SHANGHAI — Trade ministers from BRICS countries agreed to oppose protectionism and safeguard the multilateral trade system after concluding their annual meeting in Shanghai on Aug 2.
All member countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are also members of the WTO, playing a major part in global economic governance, according to a statement released after the meeting.
Ministers agreed to oppose protectionism, calling on other countries to follow suit. They also encouraged more countries to participate in the WTO, and asked the organization to show more commitment to least developed countries.
“Safeguarding the multilateral trade system and the rise against protectionism serves the common interests of emerging and developing economies,” Zhong Shan, China’s minister of commerce, said Aug1.
The ministers also agreed on cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR), and to step up exchange and cooperation on IPR legislation and law enforcement.
BRICS also agreed that mutual investment was an engine that can boost the global economy and employment. Outward BRICS investment was just under 197 billion US dollars in 2016, but investment between the five nations accounted for only 6 percent.
Ministers recognized the need for policy transparency, improved efficiency and services, and capacity building for inclusive, sustainable growth.
“As the host of this year’s meeting, China has confidence in implementing the consensus reached by leaders of BRICS. The Shanghai meeting is important preparation for the leaders summit later this year,” he said.
China, which holds the BRICS presidency this year, will host the ninth BRICS summit in September in Xiamen, Fujian province.