BRICS bloc signs declaration reaffirming multilateral trade as per WTO rules

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Leaders from the BRICS nations on Thursday signed a declaration supporting an open and inclusive multilateral trading system as envisaged by the World Trade Organization.

The leaders are gathered in the South African city of Johannesburg for the 2018 Summit, which comes as the world grapples with international trade wars.

The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck a deal to have one voice championing global trade, vowing to fight unilateralism and protectionism in the wake of tariff threats by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We recognise that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. We underscore the importance of an open world economy,” the declaration signed by the five leaders said.

The declaration follows a call by Chinese President Xi Jinping to have the BRICS nations consolidate their cooperation framework underpinned by economic, political and security cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

“We BRICS countries will forge a partnership on the new industrial revolution, which involves more coordination of macro-economic policies, closer cooperation on innovation and industrialization and joint efforts to accelerate economic upgrading and the replacement of growth drivers,” Xi said in a keynote speech which he delivered at the opening session of the BRICS Business Forum in Johannesburg.

The theme for the 10th BRICS Summit is: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

The theme is reflective of the core priorities of each one of the BRICS members, notably to strive towards the creation of an inclusive society and global partnerships that will bring prosperity to all humankind.