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BRICS to beef up ties in science

By Zhang Zhihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-19 07:06

BRICS countries will continue to strengthen multilateral exchanges and cooperation to promote science and innovation, according to a declaration signed during a ministerial meeting in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

The five member nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - agreed that innovation is one of the major driving forces for sustainable economic development, Wan Gang, China's minister of science and technology, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"Science, technology and innovation have played crucial roles in providing jobs, promoting structural reforms and market competition and tackling global challenges," he said. "BRICS nations have to strengthen the role of science and technology, facilitate multilateral science projects and people-to-people exchanges, and build frameworks for long-term projects and cooperation."

BRICS countries account for 42 percent of the world's population, 18 percent of the world's GDP, 17 percent of total research funding and 27 percent of all published science papers, Wan said.

"BRICS nations' strong role in global science development is becoming more evident," he said. "More multilateral cooperation and exchanges at all levels are beneficial in unlocking the scientific potential of each member nation."

BRICS nations will promote training and exchanges for young scientists, encourage young entrepreneurs to innovate and share their experiences, and support the role of female scientists in science and innovation.

China recently held the second BRICS Youth Scientists Forum in Hangzhou, and many great ideas emerged, Wan said. Some of the proposals from the forum will be incorporated into the BRICS summit scheduled for Sept 3 to 5 in Xiamen, Fujian province.

South Africa will host the next BRICS science and technology ministerial meeting.

Naledi Pandor, South Africa's science minister, said her country will build on the solid foundation of BRICS cooperation, and carry out the action plans agreed to at the Hangzhou meeting.

South Africa is now working with China to establish science parks, she said. "We would like to draw experience from China about building incubators because we believe this can lead to more innovation."

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