New Delhi: The first trade fair of the BRICS countries, aimed at deepening their economic engagement, trade and investment ties, got underway here on Wednesday, to be followed by meetings of the BRICS Business Forum and BRICS Business Council, ahead of the leaders` summit in Goa later this week.
India is the chair for the 2016 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) group of emerging economies.
Holding a BRICS Trade Fair and Exhibition was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 during his address to the members of the BRICS Business Council at Ufa, Russia.
The trade fair, being held at the Pragati Maidan exhibition ground here, is according to the Indian commerce ministry, 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.
"The BRICS Trade Fair will be a platform for respective BRICS countries to exhibit the state-of-the-art technologies and advances made in industrial development," the ministry statement said.
Besides, business leaders from BIMSTEC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand) also have been invited for meetings and discussions with the BRICS business leaders and companies at the trade fair, it added.
"Over 600 exhibitors are showcasing their products and expertise at the BRICS Trade Fair," industry chamber FICCI, the organisers of the three-day event, said in a statement.
According to the Commerce Ministry, the BRICS Business Forum, to be held on Thursday, will see participation from over 1,000 business delegates from all BRICS countries.
The global merchandise exports of BRICS countries have gone up from $3.2 trillion in 2012 to $3.47 trillion in 2014.
Similarly, merchandise imports from the world into BRICS nations have gone up from $2.95 trillion in 2012 to $3.03 trillion in 2014.
In 2012, intra-BRICS trade stood at $281.4 billion and this increased to $297 billion in 2014.
"This encouraging trend needs to be strengthened as trade amongst BRICS nations is less than 5 percent of their total global trade," the Indian commerce ministry said.
Meanwhile, it was announced at the trade fair that in order to encourage more Indian investment and to create a legal framework, India and Brazil will sign the `Agreement cooperation and facilitation investment` in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICS leaders` summit on October 15-16.