In the summit that began on Thursday, BRICS nations` business leaders agreed that utilising individual country strengths and specialisations would be key to deepening economic integration of this group of emerging economies.
The five BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries` combined share in global GDP has reached 30 per cent. BRICS` combined GDP rose to $32.5 trillion in 2014.
"It is time for the BRICS nations to boost trade after taking into consideration the individual strengths of the nations," Onkar Kanwar, Chairman, India chapter of the BRICS Business Council, said at the inaugural session of the BRICS Business Forum here as part of the first BRICS Trade Fair.
Kanwar elaborated on the individual economic strengths.
He said Brazil is the largest food producer of the group, Russia is a leader in energy, China is the world`s manufacturing hub, India an IT powerhouse, and South Africa is rich in mineral resources.
India is the BRICS Chair for the 2016, and the summit of the leaders is slated for October 15-16 in Goa.
The ongoing BRICS Business Forum, being organised by BRICS Business Council, and leading Indian industry bodies FICCI, Assocham and CII, will see the participation of over 1,000 business delegates from all BRICS countries.
The forum agenda includes deliberating on major issues like market access for goods and services and ways to boost trade. It will also take up the functioning of the BRICS New Development Bank, setting up of a credit ratings agency for BRICS nations, and the possibility of greater trade in local currencies.
At the forum, Chairman BRICS Business Council Russia Chapter Sergey Katyrin underlined the need to resolve issues related to trade barriers to allow free trade and realise the economic potential of the group.
Noting that Russia carries out 20 per cent of its trade with India and vice versa, Katyrin said bilateral collaboration has been worked out in oil and gas sector but there is scope for cooperation in other areas as well such as agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
Over 600 exhibitors are showcasing their products and expertise at the BRICS Trade Fair, FICCI said in a statement.
The first BRICS Trade Fair, being held at the Pragati Maidan exhibition ground here, is showcasing about 20 key sectors. These include aerospace, agro-processing, auto and auto components, chemicals, green energy and renewables, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, railways, textiles and apparel, infrastructure, IT, engineering goods, tourism, gems and jewellery and skill development.
India's take at BRICS
Hinting at more liberalisation measures to insulate the economy from global slowdown, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday expressed hope that investment inflow would improve.
The Finance Minister, who was addressing a seminar attended by experts from BRICS nations on better international taxation procedures and global best practices to attract foreign investment, said that public investment has played big role in India`s growth.
He said that fears of spillover of trade protectionism from developed world are real.Jaitley hoped that the fears about free trade will subside once the US presidential election is over.Stating that BRICS has its own challenges, Jaitley pointed out India`s experiences have been different in the problems that other countries have faced.
The Finance Minister said the heads of government have been meeting over the last few years and expanding the areas of network.Jaitley said increased cooperation is now taking place and contingency reserves arrangements are in place.RBI Governor Urjit Patel, who was also present, said India`s average economic growth is seen as 5.1 percent this year.
He said that BRICS must work on improving business environment. He further added that outlook for global commodity prices remain soft.Stating that India needs to manage commodity cycles better, Patel said that spillovers from global monetary policy are a risk to BRICS.The RBI Governor further said that events like BREXIT and US presidential election also affects India`s policies going forward.