Global Times: Xi offers answers to questions of the times at BRICS forum

BEIJING, June 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday offered his answers to the questions of the times at a keynote speech in virtual format at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Beijing and called for joint efforts to seek and safeguard peace.

He also urged efforts to strengthen global economic governance and increase the representation and voices of emerging markets and developing countries, and experts said this has pointed out the correct directions to solve current challenges that are threatening global development and recovery.

Xi will also host the 14th BRICS Summit on June 23 and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development on June 24. Experts said it is significant and necessary for China and other major emerging economies as well as developing countries in the BRICS Plus, that represent the majority of the international community to voice their joint stance over the current global challenges and crisis, and to boost unity to find a correct direction to realize recovery.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches virtually on Wednesday, while the offline ceremony was held at Beijing Diaoyutai State Guest House.

The attendees also called to boost economic globalization and integration while opposing sanctions and decoupling, as this is the key to realizing global recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BRICS mechanism provides a stage for the voices of developing countries to be heard, said Zhu Xufeng, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals, Tsinghua University. Amid a shifting international landscape and global pandemic, the five countries have become a ballast for global economic development, Zhu noted.

China is the biggest economy in the BRICS, and in order to promote the BRICS mechanism to play more effective role, China has provided the platform for fair communication and also offered public goods to the world for joint development,” like the Belt and Road Initiative, and it will continually work with other partners under the BRICS and BRICS Plus mechanism to contribute more positive energy to the world in turbulence, Zhu noted.

Key for recovery

Xi said that “The BRICS mechanism is an important cooperation platform for emerging markets and developing countries. The business community is a dynamic force driving BRICS’ effective cooperation.”

“BRICS cooperation has now entered a new stage of high-quality development. I hope that you business leaders will continue to act with tenacity and in a pioneering spirit, and champion open, innovative and shared development so as to add new impetus to BRICS cooperation.”

Xi also said China will continue to enhance opening-up and foster a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards. He also encouraged businesses to invest and develop in China, enhance trade and economic cooperation, and share development opportunities.

Attendees from business circles worldwide echoed the call and said the inter-connectivity and integration is key to recovery.

Open trade is an important element of a connected world, Busi Mabuza, Chairperson of the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, said on Wednesday at the BRICS Business Forum.

“Trade and market openness have historically gone hand-in-hand with better economic performance in countries at all levels of development, creating new opportunities for workers, consumers, and firms around the globe and helping to lift millions out of poverty,” Mabuza said.

“Integration is a golden thread of the world economy. Digitization has accelerated international integration enabling the increased flow of trade, capital, money, direct investment, technology, people, information and ideas across national boundaries. Therefore, the global economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic will rely on how we leverage the integration,” Mabuza said.

Yousef Al-Benyan, vice Chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), said on Wednesday that “The world economy is seriously ill. Its lifeblood – international trade – has become weak, sluggish and congested. After rebounding to double-digits in 2021, the annual growth rate of trade volume is now expected to dwindle down to low single-digit rates.”

“If I, who comes from outside the BRICS countries, can exemplify the increased openness that our world sorely needs, then I would be extremely satisfied with my participation here today,” said Al-Benyan. Much of the world’s future investment in petrochemicals is expected to end up in China. And a good portion of that will have to come from foreign direct investments (FDI), he noted.

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SOURCE Global Times

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