Sat, Oct 22, 2016 | updated 01:39 AM IST

115 events listed for BRICS Summit in Goa on Oct 15-16: MEA

Updated: Oct 07, 2016 23:04 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct. 7 (ANI): As many as 115 events have been planned for the upcoming two-day Eight BRICS Summit to be held in Goa on October 15-16.

Briefing the media here, Ministry of External Affairs, Secretary, Economic Relations (ER) Amar Sinha said, "The 115 events include two parliamentary meetings, 15 ministerial level meetings, 56 senior officials' meetings of working groups and expert groups, 27 workshops, three track two events, and five events along the business pillars."

He further said, "India took over the BRICS presidency on February 15 and we have planned 115 events. This year the theme for India's BRICS Chairmanship is Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions, and the main them is people-to-people contact, which included youth engagement, dissemination of BRICS across the country, which was the great priority for us as we took it to nearly 20 states in the country.

"And, the other emphasis that our leadership wanted was to have increased business to business and people to people interactions, and so we basically translated them in a number of innovative initiatives, which has just run through."

Stating that BRICS leaders also met recently on the margins of the G20 in Hangzhou in China in September, Sinha said BRICS brings the collective wisdom of emerging economies to the table. "It's a new emerging voice and we are looking to consolidate our cooperation in a rage of areas that have been identified for cooperation."

Now also hosted the first ever BRICS' Women Parliamentarians' Forum in Jaipur in Rajasthan, where the focus was sustainable developmental goals; and then, the BRICS Parliamentary Forum will be held later this month in Geneva, he said.

He further said one key meeting that happened the last month was BRICS National Security Advisors' (NSAs) meet. "The major outcome has been that we have formalised a BRICS Forum on Security Matters, which will be chaired by NSAs. This will consists of three working groups, which will focus on counterterrorism, cyber security and BRICS' energy security dialogues. The NSAs will provide a sort of umbrella for the three working groups," he added.

The next week, there will be the first BRICS Trade Fair, which is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). We have an overwhelming response from all the BRICS countries and the focus there is on innovation, innovative technologies, start-ups on manufacturing and we are looking at very good participation by all the major companies from the BRICS countries, besides trade ministers will be here," said Sinha.

The Secretary (ER) said in addition, there is a Standing Business Council meet, where five top CEOs from each country interact over the year; in fact they meet twice or thrice. "They would be presenting a report at the Summit, where India's chair is Mr. Onkar Kanwar, and their focus basically would be on looking at a Social Services Agreement among BRICS, a financial services framework and strengthening of local capital markets. And, a BRICS Angel Investors' Network is something that they are going to most likely recommend. They have also, in the past, focused on the ease of doing business, reducing of trade barriers, development of skills within BRICS countries and an intra-regional approach to the trade and as you know the trade is an important pillar of BRICS cooperation," he said.

On the track two events, there will be academic forum, think-tank council meeting on the BRICS Civil Forum, the reports and recommendations of which are already in the public domain

Sinha said, "In terms of institutions building, because India has always focus on institutions building as you know that New Development Bank (NDB), which was initially called as BRICS Bank, was India's suggestion in 2012 that started functioning last year; so now, we are looking at creating BRICS Agricultural Research Platform. We are also negotiating a BRICS Railway Research Network and we have actually agreed on creating a BRICS Sports Council, and in this connection I may point out that the first Under-17 BRICS Tournament started in Goa on October 5 and it will finish on October 15."

"The three other agreements that have already been agreed are memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on Environmental Cooperation, Regulations on BRICS Customs' Cooperation, and on Cooperation between Diplomatic Academics of BRICS. There are a number of ideas that are being discussed but, I think, since we have not reached an agreement, I am listing it out here," he saod.

Stating that another great initiative after the academic forum etc that the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has taken is the first-ever BRICS Documentation Centre is being started by ORF, which will be located in Delhi, Sinha added that it will become a resource base for all the BRICS has done in terms of all the documents that any researcher would ever need will be available at one point.

BRICS brings together five major emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa comprising 43 percent of the world population, 30 percent of the world GDP and 17 percent share in the world trade.

The acronym BRIC was first used in 2001 by Goldman Sachs in their Global Economics Paper, "The World Needs Better Economic BRICs" on the basis of econometric analyses projecting that the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China would individually and collectively occupy far greater economic space and would be amongst the world's largest economies in the next 50 years or so.

As a formal grouping, BRIC started after the meeting of the Leaders of Russia, India and China in St. Petersburg on the margins of G8 Outreach Summit in 2006. The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of UNGA in New York in 2006. The first BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 16, 2009.

It was agreed to expand BRIC into BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa at the BRIC Foreign Ministers' meeting in New York in September 2010. Accordingly, South Africa attended the third BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, on April 14, 2011. (ANI)