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BRICS Summit: Trade, political issues to be discussed today


Altamash Hashmi,CNN-IBN
Mar 29, 2012 at 09:03am IST

New Delhi: India is all set to play host to world leaders that include Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao, at the fourth BRICS summit on Thursday.

Trade and political issues are expected to be the primary talking points at the summit.

It was an idea initiated by Russia in 2006, BRICS now accounts to $ 230 billion of intra-trade. And as leaders from the BRICS nation arrive in India, all eyes will be on new prospects that the body can offer.

"One is coordination of positions. Other is to see whether there are capacities within BRICS that could engage their attention, cooperation and also have a demonstration effect for the world," Secretary East said.

The main highlights of the summit will be establishing a permanent headquarter for BRICS.

The technicalities involved in inducting new members. Leaders are also expected to discuss IMF reform.

But there are areas where BRICS nations already have disagreements:

- BRICS Development Bank, Russia, Brazil and South Africa support it but China is reportedly in disagreement over its structure and functioning.

- Country wise resolutions like in case of Syria, Sri Lanka, where India, South Africa and Brazil agree but China and Russia disagree.

- Also on UNSC reform, where India considers itself as a potential candidate but China has openly supported South Africa.

"Foreign interference in domestic affairs is increasing. Russia's position on Syria is well known but we need to understand the position of partners. Leaders to coordinate their position," Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin said.

A point underscored by experts that BRICS will have to discuss political issues.

"I would say that if BRICS does not acquire a certain amount of political gravitas. In other words does not discuss issues of politics. Geopolitics BRICS will probably fall apart because that is also be part of glue that will keep them together," Observer research foundation Nandan Unnikrishnan said.

The elephant in the room is the United States that has an important bilateral relationship with each BRICS countries and while west worries about groupings like this one. They also wonder if these emerging markets will save the world economy.

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