Pm Modi Current Affairs - 2019

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PM Modi to attend BRICS

PM Modi is to attend the 11th BRICS summit that is to be conducted in Brazil on November 13, 2019.  He will be accompanied by a large business delegates during the visit. The theme of 2019 BRICS summit is Economic Growth for an Innovative Future

Highlights

  • PM is to attend restricted sessions during the visit. The sessions will focus on opportunities and challenges for the national sovereignty in the world.
  • BRICS Plenary session is to be held where the leaders are to discuss BRICS cooperation for economic development of member nations
  • Meeting of BRICS Business Council is also planned during the summit. During the session the MoUs between the BRICS countries and Investment Promotion agencies are to be signed
  • A joint Declaration will be issued at the end of the summit.

About BRICS

BRICS comprises of 5 major economies namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The member countries of BRICS grouping hold 42% of world’s population, 17% of world trade and 23% of world GDP. In 2018, BRICS commemorated its 10th anniversary in Johannesburg. The two main pillars of BRICS are

  • It helps to consult on issues of mutual interests through meetings
  • Also it helps to promote several sectors like agriculture, education, health, finance, trade, technology and communication.

India withdraws from RCEP

On November 4, 2019, India decided against joining Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal as India did not receive any credible assurance on market access and non-tariff barriers. This paved way for the other 15-members to go ahead and sign the deal keeping the door open for India to join at later date.

Reasons of Withdrawal

Trade Deficit

India has trade deficit with at least 11 of 15 RCEP countries. It has doubled in the last five years from 54 billion USD in 2013-14 to 105 billion USD in 2018-19. Of this China alone accounts to 53 billion USD. Signing the RCEP will widen trade deficit and will empty foreign exchange reserve of India at a faster rate.

Domestic market

Australia and New Zealand are now in search of free access to market their diary products. Similarly Indonesia and Vietnam are looking for places to dump their less quality rubber. India being the largest market in the world, dumping such less expensive goods will affect domestic goods of India

The China Factor

The RCEP deal is in favor of China. China is now looking for greater access (as an alternate) to Indian market with the trade war with the US. A failure to find an alternate will have a cascading effect on Chinese economy and its global ambitions. India by not signing the RCEP deal has refused to be a willing dumping ground of China’s trade imperialism.