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Translation of Prime Minister's remarks at plenary session of 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia

November 15, 2019

President Bolsonaro,
President Putin,
President Xi and
President Ramaphosa


I am very happy to be here in this beautiful capital of the friendly country Brazil for the 11th BRICS Summit. My heartfelt thanks to my friend President Bolsonaro for the grand reception and excellent arrangements for the summit.

Excellencies,

The theme of this summit - "Economic growth for an innovative future", is very accurate. Innovation has become the cornerstone of our development. Therefore, we need to strengthen cooperation under BRICS for innovation. Brazil itself has taken many successful steps for innovation and practical cooperation. We should continue to work on the initiatives of Brazil in the coming years as well.

Excellencies,

BRICS began 10 years ago, at a time of financial crisis and many economic problems. The journey, which started from Yekaterinburg in 2009, has crossed several notable stops. BRICS countries have been the main engines of global economic growth over the years. And we have contributed to the development of the whole humanity. At the same time, we have emerged as a major factor in a peaceful, prosperous and multi polar world.

Excellencies,

Now we have to consider the direction of BRICS, and mutual cooperation to be more effective in the next ten years. Despite success in many areas, there is considerable scope to increase efforts in some areas. We must make BRICS mechanisms and processes more efficient and outcome-driven to meet the challenges of the global economy. We need to pay special attention to mutual trade and investment. Intra-BRICS trade accounts for just 15% of world trade, while our combined population is more than 40% of the world's population. The service sector has a large share of GDP in all five countries. Therefore, services have good prospects to grow the business. It is also important to reduce the cost of Intra- BRICS trade. Our Trade Minister can consider the goal of reducing it by 5%. Trade will gain further momentum through trade facilitation and cooperation in simple customs and banking processes. The agreement between the trade promotion agencies will help us achieve the $ 500 billion trade target soon.

Excellencies,

I am happy that under the leadership of Brazil, we have emphasized on science and technology, innovation and the digital economy. Several initiatives have been taken such as the creation of the i-BRICS network, new Science Technology Innovation architecture, human milk bank and BRICS Institute of Future Networks. These efforts will promote entrepreneurship in innovations eco-system and technology in BRICS. The BRICS start-up challenge and hackathon will also be helpful in this purpose. In these efforts, medical devices, new energy options and innovations for the differently-abled and elderly can be given priority. These initiatives will also help us to promote useful research for society. In this direction, India will organize the BRICS Digital Health Summit. This will encourage innovative solutions for healthy lifestyles. Recently in India, we have started a ‘Fit India Movement’. I want to increase contacts and exchanges between us in the field of fitness and health. We have traditional knowledge in the field of health in five countries. By giving mutual recognition to it and increasing mutual cooperation in this field, we can reach the benefit of this education which has been held for thousands of years. I would also like to suggest a MoU between BRICS countries on this subject.

Excellencies,

I congratulate all the members on the establishment of the BRICS Women Business Alliance. I especially thank President Putin for this initiative. In India, women's participation has increased in every sector in the last five years. In previous elections, women voters were equal to the number of men for the first time. And by far the highest number of women candidates also emerged victorious. The number of elected women leaders in our local self-government is more than 1.4 million. Be it Maternity leave or to reduce the salary gap, we have taken many important steps in the last five years for women entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Excellencies,

Our countries cover every climatic zones. Be it flooded areas or drought-prone areas, icy areas or deserts, earthquake zones, etc. exist in our countries. Sustainable water management and sanitation are important challenges in urban areas. I propose to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India.

Excellencies,

Multi-lateralism, international trade, and rules-based world order are grappling with serious problems. Last year we emphasized on reformed multilateralism. I am glad that the joint statement of this summit will recognize its need. We must form a collective strategy to strengthen and improve the U.N., W.T.O., World Bank and other international organizations.

Excellencies,

Humanity has come away from threats like World War. But terrorism has emerged as the biggest threat to development and peace. In ten years, two and a half million lives were lost at the hands of terrorism and the society suffered deep damage. Also, according to various estimates, more than one trillion dollars was lost to the world's economy. And has reduced the economic growth of developing countries by 1.5 per cent. Terrorism, terrorism financing, drug trafficking and organized crimes create deep indirect harm to business and business by creating an environment of scepticism. I am happy that the first Seminar on BRICS Strategies for Countering Terrorism was organized. We hope that such efforts and the activities of the five working groups will increase the strong BRICS Security Cooperation against terrorism and other organized crimes. In this direction, India will organize a workshop on digital forensic analysis of terrorism.

Excellencies,

The growing people-to-people relationship between us will give energy to our partnership. In this regard, I would like to suggest something. BRICS countries should organize youth summits. In this, the youth of five countries should take part in activities like start-ups, hackathon, sports, creativity. Students of BRICS countries in India will be given internships and fellowships every year to study subjects related to BRICS. We should also consider promoting traditional sports of our countries. India will be happy to take initiative in this regard. Films can be an important means to enhance the relationship between our people. India has the highest number of films made in many languages, and in the world. India will hold the BRICS Film Technology Symposium in Mumbai next year. I am happy that our countries are facilitating visa, etc. arrangements. I welcome the announcement by President Bolsonaro of visa-free entry to Brazil for Indians. With the mutual recognition of visas, social security agreement and qualifications, we will provide a more conducive environment for people from five countries to travel and work.

Excellencies,

Finally, I would like to once again congratulate President Bolsonaro for the excellent arrangements and impressive leadership of BRICS. I also congratulate the President of BRICS for the coming year, Russia and assure the full support of India. Thanks a lot.


Disclaimer: PM's speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of the speech.
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