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News From : DagangHalal.com (6/30/2009)

Chinese President Hu Jintao charted a future course for cooperation between Brazil, Russia, India and China, collectively known as the BRIC countries, at a recent summit.

Leaders of the four fast-growing developing economies met in the central Russia city of Yekaterinburg on June 16. It was the first formal meeting they have had since U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs came up with the BRIC concept in 2001.

"We should seize historic opportunities, strengthen unity and cooperation and jointly safeguard the overall interests of developing countries," Hu said in his speech.

At a time when the world is trying to cope with the international financial crisis and restore economic growth, BRIC countries should enhance mutual political trust by making use of current dialogue mechanisms, Hu said.

BRIC countries held their first foreign ministers' meeting in Yekaterinburg in May last year. Since then, they have held several finance ministers' meetings to address the global financial crisis. In May this year, their senior representatives on security issues met for the first time in Moscow.

BRIC countries complement each other with their respective advantages in resources, markets, labor force and science and technology, Hu said. They should work more closely together on the economic front, expand areas for economic cooperation and introduce new ways of cooperation to achieve better results, he added.

Since the four countries all have a long history and rich cultural heritage, they should strengthen exchanges in the fields of culture, education, public health, tourism and sports to lay a social foundation for their all-round cooperation, he said.

He also called on the four countries to learn from each other's experience. "We should respect the development paths chosen by different countries, exchange experiences related to development and learn from each other's development mode, and share experiences with other developing countries on a voluntary basis," he said.

BRIC countries are home to 42 percent of the world population. In 2008, they accounted for 14.6 percent of global gross domestic product and 12.8 percent of the world's total trade volume.

At the Yekaterinburg summit, leaders issued a joint statement clarifying BRIC countries' views on international issues as well as a statement on global food security. Brazil will host the next BRIC summit in 2010.

China's Proposals

Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward a four-point proposal for BRIC countries at the Yekaterinburg summit in an effort to deal with the ongoing global financial crisis:

Committed to promoting the early recovery of the world economy. We must strive to overcome difficulties and take the lead in recovery from the international financial crisis. We have to, in the course of tackling the international financial crisis, solve long-term structural problems that exist in our economic development, change our development modes, and strive to improve the quality and level of our economic development while promoting the recovery of world economic growth. We should adhere to open markets, give play to our complementary advantages and expand economic and trade cooperation.

Committed to promoting reform of the international financial system. We need to jointly push forward the development of plans regarding reform of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and effectively increase the say and representation of developing countries so as to objectively reflect changes in the world economy.

Committed to executing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. We need to continue to call upon the international community not to neglect development issues or reduce development investment just because of the international financial crisis. The international community should pay particular attention to the impact of the international financial crisis on developing countries, especially the least developed countries. We need to call on all parties to continue to execute the Millennium Development Goals and urge developed countries to fulfill their official development assistance commitments.

Committed to ensuring food security, energy and resource security, and public health security. We are all trying our best to cope with the international financial crisis, but at the same time, it is necessary to have a long-term perspective, focus on overall planning, and properly handle other outstanding issues that affect development, especially climate change, food security, energy and resource security, and public health security. These problems have a direct bearing on the well-being and overall interests of the people in the world.

(Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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