The global economic environment remains uncertain and challenging. Recovery is still fragile despite improved prospects.
In an environment of political conflict and persisting weakness in major economies; we have to be watchful for signs of a new bout of financial turmoil.
Developments in Iraq and the wider region could affect this. I am also concerned that tight monetary policies in some countries couldundercut investment and growth in ours.
An open, rule-based, international trading regime is critical for global economic growth.
It must address the aspirations of the developing world.
It must also accommodate the special needs of the most vulnerable sections of our societies, especially in areas such as food security.
This is our broad expectation from the negotiations in the Doha Round of WTO.
The Agreement towards setting up the BRICS New Development Bank is a significant step. I am happy, the initiative announced at the BRICS Summit in New Delhi in 2012, has become a reality.
The agreement on the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement is another major achievement.
I compliment our Finance Ministers for concluding these two initiatives so quickly.
These initiatives are rooted in our own experience as developing countries.
They show our capacity to set up global institutions.
They will open new avenues for supporting development in our countries as well as helping other developing nations.
We should ensure these institutions establish a new model for supporting growth and stability.
Excellencies, the theme of this Summit is also the guiding principle of my Government. For us, inclusion is a special challenge and responsibility; given our vast social, regional and economic diversity.
Our policies will focus on empowering people with skills and opportunities.
We will invest heavily in infrastructure, affordable housing, healthcare,education and clean energy.
We will harness all possibilities that advanced technologies open up.
All this will require fast-tracking of Growth.
We will champion, clean and frugal resource use; to maintain the Sustainabilityof our development process, without constraining our growth.
Sustainability has in fact been a core element of the Indian way of life. As Mahatma Gandhi had said, the World has enough, for everyone’s Need, but not for everyone’s Greed. We can all partake of the bounty of nature. However, exploitation of nature is a crime.
We have made progress, on the Millennium Development Goals. But widespread poverty still haunts us.
We must keep poverty eradication at the centre of the post-2015 Development Agenda.
It is important to shape the global discourse on the same, especially in forums like the UN. BRICS can be a major voice on the world stage to build consensus towards such efforts.
BRICS is in a position today where it wields enough horizontal influence to compel the world to take notice.
Our own good, however, lies in deepening our bonds vertically.
We must focus on further decentralizing, this powerful forum.
We must go beyond Summit and Leader-centric deliberations; and champion Sub-national Level exchanges. We must encourage engagement between our States, Cities and other local bodies.
BRICS should in fact be truly driven by ‘People to People’ contact. Our Youth, in particular, must take a lead in this.
Popularizing our languages through dedicated BRICS language schoolsin all BRICS countries could be a beginning in this direction.
We could also consider establishing Massive Open Online Courses for making quality education accessible to all.
We could even explore the idea of a BRICS University.
Today, technology is a transformative toolin every area of social and economic development.
The vast pool of talent in BRICS could be combined to cooperate in areas like: health, education, agriculture, resource management and urban development.
Perhaps a Young Scientists’ Forum of BRICS Countries could be explored.
Other initiatives could include:
An affordable healthcare platform of BRICS nations.
Mechanism to further cooperation, between our Small and Medium enterprises.
And, a common framework for promoting Tourism among BRICS countries.
I am aware of the comprehensive proposals that our Chinese and Russian partners have put forward to deepen BRICS cooperation.
Our Sherpas should examine them urgently.
Let us deepen our bonds to make BRICS a stronger instrument of progress, for all mankind.