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BRICS: Deepening Trade and Economic Cooperation

16 June 2022
Страны БРИКС: углубляя торгово-экономическое сотрудничество

Key conclusions

Deeping cooperation with BRICS 

“We collaborate with our partners from all these countries and in all spheres of the railway business: logistics, transport engineering, and even personnel training, and much more,” Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy Managing Director, Russian Railways.

“One hundred million tonnes of freight turnover with unfriendly countries are currently being redistributed. Most of it is being distributed to our trade with BRICS. Here, the industrial factory best prepared technologically is the Chinese side,” Alexander Osipov, Governor of Trans-Baikal Territory.

“We must concentrate on boosting investment and trade between the member states. This is the direction we wantmostThe trade growth must be accompanied by a corresponding adjustment of tariff and non-tariff barriers. <…> I believe our governments should have this question on their agenda,” Busi Mabuza, Chair, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa. 

“Development of low-carbon energy and technology to the benefit of sustainable development, as well as provision for energy security within BRICS are our common goals. We must work together to strengthen comprehensive cooperation, boosting the role of BRICS in global energy management, to promote our vision of the energy future orientated on forming an equal, balanced and sustainable global energy development model,” Alexey Kulapin, General Director, Russian Energy Agency (REA) of the Ministry of Energy of Russia. 


The food security threat

“As of today, despite the change of market direction, shipments are increasing from Russia to South America and India. It should be noted that, overall, in the current situation, the restrictions, including sanctions, being introduced in the banking sphere and in logistics still result in rising food and energy prices. The trends are the same for mineral fertilizers. This situation is resulting in reduced availability of mineral fertilizers in a number of countries,” Mikhail Rybnikov, Chief Executive Officer, Member of the Board of Directors, Member of the Management Board, PhosAgro. 

“The sanctions… are affecting food and energy security. <…> We are now directly facing food security problems and have asked Russia to work on resolving this issue,” Anil Sooklal, Sherpa of the Republic of South Africa in BRICS.

“Availability of this product [mineral fertilizers – Ed.] … ensures food security<…> Russia has huge quantities of fertilizers of the highest quality. This creates an excellent potential for cooperation between the two countries. Agriculture is a vital sector in ensuring food security and providing jobs. <…> Food security is very important on the global agenda and BRICS countries must also concentrate on this to the maximum. This must be our group’s absolute priority,” Busi Mabuza, Chair, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.

Imbalance in the global financial system 

“The existing global international currency and financial system clearly demonstrates considerable imbalance and unfairness. Twelve years ago, attempts were made during the year of the French chairmanship of the G20 to drive change in this sphere but without success. The developed countries do not want to take the interests of the developing markets into account, to say nothing of the developing countries. It seems to me that the BRICS forum platform should be the launch pad for moving in the direction if not of an alternative global international currency and financial system than at least a parallel on that would take greater account of the interests of the big economies on the developing markets,” Sergey Storchak, Senior Banker, VEB.RF. 


Increase in transport accessibility between BRICS countries and integration with other countries

“There is a possibility to expand frontier crossings, railway and road frontier crossings and thus to carry a substantial part of this freight turnover through the southern routes, the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Vladivostok – Moscow federal highway. A number of decisions have already been adopted on expanding and modernizing these crossing points,” Alexander Osipov, Governor of Trans-Baikal Territory.

“Frontier crossings are today one of RZD’s zones of responsibility that we are developing. Special measures for increase even under the conditions of COVID-19 will be discussed separately by the directors, chairman of the Board of RZD and Chairman of the Board of Chinese Railways,” Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy Managing Director, Russian Railways.

“Very many countries are so far standing on the side-lines; they have their own agenda and their own political and financial issues. And I think that we need to achieve greater integration between BRICS and other countries that show an interest in us,” Anil Sooklal, Sherpa of the Republic of South Africa in BRICS.

Establishment of alternative rating agencies within BRICS

“The question of having our own rating agency has really come to the fore. If the regulators move in this direction, believe me, banks belonging to the MIC [MIC BRICS, the Mechanism for Inter-bank Cooperation – Ed.] would, of course, willing join in and to their best to help. But help can involve not only creating a new structure but also in the sense of launching mutual recognition of the ratings awarded by our leading rating agencies in each jurisdiction. This is crucial as a first step in seeing where our methodologies and assessments coincide,” Sergey Storchak, Senior Banker, VEB.RF.

“We have even drawn up conceptual documents on the BRICS or worldwide rating agencies. To make this an inclusive process, not just to compete with existing agencies. Especially in the difficult times when we are seeing truly destructive consequences for our economy. I know that, this year, our ministers have raised the rating agency issue. We need to return to this subject and actually do something. We will put this on our agenda,” Anil Sooklal, Sherpa of the Republic of South Africa in BRICS.

For more detail, see the Information and Analytical System.