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The 2016 BRICS summit was the eighth annual BRICS summit, an international relations conference attended by the heads of country or heads of government of the five member countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The summit was held from 15 to 16 October 2016 at the Taj Exotica hotel in Benaulim, Goa, India.[2] India holds the chair of the BRICS from February 2016 to December 2016.[3][4][5]

8th BRICS summit
आठवाँ ब्रिक्स शिखर सम्मेलन
2016 BRICS summit logo.png
Host countryIndia
Date15–16 October 2016
Venue(s)Taj Exotica[1]
CitiesBenaulim, Goa
ParticipantsBRICS members
Guest invitees:
BIMSTEC members
ChairNarendra Modi
Follows7th BRICS summit
Precedes9th BRICS summit
WebsiteBRICS India 2016

Contents

BackgroundEdit

In July 2015, during the 7th BRICS summit, it was announced that India will host the 8th BRICS summit in 2016.[5] In March 2016, Goa was announced as the venue of the summit.[2]

ParticipantsEdit

 
Group photo of BRICS leaders before the start of the summit.
BRICS members
Host state and leader are shown in bold text.
Member Represented by Title
  Brazil Michel Temer President
  Russia Vladimir Putin President
  India Narendra Modi Prime Minister
  China Xi Jinping President
  South Africa Jacob Zuma President

Sideline eventsEdit

The first BRICS film festival was held at New Delhi from 2 September to 6 September 2016. The five-day film festival screened four films each from the participating States.[6][5]

The environment ministers of BRICS states held a meeting on 16 September in Goa and they agreed on a memorandum of understanding and announced the setting up of a joint working group institutionalising their mutual cooperation on environment related issues.[7] The agriculture ministers of BRICS nations held a meeting on 23 September in New Delhi.[8]

The first trade fair of the BRICS countries, was held at Pragati Maidan exhibition ground, New Delhi from 12 to 14 October.[9] Controversially, China skipped the event over trade barriers,[10] but was read in the media in India as a snub amidst a diplomatic row following the latter's veto over India's request to name JeM leader Masood Azhar to the UN as a "designated terrorist."[11]

The first BRICS U-17 Football Cup was held at Goa from 5 to 15 October.

SummitEdit

A statement was issued that read the member states "strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever."[12] The group had also decided to set up a credit rating agency at some point in the future. They also called on the BRICS' New Development Bank to focus on funding specific development priorities and to create a network of angel investors. Other agreements included to set up research centres in the fields of agriculture, railways and a BRICS sports council.[13]

The final communique focused on promoting "international norms that promote stability and inclusion in common spaces." It suggested that with "mega-regional trading agreements have significantly altered the discourse on cross-border trade, the summit stressed the need for co-operation in crucial matters relating to intellectual property rights and the digital economy." They also highlighted the "centrality" to the WTO trading system, but their endorsement this year is significant. It further reflected a moment in the group’s history, which has seen "alternative" powers weighing on the side of liberal, multilateral trading institutions that were conceived by the West. Digital spaces were referred to beyond Internet governance alone, but also to keep cyberspace open for commerce and prevent its "stratification" by exclusive trading regimes.[14]

Amongst other independent statements, Jinping issued a statement that read: "The global economy is still going through a treacherous recovery. Because of the impact of both internal and external factors, BRICS countries have somewhat slowed down in economic growth and have faced a number of new challenges in development."[15] He further warned against a backlash to globalisation: "At present the deep-seated impact of the international financial crisis is still unfolding...deep-seated imbalances that triggered the financial crisis. Some countries are getting more inward-looking in their policies. Protectionism is rising and forces against globalisation are posing an emerging risk."[16] Modi also stated that BRICS were a beacon of peace and promise.[17]

BRICS-BIMSTEC SummitEdit

 
Group photo of BRICS leaders with heads of delegations of BIMSTEC member states before their meeting.

