Firm up Confidence and Seek Common Development
Remarks at the Plenary Session of the Eighth BRICS Summit
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Goa, 16 October 2016
Prime Minister Modi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to come to beautiful Goa. I thank Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government for their gracious hospitality and thoughtful arrangements for our meeting. I visited India in 2014. The hardworking people and colorful culture of this great country left me a deep impression.
Autumn is the season of harvest. This year marks the tenth anniversary of BRICS cooperation. We in China often say, “It takes a master craftsman ten years to sharpen a sword.” Indeed, through painstaking efforts, BRICS countries have traversed a rewarding journey in the past ten years. With solid steps, BRICS cooperation has grown in depth and substance and evolved into an international mechanism with major influence and a productive track record.
The past decade has seen BRICS making constant progress toward common development. We followed a development-first approach, focused on growing the economy and improving people’s lives, and achieved enormous progress. Over the last ten years, the share of the five countries has risen from 12% to 23% in the world economy, from 11% to 16% in global trade, and from 7% to 12% in outbound investment. The living standards of our 3 billion people are constantly improving. The stature and role of BRICS in the international community have been rising.
The past decade has seen BRICS expanding cooperation with win-win results. Following the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, we have worked to put in place a multi-dimensional and multi-layered cooperation structure, and have been able to widen the scope, improve the mechanisms and enrich the outcomes of our cooperation. We launched the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, advanced cooperation on energy conservation and energy efficiency, and enhanced coordination in our position on climate change. All these have testified to the efficiency and effectiveness of BRICS cooperation and opened up a new path of South-South cooperation.
The past decade has seen BRICS making dedicated efforts to fulfill its mission and make a real difference. Together, we have withstood the shock of the international financial crisis and made important contribution to global economic and financial stability. According to the IMF report, BRICS countries have contributed to more than 50% of global growth during the last decade. We have stood up for international equity and justice, and spoken with one voice on major international and regional issues. We have pushed for the reform of global economic governance, resulting in greater representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries.
As an old Chinese saying goes, “From the mirror we learn about ourselves; From the past we learn about the future.” Proper stock-taking of the past will lead us toward a brighter future.
In our world today, the momentum of global economic recovery remains fragile, with lackluster trade and investment, and continued volatility in commodity prices. Deep-seated imbalances that triggered the financial crisis are far from being resolved. Some countries are getting more inward-looking in their policies, protectionism is rising, and the forces against globalization are posing an emerging risk. Furthermore, we have to confront complicated geopolitical factors, intertwined traditional and non-traditional security risks, and rising global challenges such as terrorism, infectious diseases and climate change. All these make for a complex and volatile external environment for the development of BRICS countries.
The theme of this BRICS summit, “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”, is highly relevant. Given the challenges in the overall international environment, stronger confidence and joint response are all the more important.
Ten years on, BRICS cooperation has grown into a luxuriant tree with deep roots. We are fully capable of turning challenges into opportunities, and pressure into motivation, and overcoming difficulties through united efforts. We must contribute our wisdom and strengths and work together to find common solutions.
First, we need to work together for an open world. Openness holds the key to a country’s prosperity. We should follow the law of history and the trend of our times by advancing structural reform, adopting new growth models, building open economies and firmly opposing protectionism in all forms. It is important that we strengthen coordination on macro economic policies and facilitate market inter-linkages, financial integration, infrastructure connectivity and people-to-people contacts. This way, we BRICS countries may set the pace for international cooperation on greater openness and lead the world in this direction.
Second, we need to envisage future development. Inclusive and sustainable development is the shared aspiration of people around the world. It is also a source of strength for the healthy and sustainable growth of the world economy. We should continue to prioritize development, and scale up North-South dialogue and South-South cooperation in the context of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the outcomes of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. We can inject fresh impetus to and open new vista for international development cooperation with new thinking, new concepts and new measures, and help bring about strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the world economy.
Third, we need to confront global challenges together. We BRICS countries share a common future. We are not just a community of converging interests, but more importantly, we take concerted action and make progress together. It is imperative that we step up coordination and communication on major international issues and regional hotspots, and act in concert to find political solutions to hotspot issues and take on such global challenges as natural disasters, climate change, infectious diseases and terrorism. While speaking with one voice to call for greater international input, we should also address issues on the ground with concrete efforts and a multi-pronged approach that addresses both symptoms and root causes. That will be our contribution to enduring peace and security of the world.
Fourth, we need to stand together for justice and equity. Global governance that is based on equity and justice is a must for the development of all countries. We should continue to participate in, advance and lead the reform in global governance with a view to achieving a more reasonable and equitable international order, and greater representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries. We should continue to safeguard international peace, and handle issues in light of their own merits and in keeping with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and norms governing international relations. This way, we BRICS countries can bring positive energy to the world and usher in a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.
Fifth, we need to deepen our partnership. We BRICS countries are good friends, good brothers and good partners that treat each other with sincerity. This bodes well for deepening friendship and cooperation going forward. The implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership has offered us a good opportunity to deepen and expand economic cooperation in all areas and raise the collective competitiveness of BRICS countries. We must ensure the success of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, two mechanisms that will provide strong support for the economic well-being of developing countries. We need to encourage more people-to-people exchanges in order to bring our people closer to each other and win greater popular support for BRICS cooperation. We should broaden BRICS’ “circle of friends” and keep it open and inclusive for common development.
As a committed supporter and participant of BRICS, China puts BRICS cooperation high on its diplomatic agenda and views BRICS cooperation as a strong boost to world peace, stability and prosperity. As it takes over the BRICS rotating presidency and hosts its ninth summit next year, China is fully aware of the heavy responsibilities. That said, China has every confidence that by working together, we BRICS countries will successfully map out still greater development in the future.