“During 2002-2012, trade among the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has grown 900% during this decade. This is a great achievement of the BRICS countries, besides this, the relationship of Brazil with India has attained greater heights after the formation of the BRICS bloc than before. Similarly, this is the case of other BRICS countries,” said Ms. Rosimar da Silva Suzano, Consul General of Brazil in Mumbai at a Panel Discussion to mark the release of MVIRDC Research Publication on ‘Engineering of the BRICS Engagement’ at World Trade Center Mumbai. The Panel Discussion assumes significance as it was organized ahead of the 9th BRICS Summit to be held in China from September 3-5, 2017.
Ms. Suzano further pointed out that BRICS countries have formed partnership across 30 sectors and have set up BRICS Scientists Forum, BRICS Network University, among others. These are all enabling factors in promoting bilateral Trade relations.
Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Ravni Thakur, Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Delhi University said, “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the pillars of most of the countries in the world and it is especially so in the BRICS countries. In future, the BRICS countries must develop strong partnership in the MSME sector. We need to have more and more Business to Business Meetings, interaction among industry chambers of the BRICS countries. BRICS countries must harmonize the definition of MSMEs. Further, BRICS countries must establish a broader forum to include MSMEs in research and policy making. BRICS countries must also work together to strengthen women-owned enterprises.”
During the session,Mr. Andrei Nikolaevich Zhiltsov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Mumbai said today the presence of Russia is felt stronger across all countries except in India. For example, Russia has only two journalists in India. On the other hand, India has only one journalist in Moscow. There is a need to enhance exchange of information to improve trade and commerce between India and Russia. India must strengthen its cultural ties with Russia by collaborating in Science, Technology, Media, Entertainment and other sectors. India and Russia can grow their bilateral trade five-fold by exchange of information.
Mr. Mohit Jain, Vice-President, SMERA Knowledge Center & Large Corporate Business, SMERA Ratings said, “MSMEs in BRICS countries face challenges such as inadequate access to finance, technology and skilled labour. Rating agencies in these BRICS countries must collaborate to exchange information about credit worthiness of MSME borrowers. We must set up a robust mechanism for rating the MSMEs in BRICS countries and sharing their information through a common portal. This will improve access to institutional credit for MSMEs.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman - World Trade Center Mumbai and President - All India Association of Industries (AIAI) said, “BRICS countries must strengthen their co-operation in the MSME sector by setting up Joint Business Council. India has set up Joint Business Council with many countries and this mechanism should be replicated with BRICS countries as well. BRICS countries must involve representatives from industry and trade while forming broad policy framework for co-operation. For the last many years, BRICS countries have introduced many reforms to improve the competitiveness of their economies. By strengthening co-operation among MSMEs, we can enhance intra-BRICS trade to more than USD 500 billion from the present level of USD 295 billion.”
Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, World Trade Center Mumbai proposed vote of thanks.
MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai conducted the research study on ‘Engineering of the BRICS Engagement’ to examine various dimensions of partnership among the five countries. The study is an attempt to understand possible future collaboration among these economies based on their individual strength, weakness, opportunity and threat.
The event was attended by Consul Generals, representatives of micro, small and medium enterprises, academic institutions, financial institutions, industry bodies and others.