India hosted the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting virtually on April 6. The meeting was jointly chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI governor Shaktikanta Das.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are members of the grouping.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the BRICS countries took part in the meeting.
This was the first meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under India’s chairship in 2021.
During the meeting, they discussed financial cooperation agenda set by India for 2021 — Global economic outlook and response to COVID-19 pandemic, New Development Bank (NDB) activities, social infrastructure financing and use of digital technologies, cooperation on customs related issues, IMF reforms, fintech for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and financial inclusion.
As the 2021 BRICS Chair, India’s approach is focused on strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation based on continuity, consolidation and consensus.
India pitched for greater coordination among BRICS nations on the issue of the 16th general review of quotas of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to give more say to developing countries. As per an IMF resolution, the 16th General Review of Quotas should be concluded by December 15, 2023.
Any adjustment in quota shares would be expected to result in an increase in the voting rights of emerging countries in line with their relative positions in the world economy.
It would likely result in an increase in the share of emerging markets and developing countries as a whole, while protecting the voice and representation of the poorest members.
On the BRICS priorities and agenda for 2021, Sitharaman said efforts should be made towards delivering outcomes that reflect the needs and aspirations of the group in particular and emerging markets and developing economies in general.
She also stressed on thematic priorities for the New Development Bank for discussion during 2021 and the issue of membership expansion.
The BRICS nations
• The BRICS nations or Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa form the five key pillars of south-south cooperation and are the representative voice of emerging markets and developing countries in the global forums such as the G20.
• The BRICS represent 42 percent of the world population, 27 percent of the global surface area and account for over 20 per cent of the global GDP.
• 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 four economies 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 the G8-Outreach Summit in July 2006. The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of UNGA in New York in September 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 on April 14, 2011.
• In 2014, the BRICS nations established the New Development Bank (NDB). It has an initial authorised capital of $100 billion and initial subscribed capital of $50 billion of which $10 billion is paid-in capital.