7th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers: Annexes to the Joint Statement

7th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers: Annexes to the Joint Statement

23 Aug 2017

The 7th meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers under the Chinese presidency was held in Shanghai on 1-2 August 2017. The Ministers reviewed the progress made in BRICS economic, trade and investment cooperation and discussed the recent global economic developments.

As at the previous meetings ministers reaffirmed the central role of the WTO in today’s global economy and their commitments to ensure full implementation and enforcement of existing WTO rules. The representatives of the BRICS member states committed to firmly oppose trade and investment protectionism and supported the ongoing work of the WTO and other international organizations in monitoring protectionism.

The Ministers adopted a Joint Statement and endorsed the following six Annexes:

I. Terms of Reference of BRICS Model E-Port Network

In 2015, the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership was approved by BRICS leaders, in which exchange of ideas and experiences on the development of a Single Window was highlighted. In 2016, the BRICS trade ministers endorsed the Framework for BRICS Single Window Cooperation. With the development of Information and Communication Technologies (the “ICT”), E-port emerges as particular form of an integrated electronic platform to process and monitor cross-border movement of merchandise and transportation vessels at a port level. This form of Single Window requires a closer co-operation among all relevant trade-related governmental authorities and agencies in relation to ports.

In this context, as a step to implement the aforesaid documents and to realize and strengthen single window collaboration, one of the focus areas will be to develop a common understanding of Model E-port Network, promote cooperation and knowledge sharing network on E-ports among BRICS members becomes an avenue for exploring supply chain connectivity, information communication and technology sharing.

The objectives of BRICS Model E-Port Network is to explore a mechanism for improving supply chain connectivity and trade facilitation among BRICS members through, inter alia, the following means:

  • Promoting further discussions among BRICS members with a view to building an understanding on the concept of the Model E-port Network including implications of the supply chain and trade facilitation in line with the objective of the BRICS countries and respective domestic legal frameworks of what E-port and Single Window are, how they could benefit BRICS supply chain and trade facilitation work, and how they could help BRICS countries accomplish their domestic objectives.

  • Exploring the possibility and modalities of exchanging trade related information, while ensuring data security, and accuracy of the transmitted and processed information.

  • Strengthen cooperation in the field of ICT through the exchange of information on the introduction of advanced IT systems to enhance port management, logistics and trade facilitation.

Download:  pdf Terms of Reference of the BRICS Model E-Port Network (270 KB)

II. Outlines for BRICS Investment Facilitation

Investment can promote sustainable development and inclusive growth. Investment facilitation can assist with promoting investment and also help stimulate the process of industrialization and structural transformation of host economies if aligned to national development strategies and objectives. There remains significant potential to boost investment within BRICS as well as enhance intra-BRICS investment cooperation. There are, however, no collaborative mechanisms in place to date to realize this potential.

In this light, with a view to establishing a collaborative mechanism to promote intra-BRICS investment and recognising that there are different ways of facilitating investment, including by targeting investments in specific areas to support industrial development priorities, some existing good practices of various BRICS countries to enhance transparency, improve efficiency and promote cooperation are outlined below. These can be considered for information sharing, discussions and exploration by BRICS Countries, including national Investment Promotion Agencies, in line with BRICS countries’ domestic legislation and regulations, specific circumstances, priorities and capabilities.

Download:  pdf Outlines for BRICS Investment Facilitation (103 KB)

III. BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap

For all BRICS members, services industry contributes to more than half of the GDP, and services trade is becoming an increasingly important part of their foreign trade. According to the WTO statistics, in 2015, the BRICS’ service exports totaled $ 0.54 trillion US dollars, accounting for 11.3% of global service exports. In terms of overall services trade, the aggregate of BRICS countries reached nearly $1.3 trillion which is 13.9% of the global commercial services trade. The BRICS members have a strong willingness to strengthen cooperation in the field of services and services trade, and have taken joint efforts to advance cooperation.

In 2015, the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership was approved by BRICS leaders, in which the services sector was identified as a priority area for future collaboration, notably through further encouraging cooperation in service industry and trade in services, and enhancing the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing sector by developing service industry. In 2016, the BRICS trade ministers highlighted the importance of enhancing cooperation in trade in services and endorsed the Framework for Cooperation on Trade in Services, which identified possible areas of cooperation such as tourism, health, audio visual, professional, computer and related services, research and development, telecommunication and financial services. In Goa, the services industry was identified as a key area of BRICS members’ future collaboration in BRICS leaders’ speeches.

Based on previous discussions, BRICS members reaffirm their commitment to further enhance cooperation on services and services trade, in order to add driving force to BRICS economy as well as to create conducive environment for development.

