work needed to be done to ascertain spaces where complementary capabilities of the four countries can be utilized to meet common challenges. Such an exercise would be critical to highlight feasible options where constraints on co-operation are minimal.

34. Given this recognition, it was felt that co-operation in the following areas would be useful: Science and technology (including areas of innovation, intellectual property rights), agriculture, food security, energy and climate change would be useful.

35. It was also suggested that the scope of collaboration should be broad and encompass all these areas instead of focusing on a few. This would help resolve some of the differences that may constrain collaboration across BRIC countries.

36. Within science and technology, it was felt that all four countries have very good capabilities in the basic sciences and collaboration in this area to address common problems would be desirable.

37. One way of identifying collaboration opportunities would be to identify sectors where different BRIC nations have complementary capabilities and build a joint research programme. It was suggested that sectors like aviation, pharmaceuticals, energy, and space exploration may be appropriate for such ‘project’ like collaborations.

38. While the volume of trade between BRIC countries is not very large it has grown rapidly in recent years. The same is true of intra-BRIC foreign investments. This implies that the market has recognized the business potential of BRIC as an entity. Efforts now are required to facilitate a faster growth of this market based process. Among others, building of political relationships across BRIC nations would be critical to push this process.

39. It was suggested that we start with small steps to enhance intra-BRIC trade. This would involve removing/reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers including harmonization of standards. At a later stage more significant steps to tackle geo-political (e.g., energy transit) and other complex issues can be taken up.

40. Steps like co-operation between chambers of commerce, academicians etc. would build confidence and help identify new opportunities for co-operation.

41. It may be useful for BRIC to engage with countries like South Africa, both to enhance trade possibilities between Brazil and the other three nations (using South Africa as a transit point) but to also tap into the trade possibilities with regional trade partners of each of the BRIC countries. This might help create a trade enhancing network of FTAs.

42. All the four BRIC countries have significant forex reserves and there are some signs of the integration of capital markets of these countries. It may be useful to identify investment opportunities which all countries can exploit together by co-investing. These projects may be located within the BRIC region or in another region (e.g., Africa) where co-investments can be advantageous to all four nations.
43. Finally, it was felt that while we try and identify areas for long term collaboration, a few simple projects which can exploit existing opportunities quickly would be very useful. This will build a BRIC success story and build an impetus for collaboration by underlying the business and strategic potential of such co-operation. (ANI)

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