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BRICS meet: What the prime minister said

April 14, 2011 12:09 IST

Here is the full text of the statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the plenary session of BRICS leaders in Sanya, China, on Thursday, April 14.

Your Excellency President Hu Jintao,

Your Excellency President Medvedev,

Your Excellency President Dilma Rousseff,

Your Excellency President Zuma,

Distinguished delegates.

The theme of this meeting is "Broad Vision and Shared Prosperity". The Sanya Declaration and the Action Plan that we will be adopting later today outlines the contours of where we would like to be in the years ahead.

For us it is a matter of great satisfaction that a BRICS Summit is taking place for the first time in Asia. The fact that we are meeting in China is equally significant. The balance of power is shifting to the Asia-Pacific region, and China has admirably withstood the consequences of the global economic and financial crisis.

From a geopolitical perspective, the BRICS economies occupy a strategic economic position. They possess a significant percentage of the world's landmass and an even more considerable percentage of the global population. The evolution of BRICS and its broad appeal among all our peoples is a reflection of emerging realities, and full of hope.

The challenge before us is to harness the vast potential that exists among us. We are rich in resources, material and human. We are strengthened by the complementarities of our resource endowments. We share the vision of inclusive growth and prosperity in the world.

We stand for a rule-based, stable and predictable global order. We respect each other's political systems and stages of development. We value diversity and plurality. Our priority is the rapid socio-economic transformation of our people and those of the developing world. Our cooperation is neither directed against nor at the expense of anyone.

We have the opportunity to give concrete meaning to the concept of sustainable and balanced development, and produce innovative models of development. We can cooperate in clean and alternative sources of energy and technologies. Nuclear safety has emerged as a major source of concern the world over after the tragedy in Japan. We should cooperate in this area, as well as in disaster relief and management.

We live in an age when science and technology and the growth of human knowledge are becoming major determinants of the power and wealth of nations.  We should share our experiences in capacity building, education and skill development.

As large and diverse societies we are vulnerable to new and emerging threats to our security. It is our duty to our citizens that we cooperate in the fight against terrorism, extremism and intolerance and other non-traditional threats like piracy.

We should join hands in ensuring a peaceful and orderly transformation of the world order that reflects contemporary and emerging realities. This should be the case whether it is the reform of political and security governance structures in the United Nations or the international financial, monetary or trade system.

India reaffirms its commitment to a balanced and ambitious outcome to the Doha round of WTO negotiations. India will continue to engage with its partners to facilitate a rule-based multilateral trade regime which is fair, equitable and addresses the development agenda effectively.

We are embarked on a major enterprise of socio-economic change for our peoples. Cooperation among BRICS holds the promise of building an external environment for ourselves that helps each of us and complements our task of nation building. To that extent I would say the best is yet to come.

India stands ready to work with other BRICS countries to realise these goals. Our economy is more open and more connected to the world than it has been in the past. Our financial and capital markets are sound, and eager to absorb foreign direct investment.

We have put in place ambitious schemes for the social and infrastructure sectors which have begun to bear fruit. The creative energies of our people have been unleashed. The economy is well on its way to a long term annual growth rate of more than 9 per cent.

Our ministers and officials must be mandated to give practical shape to our vision and take steps that bring the benefits of our collaboration to the common man.

I thank you.

Sanya (China)

April 14, 2011

Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a joint news conference at the BRICS Leaders Meeting in Sanya. | Photograph: Nelson Ching/Reuters