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BRICS countries set up liaison group to boost co-op

Updated: 2011-04-13 18:45
( Xinhua)

SANYA, Hainan - Economic and trade ministers of the BRICS, a mechanism that groups the world's five emerging economies, have decided to set up a liaison group to intensify cooperation.

"This consensus indicates a concrete step in institutional building of deepened business cooperation of the BRICS countries," China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming told reporters after the first BRICS Economic and Trade Ministers' Meeting held Wednesday in the southern Chinese beach resort of Sanya.

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Chen said the liaison group will analyze the current economic cooperation and trade among the BRICS members and assess its future trend before it puts forward an institutional framework and specific measures to expand cooperation between the BRICS nations and South-South cooperation with other developing countries.

The meeting, chaired by Chen, was attended by Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, South African Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Brazilian Deputy Foreign Minister Carneiro Leao and Russian Vice Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev.

The BRICS nations have witnessed robust growth in trade over the past decade. From 2001 to 2010, trade among the five countries grew at an annual rate of 28 percent to reach nearly $230 billion.

Chen said the ministers agreed to intensify cooperation among member countries through expanding mutual trade and investment and pledged to oppose trade protectionism.

Chen said the ministers agreed that the world economy had been recovering since the global financial crisis in 2008.

However, the course of the recovery was unbalanced and faltered by the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa and Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, Chen said.

He said the BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have become "pacemakers" in global economic recovery, but they still face the economic overheating issues such as inflationary pressure and asset bubbles.

The ministers called on all countries to strengthen coordination on macro-economic policies so as to secure world economic recovery and achieve a robust, sustainable and balanced growth, Chen said.

The ministers also reiterated their support for Russia to join the World Trade Organization in 2011.

They also maintained that it was necessary for the BRICS countries to strengthen communication and coordination in the Group of 20, climate change negotiations, development cooperation and other multilateral arenas so that the interests of developing countries would be better upheld, Chen said.