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India and other BRICS members today pledged to strengthen partnership and jointly usher in a second "golden decade" of cooperation among the major emerging economies. The pledge came during the second BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Sherpa meeting that began yesterday in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong Province. Participants in the meeting reviewed the progress of BRICS cooperation in key areas such as political, security, economy, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and focused on the outcome of the upcoming 2017 BRICS Summit, which is scheduled between September 3-5 in the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. "The five countries are not together by chance. The consensus building is very easy among us. We think very similarly on most issues such as international relations, foreign policy and the importance of the multilateral system," Brazilian sherpa Georges Lamaziere said. "We are all in favour of openness in the economy, free trade and climate change agreement, and I think that's the most important message that BRICS is sending to the world." Indian deputy sherpa Alok Dimri said the priority of BRICS is the economic and financial market forum, which focuses on the reform of the economic and global governance system. "There are multiple dimensions and initiatives on which BRICS is working together. We have the New Development Bank (NDB), which works on infrastructure, and lots of initiatives in the fields of finance and people-to-people exchanges," he said. The NDB, established by the BRICS in 2014, was a milestone for pragmatic financial cooperation among the BRICS. "The bank can be seen as a platform for the BRICS as a whole to reach out to other countries.
One of its central aspects is to support the financing of infrastructure in member countries. So it will be able to assist the Belt and Road Initiative," said Paulo Batista, vice president of the NDB. "We are confident that the Xiamen summit will be a huge success and cement cooperation and interaction among all BRICS members. We are very impressed by China's thoughtful and productive preparation work. We think that the Xiamen summit will usher in the golden decade of BRICS," said Russian BRICS sherpa and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. The second BRICS Sherpa meeting was chaired by Li Baodong, sherpa for BRICS affairs and vice foreign minister of China, and attended by sherpas and sous-sherpas of BRICS countries and representatives from the NDB.
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