BRICS Information Centre
Cannes, France, November 3, 2011
Prepared by Ashley Pereira, BRICS Information Centre, November 14, 2011
On 3 November 2011, the BRICS countries convened a leaders meeting just hours ahead of the official opening of the G20 Summit in Cannes.
At the meeting, the BRICS countries discussed:
Like the G20 Summit, the Eurozone debt crisis dominated the BRICS discussion.
At the meeting, leaders reaffirmed the need to pressure European countries to steer the continent out of the crisis to avoid dragging the world economy into a new recession. They agreed to develop a common position on the Eurozone debt crisis.
Chinese President Hu Jintao warned that it is Europe's responsibility to solve the debt crisis. However, he signaled China's willingness to contribute up to $100 billion (73 billion euros) in rescue funds under two conditions: first, Beijing wants certainty that the EFSF bailout package will work; second, it wants to know what sort of guarantees will be offered if the plan fails. For its part, the European Union is looking eagerly to China's chest of $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves — a lofty sum that could help bankroll Europe's bailout fund to 1 trillion euros to contain the debt crisis. China has yet to make a firm commitment to provide financial assistance; however, recent comments by Chinese officials suggest that it is unlikely to pledge funds in the near term.
Brazil, on the other hand, indicated that it will not purchase European bonds. Instead, it has proposed to contribute through an IMF-administered fund.
Although India has not received a request for rescue funds, it announced that it is prepared to help. According to a senior member of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's delegation, "we cannot afford the crisis spilling over to the world at large" (Hindustan Times, November 3, 2011. However, like Brazil and Russia, India is likely to favour an IMF-sponsored package over a bilateral rescue deal.
Finally, it appears that Prime Minister Singh took the opportunity to extend a personal invitation to the BRICS leaders for the upcoming BRICS Summit in New Delhi, which he announced will be held on 29 March 2012.