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During the BRICS Economic Ministers meeting on Friday, September 3, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov presented the key areas of work for effective recovery from the economic crisis amid the backdrop of the pandemic and adaptation to global “megatrends” to the partners.
Assessing the importance of developing joint measures within the BRICS, the head of the Russian delegation identified three fundamental areas that the BRICS partners need to pay special attention to: trade and investment, the climate agenda and digital transformation.
“The BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy until 2025 approved last year has laid a serious foundation for the BRICS to counter the trade challenges exacerbated in the context of the pandemic. Given the situation, it is especially important to join efforts in improving the effectiveness of the WTO as the guarantor of order in the global trading system,” noted the Minister.
In the context of promoting sustainable development, the meeting participants confirmed the importance of the Russian proposal to coordinate approaches to the climate agenda. The Russian minister noted that “the climate changes have led to increased competition for new markets and finances”. While supporting efforts to achieve the global climate goals, the Minister emphasized that they must be achieved without prejudice to the economic wellbeing and development, and with the use of all available low-emission technologies.
Given the inseparability of the climate agenda from other aspects of sustainable development, the head of the Russian delegation suggested launching a new format of cooperation: the BRICS Dialogue on Climate and Economy. “The goal of such a format could be the exchange of climate policy measures, standards and carbon pricing schemes that have a direct impact on trade and investment activities,” emphasized the head of the Ministry of Economic Development of the RF.
The BRICS ministers also discussed topical issues of digital development. Maxim Reshetnikov outlined the priority of implementing new technologies, noting the key role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the process of digital transformation. “AI is a strategic resource that can qualitatively affect the management system, economic development, and social security,” said Maxim Reshetnikov. In his speech, the Minister invited partners to join the Russian initiative to unlock the potential of artificial intelligence as a tool for increasing the BRICS trade and investment relations, as well as the integration of small and medium-sized businesses into global value chains.
The parties approved a joint communiqué on the results of the meeting, as well as a number of annexes validating the agreements reached by the “Five” countries on the main issues of the economic agenda. For example, the parties agreed to work constructively to achieve tangible results at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, as well as to begin cataloguing fraudulent online portals as part of the efforts to protect the rights of e-commerce consumers.