BRICS Increase Collaboration at New Delhi Summit

20 April 2012

Heads of state from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - collectively known as the BRICS countries - concluded their fourth annual summit meeting in New Delhi on 29 March, with officials signing an accord to promote intra-BRICS trade in local currencies and proposing the creation of a new development bank to mobilise resources in the five-country group.

The one-day summit resulted in the Delhi Declaration, named after this year's host city. The heads of state gathering was the second since the original BRIC grouping took on a fifth member, South Africa, and the fourth since Brazil, Russia, India, and China began meeting collectively in 2009.

The need for "an open and merit-based process" of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chiefs was expressed by BRICS representatives at the summit, an issue that has previously been voiced and which is drawing additional relevance now that the race for a new World Bank head is underway.

The heads of state also put forward the possibility of their own development bank, one that would be charged with "mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries."

BRICS leaders pledged to continue efforts for a successful completion of the WTO Doha Round of trade talks that have last year been declared at an impasse. "Towards this end, we will explore outcomes in specific areas where progress is possible while preserving the centrality of development and within the overall framework of the single undertaking," the group said.

The upcoming Rio+20 conference was also an important feature in the final summit declaration, with leaders calling the event a "unique opportunity" for the international community to renew its commitment to supporting sustainable development. However, the heads of state cautioned, "the concept of a ‘green economy', still to be defined at Rio+20, must be understood in the larger framework of sustainable development and poverty eradication and is a means to achieve these fundamental and overriding priorities, not an end in itself."

Source: BRICS Push to Redress Power Imbalances at New Delhi Summit, Bridges Weekly, 4 April 2012.

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