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BRICS Summit set to boost integration, trade

Zhong Nan
Updated: Sep 1,2017 7:31 AM     China Daily

The upcoming BRICS Summit in Xiamen is expected to accelerate trade, investment and technology integration among member economies, and support the development of a multilateral trading system, the Ministry of Commerce said on Aug 31.

Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the five BRICS members-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-will deepen international cooperation in industrial capacity, promoting exports of Chinese equipment, technology, standards and services.

“China will uphold multilateral trade as the main channel of international trade and will play an active part in multilateral trade negotiations,” he said at a regular news conference in Beijing.

The trade volume between China and other BRICS countries grew 26 percent year-on-year to $167.07 billion in the first seven months of this year, while the nation invested $870 million in those countries’ non-financial sectors, according to data from the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Commerce.

In comparison with China’s large outbound direct investment in developed countries such as Germany or the United States over the past five years, Gao said intra-BRICS investment has great potential to be tapped.

BRICS trade ministers called on BRICS countries to enhance trade and intra-BRICS investment in Shanghai earlier August, as well as urging more cooperation on e-commerce, digital ports, services trade, intellectual property rights, investment facilitation and opposing trade protectionism.

Eager to restore its earning ability, Brazil announced earlier this month that the country will start to offer foreign companies 57 franchises to operate power, port, airport and other infrastructure projects to stimulate new growth points.

China and Brazil launched a joint investment promotion fund to increase productive capacity in late May. The fund has an initial sum of $20 billion to finance investment projects in Brazil that are of interest to both countries.

Bilateral trade volume between China and India also rose by 21.5 percent year-on-year to $47.52 billion between January and July this year, customs data show.

Wang Zhile, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing, said BRICS countries have already adopted an investment facilitation outline in the second half this year, another breakthrough in global investment policies.

The outline covers three areas: increasing the transparency of laws, regulations and policies; improving investment-related administrative efficiency in BRICS countries by informing investors of approval results in a more timely manner; and enhancing the intra-BRICS investment cooperation level by establishing public-private dialogue mechanisms.

Wang said intra-BRICS investment is currently still limited, because BRICS countries are at similar stages of development, while cross-border investment requires the investment destination to be at a different stage.

“In the context of globalization, Chinese and other partner countries from the developing world are all confronted with similar challenges, and require readjustment and transformation in pursuit of new opportunities,” said Zhang Jianping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

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