Leaders of BIMSTEC member countries were invited by India, to hold a joint summit with the BRICS for the latter's regional outreach.[18]

Representatives of the BIMSTEC states in attendance

Bilateral meetingsEdit

Modi was due to meet Putin and Jinping the day before the summit started.[19]

On the way to the summit, Jinping stopped in Bangladesh and oversaw deals worth US$13.6 billion being signed, as well as US$20 billion in loan agreements.[20]

Following the summit, India and Myanmar's representatives met in New Delhi[21] and signed three MOUs: on cooperation in the power sector; on banking supervision between the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Myanmar; and on designing an academic and professional building programme for the insurance industry of Myanmar.[22]

ControversyEdit

On the issue of militancy there was controversy, particularly in light of the aftermath of the 2016 Uri attack and the 2016 Kashmir unrest. While Modi said that BRICS members "agreed that those who nurture, shelter, support and sponsor such forces of violence and terror are as much a threat to us as the terrorists themselves." The final communique did not mention such a consensus or the words "nurture," "shelter" or "sponsor."[23][24] China also did not budge on its stance over both rejecting India's bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and over the UNSC veto.[25] Amongst the latter tussle, Pakistan reacted to Modi saying, without naming any state: "Tragically, the mother-ship of terrorism is a country in India's neighborhood."[26] Pakistan then said that Indian leaders were misleading BRICS members.[27] Likewise, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "Everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this. We also oppose the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion. This is China's consistent position."[26] She added that China would support its "all-weather ally" amid a campaign by India to isolate Pakistan.[28]

Social media in India also called for a boycott of China amid the controversies over the UNSC veto, but Modi sought to further trade.[29] The Tibetan Youth Congress also protested outside China's embassy in New Delhi. Its President Tenzin Jigme issued a statement that read: "As long as the occupation continues, as long as the communist government continues with their hardline stance and policies, ignoring the cries of the Tibetan people, the struggle and resistance of Tibetans will continue. [China must stop its] illegal occupation [of Tibet]." He also expressed concern over the "current critical situation."[30]

LeadersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ India, Press Trust of (13 October 2016). "BRICS summit: Red carpet rolled out at Taj Exotica". Business Standard India. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Unveiling of India's BRICS Logo and Launch of BRICS Website by External Affairs Minister".
  3. ^ "India to chair BRICS Summit in 2016 - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 9 July 2015.
  4. ^ "New Delhi to Host 2016 BRICS Summit".
  5. ^ a b c "India to chair 2016 BRICS summit; Trade fair, film festival, football tournament on cards - Firstpost". 9 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Why you should not miss first BRICS Film Festival in Delhi".
  7. ^ "BRICS to set up joint working group for environment issues". 16 September 2016 – via The Hindu.
  8. ^ "BRICS favours removal of farm subsidies".
  9. ^ "First BRICS Trade Fair Gets Underway In Delhi".
  10. ^ "India to build BRICS against Pakistan, terrorism". 15 October 2016.
  11. ^ Roche, Elizabeth (16 October 2016). "Why is Masood Azhar so important to China?".
  12. ^ "Statement on terror in BRICS declaration: Goa 2016 vs Ufa 2015". 17 October 2016.
  13. ^ "BRICS To Set Up Credit Rating Agency, Says PM Modi".
  14. ^ "BRICS remains on course for bigger, more effective projects in the years to come". 17 October 2016.
  15. ^ "BRICS summit: Xi warns global economy in precarious state". 16 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Chinese President Xi Jinping warns of globalisation backlash at BRICS summit". 16 October 2016.
  17. ^ http://inewstoday.net/2016/10/pm-modi-lauds-brics-as-a-beacon-of-peace-and-promise/
  18. ^ Bhattacherjee, Kallol (30 August 2016). "Boost to BIMSTEC meeting with top regional leaders attending" – via The Hindu.
  19. ^ "PM Modi to meet Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin in Goa today - The Asian Age".
  20. ^ "Bangladesh, China firms ink multi-billion dollar deals as Xi Jinping ends tour - The Economic Times".
  21. ^ "India, Myanmar agree to enhance ties in a range of areas, including security and trade". 19 October 2016 – via The Hindu.
  22. ^ "India, Myanmar sign three agreements - Times of India".
  23. ^ "BRICS Summit: Why China and Russia did not name Pakistan on terrorism". 17 October 2016.
  24. ^ "South-Asian tension will dominate BRICS summit".
  25. ^ "Ahead of Xi Jinping's visit, China refuses to budge on India's NSG bid, Masood Azhar's banning - Times of India".
  26. ^ a b "PressTV-China defends Pakistan after Modi remarks".
  27. ^ "Defiant Pakistan says Modi is misleading BRICS, BIMSTEC colleagues".
  28. ^ "China defends 'all-weather' ally Pak after Modi calls it 'mothership of terror'". 17 October 2016.
  29. ^ Jain, Mayank. "Indians want to #BoycottChina but Prime Minister Modi wants just the opposite – more trade".
  30. ^ Sarkar, Asmita. "Tibetan activists protest outside Chinese embassy in Delhi before Xi Jinping visit and after that indian people started boycotting chinese products".

External linksEdit