Services deals and technology among ministers' major areas of agreement
Trade ministers of BRICS countries have reached eight major consensuses, including establishing stronger digital networks at ports to ease trade and approving a service trade cooperation road map to boost economic complementarities and diversification, China's commerce minister announced on Wednesday.
Zhong Shan, also chairman of the seventh meeting of trade ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in Shanghai, called on BRICS countries to work together to enhance intra-BRICS investment, and improve the capacity of services related to investment amid uncertainties in the global economic recovery. The ministers met on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Other results include launching an e-commerce cooperation initiative, approving guidelines for intellectual property rights, endorsing the outlines for investment facilitation and producing a framework on strengthening the economic and technical ties among BRICS countries.
Senior trade officials also agreed to continue supporting multilateral trading systems and promoting the China International Import Expo, which will start next year. The expo is seen as an important means for countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to gain access to the Chinese market.
With the trade in services becoming a new driver for global economic and trade growth, the ministers decided to intensify cooperation on information exchange, capacity building and coordination within BRICS, as well as conducting practical actions in such priority fields as tourism, education and healthcare services.
"Deepening technological progress and economic globalization presents to all countries unprecedented opportunities and an urgent necessity to enhance economic and technical cooperation," Zhong said.
During the meeting, the ministers called for speeding up the implementation of the Bali and Nairobi ministerial conferences' outcomes, and the preparations for the 11th World Trade Organization's ministerial conference set for Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December.
BRICS economies have created a new paradigm for mutual benefit among emerging and developing countries since the mechanism was established in 2006. Contributing nearly one-quarter of global economic output and half of world economic growth, they are capable of playing a powerful role in driving the global economy and governance.
"To reach new goals, BRICS countries will further deepen economic and technical cooperation and capacity building in the area of trade and investment" said Zhang Shaogang, director-general of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce.