From August 31 to September 1, 2017, the Annual Meeting 2017 of the BRICS Business Council was held in Shanghai. More than 300 representatives from the business communities of China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, as well as representatives from cooperative organizations such as New Development Bank and UNIDO were invited to the event.
Mr. Han Zheng, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, met with members of the BRICS Business Council prior to the annual meeting.
Mr. Han Zheng said, over the past five years since its establishment, the BRICS Business Council has played an active role in promoting investment, trade and financial service cooperation among BRICS business communities. Shanghai is willing to make greater contributions to intra-BRICS cooperation in economic, trade and other fields. Chairmen of the five national chapters made remarks respectively. Members of the Council expect to enhance practical cooperation with Shanghai business community in infrastructure, energy and green economy, financial services and manufacturing development to facilitate BRICS economic development.
As a major event during China’s presidency, the Annual Meeting 2017 fully recognized the achievements and progress the Business Council had made over the past year and analyzed the opportunities and challenges facing the emerging economies. The five BRICS countries agreed on the importance of ensuring greater economic, trade and investment ties amongst the BRICS countries.
Capt. Xu Lirong, Chairman of the Chinese Chapter of BRICS Business Council and Chairman of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, presided over the Annual Meeting and delivered a speech. Capt. Xu pointed out that, as the international environment improves, BRICS countries had maintained a sound momentum of economic development and would have a promising future. He called on all BRICS nations to build and uphold an open global economy, to jointly oppose trade protectionism in any form, to stand for the principle of inclusiveness and to carry out the model of cooperation featuring co-consultation, co-construction, win-win and benefits-sharing, with a view to promoting the healthy development of economic globalization.
Mr. Sergey Katyrin, Chairman of the Russian Chapter of BRICS Business Council and Chairman of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Mr. Onkar Kanwar, Chairman of the Indian Chapter of BRICS Business Council and Chairman and Managing Director of Apollo Tyres Ltd., Dr. Iqbal Survé, Chairman of the South African Chapter of BRICS Business Council and founder and Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, and José Serrador Neto, Sherpa of Mr. Paulo Cesar De Souza e Silva, Chairman of the Brazilian Chapter of BRICS Business Council and Chairman of EMBRAER, respectively gave speeches on behalf of each national chapter of the Council.
During the meeting, the participants deliberated on the BRICS Business Council Annual Report 2016-2017 and relevant outcome documents and listened to the work reports and thematic presentations of the seven working groups on Energy and Green Economy, Financial Services, Deregulation，Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Skills Development. The proposal of setting up a working group on Regional Aviation was adopted. In addition, discussions were held on the partnership with the New Development Bank（NDB） and cooperation in fields such as global shipping and logistics, digital economy, energy, communications infrastructure and green finance, providing significant inputs for deepening intra-BRICS economic and trade cooperation. The Annual Report will be submitted to heads of state for review during the BRICS Xiamen Summit.
Prior to the plenary session, the seven working groups under the Business Council organized their own parallel sessions on the afternoon of August 31. During these parallel sessions, the seven working groups deliberated on their progress made over the past year, adopted their summary reports and exchanged views on the priorities in the next step.
On the afternoon of September 1, representatives of the Business Council paid a visit to the NDB head office and held a dialogue with NDB executives to tap the potential of further cooperation between the Council and the NDB.
On the morning of September 2, chairmen of the five national chapters attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the new NDB building.
During the meeting, Capt. Xu Lirong also met with Chairman of the Indian Chapter Mr. Onkar Kanwar and Vale’s new CEO Mr. Fabio Schvartsman, and exchanged views with them on topics of common interest.
As an important mechanism for cooperation amongst BRICS countries, the BRICS Business Council was established on the 5th BRICS Summit held on March 27, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. The Council is composed of five members from each of the five BRICS nations and is aiming at promoting greater economic, trade and investment ties amongst the BRICS countries.
From September 3 to 5, the 9th BRICS Summit will be held in Xiamen. BRICS Business Council members will attend Meetings with BRICS Leaders and the BRICS Business Forum 2017.