Download: pdf BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap (361 KB)

IV. BRICS E-commerce Cooperation Initiative

During the last decade, along with the rapid development and widespread application of information and telecommunication technology, e-commerce has maintained high-speed growth, and become one of the world’s most dynamic business activities. E-commerce is playing an increasingly important role in promoting the growth of trade, industry transformation and job creation, and has the potential to enable developing countries and MSMEs to better participate in and benefit from global value chains. E-commerce brings overall strategic opportunities for the economic and social development and also profound challenges. BRICS members duly acknowledge the challenges that digital divide imposes on many developing countries and emphasize the need to bridge the digital divide and address its socio-economic implications to ensure e-commerce better contributes to inclusive growth.

After ten years of development, BRICS cooperation is entering a new era. BRICS fully recognized the importance of promoting e-commerce development and cooperation. In 2015, the BRICS leaders endorsed the Framework for BRICS E-commerce Cooperation, which aims to better integrate BRICS e-commerce markets. In 2016, the BRICS Trade Ministers’ Communiqué emphasized the importance of cooperation on e-commerce and BRICS leaders further committed in Goa Declaration to strengthen such cooperation.

In 2017, based on the previous discussions and cooperation, BRICS will take further concrete actions to enhance e-commerce cooperation. According to the related guiding principles, objectives and priorities for cooperation, we will further implement the Framework, and jointly enhance enterprise cooperation, information exchange and capacity building, in order to optimize e-commerce development environment, leverage the e-commerce opportunities for development, including industrial development, generate employment, and inject new impetus into BRICS cooperation.

Download: pdf BRICS E-commerce Cooperation Initiative (137 KB)

V. BRICS IPR Cooperation Guidelines

Recalling the decisions of the BRICS Trade Ministers to enhance cooperation among BRICS countries on Intellectual Property (IP);

With the aim of strengthening and enhancing Intellectual Property (IP) Cooperation, BRICS countries hereby establish the following general guidelines for implementing BRICS IPRCM:

  1. Sharing and exchanging information on IP legislation and enforcement as well as recent developments, in order to improve the transparency and understanding of IP systems and policies;

  2. Studying the trade-related IP issues with a view to promote international trade, sustainable development and inclusive growth;

  3. Exploring topics that emerge from global IP development trends and strategies (including topics arising from regional trade agreements), and exchanging opinions over such topics that correspond to the development needs of BRICS;

  4. Promoting involvement of IP stakeholders (including legislative, executive and judicial authorities, as well as academia and business community) in IP cooperation, with a view to improve public IP awareness;

  5. Strengthening communication and coordination on IP-related developments within the relevant international organizations with a focus on trade-related aspects as well as other IP issues subject to consensus;

  6. Welcoming technical assistance and support from relevant international organizations for the IP cooperation among BRICS;

  7. Ensuring coordination and synergy as well as avoiding duplication with other IP-related cooperation activities among BRICS countries, in particular with the existing cooperation at the level of BRICS Intellectual Property Offices (HIPO); and

  8. Working on relevant IP issues based on consensus and in line with mutual interests.

Download: pdf BRICS IPR Cooperation Guidelines July 2017 (274 KB)

VI. Framework on Strengthening the Economic and Technical Cooperation for BRICS Countries

The new trends in globalization and rapid technology revolution provide unprecedented opportunities for economic growth and employment. While adapting to the fast-changing economic environment, BRICS, which are composed of emerging market economics and developing countries, also face new challenges. As a necessary supplement to trade and investment cooperation, economic and technical cooperation can facilitate participation of BRICS in global trade and help them benefit from it, as well as ensure that free trade can promote sustainable growth and inclusive development, narrow income gaps and improve economic and social welfare.

The 2016 Goa Declaration of the 8th BRICS Summit encouraged capacity building and information exchange amongst BRICS countries in information telecommunication, labor quality and agricultural technology, and encouraged economic and technical cooperation. BRICS are capable and determined to conduct capacity building cooperation based on the specific needs of members. Meanwhile, it is necessary to better integrate current capacity building resources of BRICS in order to meet the demands in a more systematic way. In this regard, the BRICS trade and investment agenda can also contribute to development issues.

Cooperation Areas

BRICS will conduct economic and technical cooperation and capacity building in areas such as trade, promotion and facilitation of investment, e-commerce, intellectual property rights and trade in services which are based on the current CGETI agenda and the actual demands of all members. Areas listed in Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and relevant cooperation frameworks will also be considered as priorities. These areas serve as a reference for members engaged in specific activities, and are subject to adjustment according to future cooperation needs.

Download: pdf Framework on Strengthening the Economic and Technical Cooperation for BRICS Countries (254 KB)