Johannesburg, 23 August 2023 (TDI): The Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressed the BRICS Business Forum on August 22, via a video call.
At the outset of the address, he stated that the BRICS Business Forum plays an immense role in promoting mutual trade and investments, enhancing cooperation and expanding direct dialogue among the business communities and leaders of the five countries.
The Forum effectively contributes to accelerating the socio-economic growth of the five states and the achievement of their Sustainable Development Goals.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) August 22, 2023
He emphasized that this Forum focuses on pressing issues of the post-pandemic economic recovery of the BRICS states, improvement of citizens’ well-being, industrial modernization, development of effective transport and logistics chains, and stimulation of equitable technology transfers.
He added that the foregoing issues need to be tackled amidst fluctuations in stock, currency, energy and food markets as well as inflationary pressure stemming from the irresponsible large-scale money creation by countries in an effort to lessen pandemic effects that have actually led to the accumulation of private and public debt.
He highlighted that under circumstances of the dwindling global economic situation due to the illegitimate sanctions on sovereign states and challenges faced by vulnerable states due to the shortage of agricultural resources, growing inequality and rising unemployment, BRICS is geared up to ensure economic growth and sustainable development.
He further emphasized that BRICS cooperation is based on principles of equality, partner support, and respect for each other’s interests that stand for the aspirations of the global majority.
📹 President Putin's video address to the Participants in the #BRICS Business Forum:
🤝 Our cooperation is based on the principles of equality, partner support, and respect for each other's interests.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) August 22, 2023
Moreover, he pointed out that mutual investments among the BRICS countries and their overall global investments have increased sixfold and twofold respectively.
As for Russia, this year’s trade volume with BRICS partners has increased by 40.5 percent, reaching a record of over 230 billion US dollars compared to last year.
Also, the share of the BRICS countries now accounts for nearly 26 percent of the global GDP and the five countries are ahead of the G7 in terms of purchasing power parity.
He further noted that the irreversible process of the de-dollarization of BRICS economic ties is gaining pace due to which the share of the US dollar in export and import operations within BRICS is declining.
He shed light that during the Summit issues related to the transition to national currencies in all areas of economic cooperation between the five nations will be discussed.
In this regard, he recalled the BRICS New Development Bank as playing a great role as an alternative to Western development institutions.
Increased trade connectivity
While focusing on Russia’s efforts to enhance connectivity and contribute to creating sustainable traffic arteries, he brought attention to Russia’s flagship projects of the Northern Sea Route and the new International North-South Transport Corridor.
The project of the Northern Sea Route will connect Russian ports on the Arctic seas and the Baltic Sea with offshore terminals in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, thereby providing opportunities to increase cargo transportation between Eurasian and African countries.
The Russian President further reaffirmed its support to the Global South on matters of global food and energy security as was discussed at the Russian-African Summit.
In that course, Russia has already exported 10 million tonnes of grain to Africa in the first six months of 2023, despite the imposed sanctions.
He even stressed that Russia would only return to the Grain deal if sanctions imposed on its exports of grain and fertilizers to world markets were lifted.
Moreover, he highlighted that Russia is also ready gratuitously to provide six African countries with 25-50 thousand tonnes of grain each with free delivery of these cargoes.
Further areas of interaction within BRICS
Among the prioritized areas of interaction, Russia also sees further coordination of approaches of the BRICS members on the subject of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.
He asserted that it’s equally important to continue developing cooperation within BRICS in terms of decarbonizing the economy and reducing human impact on climate.
Russia is consistently implementing the National Low-Carbon Development Strategy to achieve carbon neutrality of the Russian economy, not later than 2060.
In summation, he reiterated that cooperation within the BRICS not only makes a significant contribution to ensuring the sustainable growth of BRICS countries but also promotes global economic recovery and successful achievement of global development goals.
Also, it aims to achieve targets set by the UN to fight poverty, expand people’s access to quality healthcare, eradicate hunger and improve food security.
At last, he invited the representatives of BRICS countries’ business circles to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia that will take place on September 10–13 in the city of Vladivostok.