11th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting sees new areas of co-operation

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], September 4 (ANI): The 11th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting saw new areas of co-operation gaining traction on Trade in Professional Services, Genetic Resources and Consumer Protection under e-commerce.

In the meeting held in virtual format on Friday, ministers endorsed cooperation and action plan on a number of issues during India's Presidency of BRICS in 2021.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles chaired the meeting and were attended by Trade and Economic Ministers of BRICS Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

A common understanding amongst BRICS countries for the first time on those areas resulted in new declarations related to consumer protection, e-commerce, genetic resources and traditional knowledge, cooperation in professional services apart from others such as a common approach towards the multilateral trading system for the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC- 12), read Ministry of Commerce & Industry's release.

BRICS countries endorsed the Framework for Cooperation in Trade in Professional Services with the objectives of enhancing domestic capacity and global competitiveness, promoting participation in intra-BRICS mobility of professionals and enhancing intra-BRICS trade in professional services.

In this era of exponential jump in the use of e-commerce and online electronic transactions, the convergence to draw a common Action plan amongst BRICS countries will help in to promote exploring practical options for ensuring consumer protection, added the release.

Goyal, in his opening remarks, welcomed his counterparts to the meeting being held in the year when India is celebrating its 75th year of independence - 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'.

Referring to the impact of COVID-19, he mentioned the various immediate supportive actions taken by India, including the milestones reached in vaccination as well as the significant fiscal and monetary support, extended to overcome its impact.

He stressed for the BRICS countries to work together for strengthening the multilateral system, with WTO at its core, and the need for a balanced and inclusive outcome in the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) keeping in mind the developmental needs of developing countries and least developed countries.

He highlighted the principles of Special & Differential Treatment and the "Common But Differentiated Responsibility".

Goyal also emphasised, amongst other things, the need for a permanent, adequate and equitable solution to the Public Stock Holding programmes for food security purposes; the early outcome of the TRIPS Waiver proposal for vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics; adoption of emerging new technologies in a swiftly changing world while finding the solution to the challenges of data protection and cyber security; and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

India could successfully draw a common implementation roadmap for the BRICS countries in the field of trade and investment to meet the aspirations of the BRICS strategy 2025, added the release.

The theme chosen by India for its BRICS Chairship is BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.

During the year, India has successfully conducted activities including the second edition of the BRICS Trade Fair (in virtual mode), a unique event by India amongst the BRICS countries wherein more than 600 companies from BRICS countries showcased their products and services.

The MSME Roundtable was held to promote the cause of the MSME sector through the learning of best practices amongst BRICS countries.

India has also organized a number of B2B events through the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Women's Business Alliance to advance business cooperation in BRICS countries.

The meeting ended with Goyal thanking the BRICS Countries for their support in taking the BRICS agenda forward and expressed hope to meet at the upcoming G-20 and MC-12 meetings of trade ministers, read the release. (ANI)

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