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Indian officials, scholars express high expectations of BRIC cooperation

Posted by smeddum on June 14, 2009

Indian officials, scholars express high expectations of BRIC cooperation 2009-06-13

NEW DELHI, June 13 (Xinhua) — Indian officials and scholars have expressed high expectations of future cooperation among the BRIC countries. They said it would not only benefit the development of the four nations, but also help the global economy move out of the shadows of recession and resume growth.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave for Yaketenaburg, Russia on Monday to attend the BRIC summit meeting, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said.

BRIC consists of Russia, China, India and Brazil, four of the world’s fast growing economies.

In a recent speech on BRIC cooperation, Menon said India believes that through strengthening cooperation, in light of the global economic recession, the four countries could play the role of a promoter in global economic growth and stability.

He said this also conforms with India’s aim for a democratization of the international economic order, particularly that of financial institutions.

Menon said the BRIC countries are full of dynamism with a growing middle class and large young populations who can be a factor for stability and growth in the decades to come because of their economic power and consumption capability.

He said the BRIC countries must also make more concentrated efforts to add value to their partnership and make their collective voice heard on important international issues such as how to build a more democratic international economic order and a multilateral international economic cooperation order.

In an interview with Xinhua, Indian political analyst Ajay Singh said the BRIC countries are emerging market economies of global scale, and they are playing a more important role in reshaping today’s global economic structure.

Singh quoted the latest surveys of international consultation institutions that despite the lingering world economic recession, the economic sectors of the four countries, especially those of China and India, are showing optimism on growth, income, and employment.

Taking India as an example, he said the government recently asked major state banks to lower interest rates, while inflation was at its lowest in history. These, in addition to good capital liquidity, have brought about both dynamism and stability to the economy and society.

Indian companies, especially those in the service sector, are looking forward to relatively high growth this year, Singh said.

With 6.7 percent growth in the last fiscal year, India confidently expects growth of above 7 percent this fiscal year, which began in April and ends in March next year.

Moreover, the victory of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) elections is also a positive element for the maintenance of stability and growth of the economy, Singh said.

Indian political scientist S.K. Gupta told Xinhua that the leaders of the BRIC countries are expected to discuss issues such as the future orientation of cooperation, and handling future financial crises with less reliance on the U.S. dollar.

Gupta said the four nations either have sufficient foreign reserves or robust incomes from energy and technology exports, so they have the means to face the global financial crisis.

He said the four have very distinct economic developments, so they can supplement each other in various fields such as finance, energy, services, technology, agriculture, environment protection, and food safety, as well as in multilateral trade talks at the World Trade Organization.

Gupta said that over the past decade, India has been very active in participating in both the trilateral cooperation dialogue with China and Russia, and BRIC cooperation, as such cooperation is helpful in carrying out India’s external economic policy from a strategic point of view.

The local English language newspaper, The Hindu, said in an earlier commentary that the outbreak of the financial crisis, triggered by the subprime crisis in the United States, had convinced the BRIC countries that the world needs a more democratic and balanced economic order.

The newspaper said that during a foreign ministerial meeting in Russia last year, the BRIC countries stressed that a democratic economic order was a precondition for the world to maintain sustainable development.

This had become a political consensus among the BRIC countries, the newspaper said.

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