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BRICS Legal Texts and Policy Documents

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Background

In 2006, the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) initiated regular informal diplomatic coordination, with annual meetings of Foreign Ministers at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). These interactions led to the decision that the dialogue was to be carried out at the level of Heads of State and Government in annual Summits, the first of which was held in Yekaterinburg in 2009. Since then, the depth and scope of the dialogue among the Members of BRICs – which became BRICS in 2011 with the inclusion of South Africa – has been further enhanced.

Summits

The BRICs Leaders met for the first time at the margins of the G-8 Summit (Hokkaido, 9 July 2008), where they requested their Foreign Ministers to organize the First BRICs Summit. Since 2009, the Heads of State (Head of Government in the case of India) have met at eight Annual Summits:

  • First Summit: Yekaterinburg, Russia, 2009 - Joint Statement (PDF, 89 KB)
  • Second Summit: Brasilia, Brazil, 2010 - Joint Statement (PDF, 122 KB)
  • Third Summit: Sanya, China, 2011 - Sanya Declaration (PDF, 103 KB)
  • Fourth Summit: New Delhi, India, 2012 - Delhi Declaration and Action Plan (PDF, 189 KB)
  • Fifth Summit: Durban, South Africa, 2013 - eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan (PDF, 183 KB)
  • Sixth Summit: Fortaleza, Brazil, 2014 - Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan (PDF, 210 KB)
  • Seventh Summit: Ufa, Russia, 2015 - Ufa Declaration and Action Plan (PDF, 489 KB)
  • Eighth BRICS Summit: Goa, India, 2016 - Goa Declaration and Action Plan (PDF, 615 KB)

The BRICS agenda

The two main pillars of BRICS dialogue are (i) coordination in multilateral fora, with a focus on economic and political governance; and (ii) cooperation between members. BRICS Foreign Ministers have held regular meetings alongside the United Nations General Assembly, while BRICS Finance Ministers meet at the margins of of the G-20 meetings and of the biannual IMF and World Bank meetings, as well as at the margins of BRICS Summits, together with the Governors of Central Banks. Beyond these meetings and the Summits, the BRICS agenda has evolved to encompasses dialogue and cooperation across a number of areas including finance, agriculture, combating transnational crime, science and technology, health, education, corporate and academic dialogue, security, competition and trade among others.

The Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership

BRICS cooperation is aimed at complementing and strengthening existing bilateral and multilateral relations between Member States. The Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, adopted at the 7th BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia (8-9 July 2015), will contribute to increasing the economic growth and competitiveness of the BRICS economies in the global arena. The purposes of the BRICS Strategy are to, inter alia, enhance market access opportunities and facilitate market interlinkages; promote mutual trade and investment and create a business-friendly environment for investors and entrepreneurs in all BRICS countries; to enhance and diversify trade and investment cooperation that support value addition among the BRICS countries; and to strive for inclusive economic growth, in order to eradicate poverty, address unemployment and promote social inclusion.

  • The Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership – Ufa, 2015 (PDF, 484 KB)

Cooperation on trade and economic affairs

The Trade Ministers of the BRICS traditionally meet on the eve of the Summits. They also meet at the margins of WTO Ministerial meetings. The Contact Group for Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI), which reports to the Ministers of Trade, is responsible for proposing institutional framework and concrete measures to expand cooperation on economic and trade issues amongst the BRICS.

  • Action Plan for deepening Industrial Cooperation among BRICS Countries – Hangzhou, 29 July 2017 (PDF, 2.75 MB)
  • Communiqué of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities Meeting – Hangzhou, 27 July 2017 (PDF, 167 KB)
  • 6th Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers: Trade Ministers’ Communiqué – New Delhi, 2016 (PDF, 158 KB)
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Competition Law and Policy – Saint-Petersburg, 2016 (PDF, 173 KB)
  • Declaration of the IVth Trade Union Forum of BRICS countries – Ufa, 2015 (PDF, 214 KB)
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation with the New Development Bank – Ufa, 2015 (PDF, 258 KB)
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Among BRICS Export Credit Insurance Agencies – Fortaleza, 2014 (PDF, 148 KB)
  • BRICS Trade and Investment Facilitation Plan – Fortaleza, 2014 (PDF, 44 KB)
  • BRICS Perspective on International Investment Agreements – Fortaleza, 2014 (PDF, 73 KB)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Ministers responsible for trade on the eve of the VI Summit – Fortaleza, 2014 (PDF, 62 KB)
  • BRICS Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework – Durban, 2013 (PDF, 173 KB)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Ministers responsible for trade on the eve of the V Summit – Durban, 2013 (PDF, 242 KB)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Ministers responsible for trade on the eve of the IV Summit – New Delhi, 2012 (PDF, 36 KB)
  • Ministerial Declaration of the BRICS on the sidelines of the First G20 Meeting of Ministers responsible for trade – Puerto Vallarta, 2012 (PDF, 50 KB)
  • Statement of the BRICS Ministers responsible for trade on the sidelines of the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference – Geneva, 2011 (PDF, 72 KB)

The New Development Bank and Contingent Reserves Arrangement

At its 6th Summit, the BRICS established the New Development Bank, aimed at financing infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS and other developing countries. The BRICS also concluded an agreement creating the Contingent Reserves Arrangement (CRA), a fund with an initial sum of US$ 100 billion, which the BRICS countries will be able to use to forestall short-term liquidity pressures. One of the objectives of the CRA is to contribute to international financial stability, by providing an additional line of defence to the BRICS.

  • Treaty for The Establishment of a BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (PDF, 147 KB)
  • Agreement on the New Development Bank (PDF, 337 KB)

Cooperation in related fields

  • BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers Declaration – New Delhi, 28 September 2016 (PDF, 247 KB)
  • Meeting of BRICS Agriculture Ministers: Joint Declaration – New Delhi, 23 September 2016 (PDF, 240 KB)
  • Second Meeting of BRICS Environment Ministers: Goa Statement – 15 September 2016 (PDF, 284 KB)
  • Meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management: Udaipur Declaration – 23 August 2016 (PDF, 249 KB)
  • BRICS Women Parliamentarians’ Forum: Jaipur Declaration – 21 August 2016 (PDF, 200 KB)
  • BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting: Joint Communiqué – 9 June 2016 (PDF, 107 KB)

While tralac endeavours to list current legal instruments, we cannot accept responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies or omissions. The negotiation, ratification, implementation and/or modification of these instruments is an ongoing process and not always well-reported or updated by the relevant authorities. All documents are in English unless stated otherwise.

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