Indian PM Man Mohan Singh: BRICS Nation Must Cooperate Against Terror

India today pitched for avoiding political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets affecting trade flow as the BRICS Summit began in New Delhi to discuss ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.

Heads of the BRICS countries (L to R) President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa pose prior to the BRICS summit in New Delhi on March 29, 2012. The leaders of BRICS countries gathered for their fourth summit, with the emerging market bloc struggling to convert its growing economic strength into collective diplomatic clout. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa represent 40 percent of humanity, but their grouping faces persistent questions over whether it can unite on key issues given the different priorities of its members.

India today pitched for avoiding political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets affecting trade flow as the BRICS Summit began in New Delhi to discuss ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.

Addressing the fourth BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also said that the grouping has agreed to examine in "greater detail" a proposal to set up a South-South Development bank, funded and managed by BRICS and other developing countries.

He also urged member countries to speak in one voice on key issues such as UNSC reforms.

The Summit is being attended by Brazilian president Dilma Roussef, Chinese president Hu Jintao, South African president Jacob Zuma and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev besides Singh.

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) represent over 40% of the world's population and the leaders of the five countries discussed ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.

"We must avoid political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets and affect trade flow... We must ensure policy coordination to revive economic growth," he said.

On UNSC reforms, Singh suggested that BRICS countries should speak in one voice on issues such as reforms of the international body.

He also said in their restricted session, the grouping also discussed the ongoing turmoil in West Asia and agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Touching upon the issue of terrorism, Singh said the countries should enhance cooperation against terrorism and other developing threats such as piracy, particularly emanating from Somalia.

Emphasising that the global situation presents a mixed picture, Singh said responses to these challenges by different countries may be different, "but there is much common interest that binds us together".

"We are all affected by the global economic slowdown, the volatility in food and energy prices, the challenge of reconciling growth with environmental objectives, the political uncertainty in West Asia and the rise of terrorism and extremism.

"Our responses to these challenges may be different, but there is much common interest that binds us together," he said.

He cited ten specific issues which he believed concerned all the member countries including creating jobs, energy and food security, revival of global growth, breathing life to Doha round of trade negotitions and facilitation of funds for infrastructure development.

Commenting on India's need to generate 8-10 million jobs every year in the next decade, Singh said India would like to learn from the experiences of other BRICS countries on how they are dealing with these problems.

He also sought "room to cooperate internationally" on issues like energy, food and water security, saying "it is clear that constraints such as the availability of energy and food for countries that account for more than 40% of the world population can impede the entire story.

"Water is another critical area of scarcity which needs much greater attention than it has received thus far. We have much to learn from each other in how to handle these problems, and there is also room to cooperate internationally," Singh said.

He also urged the member countries as members of G-20 that they must together ensure that appropriate solutions are found to help Europe help itself and to ensure policy coordination that can revive global growth.

"As large and diverse economies, we should make a special effort to find ways to exploit intra-BRICS complementarities. We should promote greater interaction amongst our business communities. Issues such as easier business visas must be prioritised. As large trading countries, BRICS have a strong interest in removing barriers to trade and investment flows and avoiding protectionist measures," Singh said.

"To revive global demand and growth, developing countries need access to capital, particularly for infrastructure development. We must address the important issue of expanding the capital base of the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks to enable these institutions to perform their appropriate role in financing infrastructure development," Singh said.

Seeking improvement in global governance, the Prime Minister said BRICS should speak with one voice on important issues such as the reform of the UN Security Council.

"BRICS countries must also work together to address deficiencies in global governance. Institutions of global political and economic governance created more than six decades ago have not kept pace with the changing world. While some progress has been made in international financial institutions, there is lack of movement on the political side," Singh said.

He emphasised on the need to reduce energy intensity of GDP by promoting energy efficiency and developing clean energy sources. This calls for greater investments in research and development, sharing of best practices, and encouraging transfer of technology, he said.

The BRICS nations had during their last summit in Sanya in China signed a framework agreement to enable them to grant credit in local currencies.

Though the BRICS countries have sharply varying political systems, they share some common geopolitical, economic and trading interests.

BRICS has no fixed agenda, but on certain issues like reform of the United Nations; greater representation in Bretton Woods institutions; managing global financial crisis and boosting intra-BRICS trade and cooperation, they mostly have common positions.

BRICS account for 26% of the world's landmass and 42% of the global population, including India and China, two of the world's most populous countries.

It accounts for 40% of global GDP ($18.486 trillion) and its proportion is rapidly increasing.  The first BRICS Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia (2009), followed by Brasilia (2010) and Sanya, China (2011).