BRICS Current Affairs - 2020

BRICS Foreign ministers to attend COVID-19 meeting

The foreign ministers of the BRICS grouping are to discuss on measures to combat COVID-19. External Affairs Minister Shri S Jaishankar is to represent India at the meet.

Highlights

The video conference is to be hosted by Russia as it is the current rotating head. The ministers are to discuss possible joint measures to fight against the highly contagious, fast spreading and dangerous COVID-19.

BRICS

BRICS was established in 2009 and is the acronym of the members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. All the five BRICS members are the members of G20.

BRICS representations

The five members of the BRICS grouping contribute to 41% of the world population. The combined GDP of the five countries as of 2018 was 18.6 trillion USD.

Why is BRICS important for India?

There is a huge tug of war between the super powers US and China-Russia. India is stuck in the middle between the super powers. The BRICS platform is a good opportunity for India to balance its relations between these super powers

BRICS has recently become the voice of developing countries. This is mainly because the western countries are increasing their challenges on the issues starting from World Trade Organization till Climate change.

India is pursuing to get membership at the UNSC (United Nations Security Council). In order to achieve this, China is the major roadblock to India. Thus, BRICS acts as an opportunity to engage with China and resolve the disputes.

New Development Bank’s financial assistance of 1 billion USD to India

On April 20, 2020, Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman attended the fifth annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the National Development Bank through a video conference.

Outcomes

The New Development Bank of the BRICS grouping is to provide a financial assistance of 1 billion USD of COVID-19 funds to India. India has pitched for 10 billion USD from the bank.

About NDB

The bank was established in 2014 by BRICS member countries Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa and China. It mobilizes resources of infrastructure and sustainable development projects. It works to complement efforts of regional and multilateral financial institutions to enhance global growth and development. It supports both public and private projects. The initial authorized capital of the bank was 100 billion USD.

Till date, the New Development Bank has approved 14 Indian projects of 4,183 million USD. The bank has so far signed strategic cooperation agreements with World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.