His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India,
Excellencies Leaders of BRICS and BIMSTEC member states,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I congratulate Prime Minister Modiji and the Government of India for successfully hosting the 8th BRICS Summit.
I extend sincere thanks to the Prime Minister of India for convening this Outreach Summit. This event is a unique opportunity of dialogue between the two vibrant groupings of nations.
As we assemble here, one of our fellow BIMSTEC member, Thailand, is mourning the demise of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. I express heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the Royal Thai Government and friendly people of Thailand at this hour of grief.
While BRICS represents more than a third of world’s population and over a quarter of global GDP, BIMSTEC stands for the collective aspirations of over 1.5 billion people for development and a better future.
While BRICS has been a center of gravity for growth and economic transformation, BIMSTEC possesses tremendous potentials to emerge as increasingly vibrant region.
This provides an impetus for collaborative partnership between BRICS and BIMSTEC. India, as a common member in both, can play a bridging role.
For us, BRICS members offer inspiring models of developmental transformation. Freeing millions of people out of the vicious cycle of poverty in the past two decades was undoubtedly an extraordinary accomplishment for BRICS.
From human development to manifold upturn of people’s per capita income; from critical infrastructure to upswing of trade and FDI, BRICS continue to achieve what was once beyond imagination. BRICS’ sustained growth helped stabilize world economy even during the worst economic and financial crisis.
We see BRICS’ rise as an opportunity. The biggest advantage of learning from the good practices of BRICS members is that their developmental tools and measures are tested in the unique developing country context.
BIMSTEC members are a home to nearly a fifth of world’s humanity, endowed with abundant natural resources and boundless capacity to grow.
We have close geographic linkage and share many cultural and civilizational ethos. For over a decade, we are working together for better lives and livelihoods of our peoples. BIMSTEC’s priorities largely converge with those of BRICS.
This is the first time BRICS and BIMSTEC are deliberating on partnership in opportunities. Possibility of working together is immense.
In larger forums, we can better coordinate our views in global norm setting including through the reform in the global governance architecture reflective of current realities.
BRICS countries today are not only the prime locus of inbound global FDI but also the ever-enlarging source of outbound investment. As fellow developing countries and the countries in immediate neighbourhood of two important BRICS members, BIMSTEC members have a natural expectation that they receive greater share of FDI from BRICS countries. This will further deepen partnership.
Cooperation in education and human development could be beneficial to both groups. Demographic dividend is an asset for both. Large youthful population in our countries can be a force for transformation. But we need to focus on their development.
Our countries are at different stages of technological capacity and innovation index. BRICS countries possess state of the art technologies and some of them have emerged as technology leaders. This points to the possibility of promoting cooperation and sharing the benefits of technology.
Despite some progress in recent years, our countries are still the biggest concentration of world poverty in term of absolute number of poor. We can share with each other anti-poverty schemes that have effectively worked.
Agriculture is the mainstay of economy for most of us. BRICS members have made tremendous progress in transforming the traditional agricultural pattern into a modern technology-based economic sector. From this many of us can learn and benefit.
Cooperation in the field of energy is critical and can be a game changer in our socio-economic development landscape provided we develop a right energy mix. Greater use of renewable energy can contribute to clean and green development. Some of us have immense potentiality to generate renewable energy. If harnessed properly, others in neighbourhood can benefit as well.
State of the art infrastructure will provide us the much-needed physical foundation for closer intra-regional connectivity. Connectivity in all forms (roads, railways, waterways, airways and transmission ways) facilitates movement of goods, services and people. The importance of physical connectivity particularly for landlocked countries is vital. Such connectivity needs to be complemented by other forms of connectivity – be that in terms of knowledge, ideas, technology or finance.
We congratulate the BRICS for the establishment and successful operationalization of the New Development Bank. The Bank can serve as an important source of funding infrastructure projects and programmes for sustainable development prioritized by BIMSTEC.
We have common stake in successful realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Least developed countries should receive special support measures so that they are not left behind in this process.
We must collectively fight against the threat of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, human and drug trafficking and other trans-national crimes.
I conclude by thanking once again the Government of India and Prime Minister Modiji for organizing this Summit. I am fully convinced that broadened and deepened partnership between BRICS and BIMSTEC would not only be supportive to our economic progress but also contribute to building peaceful and prosperous societies.
Our partnership should contribute to eradicate poverty from our regions by fully unleashing our respective potentials.
Our partnership should be rewarding and beneficial for all of us and contribute to enable us to grow and prosper together.
Our partnership should contribute to strengthen global peace and stability.
Our partnership should contribute to enhance our standing on the global stage.
Our partnership should make sure that none of us is left behind.