Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that BRICS countries should work together to usher in the second "golden decade" of cooperation. He urged the member countries to work together, with the growth benefiting the people of the member nations, and ultimately reaching people around the globe.
Xi made the remarks in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in the coastal city of Xiamen, reviewing progress made by the five BRICS countries in the past decade and looking to the future.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum 2017 in Xiamen, Fujian Province, September 3, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)
The cooperation among the BRICS nations has reached a key point that serves as a link between the past and future, the president pointed out. “The bloc has become a bright spot in the global economy in the past decade and now looking into future, the five countries have major tasks to accomplish, which are to grow economies and to strengthen cooperation.”
“We need to work together to usher in the second ‘golden decade' of BRICS cooperation,” Xi noted.
Themed "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future", the forum focuses on trade and investment, financial cooperation, connectivity and the blue economy. The forum, scheduled for Sunday through Monday, will be attended by more than 1,000 business representatives from 25 countries.
BRICS development benefited over 3 billion people
President Xi revealed in his speech that the development of the BRICS countries has brought tangible benefits to more than three billion people, stating that "the bloc has contributed significantly to stabilizing the global economy and returning it to growth."
The opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, September 3, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)
"The last decade has seen BRICS countries making huge progress in pursuing common development," Xi said. He added, "in the past ten years, the combined GDP of the bloc has grown 179 percent, trade increased 94 percent while urban population expanded 28 percent."
Emerging markets, developing nations to play a greater role
President Xi noted that emerging markets and developing countries are playing an ever greater role in international affairs.
"BRICS countries have worked to fulfill their international responsibility, and have voiced their positions on major regional and international issues and made proposals to address them during the past decade," Xi said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), South African President Jacob Zuma (L) and Brazilian President Michel Temer (R) arrive for the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Xiamen, Fujian Province, September 3, 2017. (Photo: AFP)
"The countries have promoted reform of economic governance to increase the representation and the say of emerging markets and developing countries," he added.
“The bloc has also taken the lead in implementing the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, and engaged in close dialogue and cooperation with other developing countries to pursue development through unity," said Xi.
Xi still confident in BRICS development
"The BRICS countries will keep moving forward and this trend remains unchanged," Xi said, rebutting the assertion that BRICS countries are tarnishing as emerging markets and developing countries have experienced growth setbacks.
The opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum is held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, September 3, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)
Xi acknowledged that BRICS countries have encountered headwinds of varying intensity affected by complex internal and external environments, but he is optimistic about the countries' growth outlook.
"We are fully confident about it," he said.
Xi also stressed that the development of emerging markets and developing countries is not intended to "move the cheese of anyone" but to "make the cake of the global economy bigger."
BRICS must promote an open world economy
The president urged the bloc to promote trade liberalization and an open world economy at the forum.
"We should push for an open world economy, promote trade liberalization and facilitation, jointly create a new global value chain, and realize a global economic rebalancing,” said the president.
"Only openness delivers progress, and only inclusiveness sustains such progress," he stressed.
"In recent years, due to sluggish economic growth, problems such as uneven development, inadequate governance and deficit of fairness have become increasingly serious, and protectionism and inward-looking mentality are on the rise," Xi pointed out.
“We should not ignore problems arising from economic globalization or just complain about them. Rather, we should make joint efforts to find solutions," said Xi.
"We five countries should open more to each other, expand converging interests in this process, take an inclusive approach and share opportunities, so as to create even brighter prospects for growing the economies of the five countries," he said.
BRICS should expand network of partners via ‘BRICS Plus’
Xi said BRICS should promote the "BRICS Plus" approach to build an open and diversified network of development partners.
"We should get more emerging markets and developing countries involved in our concerted endeavors for cooperation and mutual benefits," he said, citing a Chinese proverb that it is easy to break one arrow but hard to break ten arrows bundled together.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward the "BRICS Plus" proposal in March and China has invited the leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand to attend the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries to engage in dialogue with the BRICS members.
Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank, said "BRICS Plus" would provide opportunities for other economies and inject impetus into economic globalization.