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Statement to the Media by Manmohan Singh
after the Plenary Session of the 5th BRICS Summit

Durban, South Africa, March 27, 2013
[see also Analysis by the BRICS Research Group]

I would like to thank His Excellency President Jacob Zuma and the people of South Africa for the warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements made for Fifth BRICS Summit.

I also take this opportunity to thank the local government and the people of Durban for their welcome. India has a special affinity for this city as it was Durban that first welcomed the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, when he arrived in South Africa nearly 120 years ago in May 1893.

The BRICS platform has evolved tremendously since the First Summit at Yekaterinburg in 2009. Our agenda now encompasses diverse areas, including global economic developments, peace and security, reforms of political and economic institutions of global governance, international trade, sustainable development and food and energy security. We have just concluded very fruitful discussions on many of these issues.

As Chair of BRICS during the last year, India’s focus was on consolidating intra-BRICS cooperation, as well as highlighting the capacity of BRICS to contribute meaningfully in addressing global challenges. I am happy that with the support of our BRICS partners, we were able to implement the ambitious Action Plan adopted at the New Delhi Summit in 2012.

It gives me great satisfaction to note that one of the ideas that we first discussed at New Delhi, that of instituting a mechanism to recycle surplus savings into infrastructure investments in developing countries, has been given a concrete shape during the Durban Summit. Our Finance Ministers will now work to develop the details of this project.

Our discussions today demonstrated the similarity of our perspectives on many global issues, such as the situation in West Asia and efforts to rekindle global economic growth. A number of substantial outcomes, such as the launch of the BRICS Business Council and the Consortium of Think Tanks, as well as the enabling agreements between our Development Banks to enhance financing of projects in Africa and for sustainable development, signify the promise of intra-BRICS cooperation.

This being the first BRICS Summit on African soil, it is only appropriate that it includes a special BRICS – Africa event and I look forward keenly to our interaction with African leaders later today. I once again thank President Zuma for hosting this Summit, and for admirably guiding it towards a very successful outcome. I also extend my best wishes to him as he takes over the Chairmanship of BRICS.

Source: Official Website of the Prime Minister of India

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