Referring to the impact of COVID-19, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles said the various immediate supportive actions taken by India, including the milestones reached in vaccination as well as the significant fiscal and monetary support, extended to overcome its impact. He stressed for the BRICS countries to work together for strengthening the Multilateral system, with WTO at its core, and need for a balanced and inclusive outcome in the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12)keeping in mind the developmental needs of developing countries and Least Developed Countries.
The 11th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting held in virtual format under the Chairship of Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles. The meeting was attended by Trade and Economic Ministers of BRICS Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Mr. Goyal in his opening remarks welcomed his counterparts to the Meeting being held in the year when India is celebrating 75th year of independence – ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Mr. Goyal highlighted the principles of special & differential treatment and the “Common but Differentiated Responsibility”. He also emphasized, amongst other things, the need for a permanent, adequate and equitable solution to the Public Stock Holding programmes for food security purposes; the early outcome of the TRIPS Waiver proposal for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics; adoption of emerging new technologies in a swiftly changing world while finding a solution to the challenges of data protection and cyber security; and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Mr. Goyal noted that despite numerous challenges and constraints, on account of the COVID–19 pandemic and the associated travel restrictions, India was successful in building consensus for new areas of work and cooperation amongst BRICS countries. A common understanding amongst BRICS countries for the first time on those areas resulted in new declarations related to consumer protection, e-commerce, genetic resources and traditional knowledge, cooperation in professional services apart from others such as a common approach towards the multilateral trading system for the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC- 12).