BRICS Summit, Day One: Xi Hypes the ‘Global South’, Putin Sees ‘Alternative to G7’, Modi Touts Indian Economy, Lula Calls for Common Currency, Ramaphosa Stresses Ties Between Members | The Gateway Pundit | by Paul Serran

The much-anticipated BRICS Summit has finally kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africa.

We can safely say that the event is already a success, at least in terms of visibility. There is a massive media coverage, from all continents, with all kinds of different agendas and preconceptions, both for and against the club.

Below I tried to get a glimpse of the speeches of the five heads of state, whether in-person, via video link (in the case of Putin), or even off-campus (in the case of Xi Jinping, who surprisingly ditched the official ‘Business Forum’, but spoke in a separate event along with South African Ramaphosa).

For Chinese Chairman Hi Jinping, the ‘Global South’ should wield more influence.

Bloomberg reports:

“’We should practice multilateralism and work towards giving a boost to countries in the Global South’, Xi told a joint briefing in Pretoria with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa following a state visit. ‘We believe our countries should be strategic partners, we should deepen political mutual trust’.

BRICS leaders are also expected to discuss how they can increase direct trade in their own currencies and possibly hold tentative talks on introducing a common unit – an idea that hasn’t gained traction so far.”

Xi was awarded the ‘Order of South Africa’.

During the event, Xi was awarded the Order of South Africa, the country’s highest honor, by President Ramaphosa.

“Xi told Ramaphosa during their joint briefing in Pretoria that China is ready to import more ‘quality products’ from South Africa and that it would deepen bilateral cooperation in electricity, new energy and innovation, while encouraging Chinese companies to invest in Africa’s most industrialized nation.

‘We believe our countries should be strategic partners, we should deepen political mutual trust’, Xi told his host. ‘We support substantive progress in G20 and support South Africa employing a greater role. Under current circumstances it is important to step up’, he said.”

Maybe Xi’s absence from the Business Forum was meant not to upstage Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who participated via video link, due to the International Criminal Court controversy.

In his opening remarks, Putin said the bloc ‘was on the course to meet the aspirations of most of the world community’.

WION reported:

“In a virtual address delivered on Tuesday (August 22), Putin said, ‘We cooperate on the principles of equality, partnership support, respect for each other’s interests, and this is the essence of the future-oriented strategic course of our association, a course that meets the aspirations of the main part of the world community, the so-called global majority’.

In his address, Putin said the US Dollar was losing its global role in an ‘objective and irreversible’ process. De-dollarization is ‘gaining momentum’ he said, adding that members of the group of major emerging economies are seeking to reduce their reliance on the greenback in mutual transactions.”

Watch: Putin addresses BRICS summit

Following his agenda of transforming the economic group into an alternative power axis to the west, Putin compared BRICS with the G7.

“The Russian leader said the five nations – Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa – are becoming the new world economic leaders, and that their cumulative share of global GDP has reached 26 per cent.

He added that if measured by purchasing power parity, BRICS has already surpassed the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations – accounting for 31 per cent of the global economy, compared to 30% for the G7.”

The most representative presence in the Business Forum ended up being Indian PM Narendra Modi. And he focused his address in touting the favorable economic perspectives for India.

Times of India reported:

“‘India will be the growth engine of the world. It’s because India turned calamity and tough times into economic reforms. In the last few years, the ease of doing business in India has improved due to the work done in the mission mode…[…] Today among all countries in the world, India is the country with the highest digital transaction’, says PM Modi at BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue in Johannesburg, South Africa,”

Modi stressed the work done to boost investor confidence, and added that Defense and Space sectors opened for the private sector.

“With the use of technology, we have taken a leap in financial inclusion…Today, UPI is being used by street vendors to those shopping malls…We are actively taking steps to make India a manufacturing hub in the areas of solar energy, wind energy, electric vehicles and green hydrogen…[..] In 2009, when the first BRICS summit was held, the world was coming out of a big economic crisis. At that time, BRICS had emerged as a ray of hope for the world economy.”

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated that the Brics would be more relevant with the entry of new members, and again defended the adoption of a common currency for trade between the countries of the group.

CNN Brazil reported:

“’Our countries together make up a third of the world’s economy. This relevance will grow with the entry of new full members and dialogue partners. Collaboration between the public and private sectors is vital to harness this potential and achieve lasting results’, declared Lula.”

He highlighted the increased participation of BRICS members in the G20, while again supporting a common currency.

“’For investment to grow again and generate development, we need to guarantee more credibility, predictability and legal stability for the private sector. For this reason I have been defending the idea of ​​adopting a reference unit of account for trade, which will not replace our national currencies’, he said.”

Lula said that BRICS stood out as a force towards a fairer, more predictable and equitable global trade.

“We cannot accept a green neocolonialism that imposes trade barriers and discriminatory measures under the pretext of protecting the environment.”

We can’t finish without the esteemed hosts. To them, it’s all about promoting African development while at the same time consolidating its regional leadership position.

WION reported:

“In his opening speech at a business forum of the 2023 BRICS summit taking place in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the primary objectives of the BRICS group, stressing the need to not only strengthen government-to-government relations but also to forge deeper connections among the five member nations.

To achieve this multifaceted goal, various institutions have been established, enabling collaboration across diverse sectors, including business, politics, social welfare, and sports. The overarching aim is to fortify economic ties and promote inclusive economic development, he said.”

Ramaphosa stressed the importance of upholding a multilateral trading system to ensure that economic growth is compatible with global trade norms, and prevents the adverse effects of protectionist policies.

“Ramaphosa urged greater transparency, inclusivity, and adherence to multilateral principles to protect and enhance foreign investment.

He highlighted Africa’s vast potential in critical sectors like mineral resources, which are essential for 21st-century business success. This underscores the potential for mutually beneficial collaboration between BRICS countries and the African continent.”

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