BRICS Current Affairs - 2019

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BCC inks MoU with BRICS Chamber to promote trade

The Bharat Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BRICS of Commerce and Industry for promoting trade and investments between BRICS countries and eastern part of India, in particular.

Key Highlights of MoU

It was signed by Sitaram Sharma, BCC president and B B L Madhukar, BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director General.

It will enable both the signatories BCC and BRICS chamber to share trade related information and exchange trade delegations among 5 members of group namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

BCC is looking forward to work closely with BRICS Chamber of Commerce to foster trade, industrial and technological cooperation between West Bengal and BRICS countries.

About Bharat Chamber of Commerce

BCC was initially established in 1900 as the “Marwari Chamber of Commerce” at Calcutta.

Following Indian Independence, in 1949 Chamber re-christened itself as Bharat Chamber Commerce.

Function: It works towards

Expanding economic and commercial activity via enhancement of efficiency and competition at all levels

Economic empowerment of society in rural areas via guidance on application of appropriate technology and evolving marketing strategies

Promoting Bilateral Trade using Business Delegation as engine for exploring opportunities

About BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry

BRICS CCI is a parent organization which promotes commerce and industry in BRICS nations. It was founded in 2012 with efforts of eminent professionals and entrepreneur.

It is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO).

Objective: to create an enabling support system especially for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) segment of businesses and young entrepreneurs from across all geographies.

Global Energy Transition Index 2019

The Global Energy Transition index 2019 report has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The index compares the energy sectors of 115 countries and analyses their readiness for energy transition. The index benchmarks the countries energy systems based on an “energy triangle”, comprised of energy security and access, economic development and growth, environmental sustainability and how well they are set-up to succeed in the future.

The index takes into account six individual indicators: capital and investment, regulation and political commitment, institutions and governance, institutions and innovative business environment, human capital and consumer participation, and energy system structure.

Global Energy Transition Index 2019

  • Sweden has topped the index and is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three.
  • China is ranked even lower than India in the 82nd position.
  • The United Kingdom (UK) is ranked seventh and Singapore has been ranked thirteenth, while Germany, Japan and the US have bagged the seventeenth, eighteenth and the twenty-seventh place respectively.
  • Among the Asian Countries, Malaysia is ranked highest at 31st, Sri Lanka is 60th, Bangladesh 90th and Nepal 93rd.
  • The report states that the world’s transition to secure, affordable and sustainable energy has stagnated, with little or no progress achieved in the past five years.
  • The index notes that continued use of coal for power generation in Asia, increasing commodity prices and slower-than-needed improvements in energy intensity have contributed to this year’s stagnation in performance.
  • Even though more people across the globe have access to energy, this has been offset by reduced affordability and almost no progress in making energy systems environmentally sustainable.

Where does India stand?
  • India has moved up two places to rank 76th and the report states that India is amongst the countries with high pollution levels and has a relatively high CO2 intensity in its energy system.
  • The report also acknowledges the significant strides made by India to improve energy access in recent years. India scores well in the area of regulation and political commitment towards energy transition.
  • The report suggests a ground of optimism regarding India despite the current outdated energy system not being ready for the transition because an enabling environment is being built to support the future transition.
  • India has ranked low in terms of system performance (ranking 97 and 86, respectively) and has been ranked considerably higher when it comes to readiness (45 and 61, respectively).
  • India is the second best in the BRICS group of emerging economies, with Brazil being the best at 46th place globally. India is the only BRICS country to improve its rank since last year.

The Index considers both the current state of the countries’ energy system and their structural readiness to adapt to future energy needs.