On 1st and 2nd August 2017, Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended BRICS Trade Ministers meeting in Shanghai, China. On the sidelines of this meeting she also held meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.
Highlights of Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Shanghai:
Measures to expand e-commerce cooperation among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) were discussed at this meeting.
- Economic and technological cooperation was included in the agenda for the first time in the trade ministers’ meeting’s history to improve the bloc’s capabilities in service trade, e-commerce and other fields.
- Sitharaman discussed with her Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan, the trade deficit in India-China bilateral trade which stands at $51 billion for 2016-17 from the $71.48 billion bilateral trade between the two countries.
- Sitharaman sought the assistance of Chinese Ministry of Commerce in reducing the trade deficit by facilitating greater market access and thereby providing a level playing field for Indian IT, pharmaceuticals and agro products in China.
- The two commerce ministers exchanged views on developing a strong, balanced and sustainable trade and investment partnership between India and China.
- Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan accepted Ms. Sitharaman’s invitation to visit India for the 11th Joint Economic Group (JEG) meeting.
Quick Facts about BRICS:
Acronym BRICS, refers to five major emerging economies viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- Originally as per term ‘BRIC’ coined in 2001 by then-chairman ofGoldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O’Neill, South Africa was not a part of this grouping. It joined in 2010 and thereafter these countries have been collectively referred to as BRICS nations.
- BRICS nations represent about 40% of world’s population and account for nearly 22% of gross world product