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BRICS trade ministers today urged for greater cooperation on e-commerce among the member nations, besides calling for removal of non-tariff barriers to boost participation of emerging economies in the world trade.
The ministers also emphasised the need to enhance cooperation in the areas of intellectual property rights (IPRs).
The five-nation grouping - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - has formed the BRICS IPR Cooperation Mechanism (IPRCM).
The leaders instructed the IPRCM to commence work on the terms of reference decided and increase efforts to advance cooperation in a more systematic and coordinated manner.
"The ministers reiterated the importance of strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation on e-commerce...The ministers have emphasised the need for cooperation to boost e-commerce development in the BRICS countries, enhance capacity building and promote cooperation on infrastructure," the joint communique said.
The communique was issued after the sixth BRICS trade ministers meeting here.
On non-trade barriers, the ministers emphasised that increase in the hurdles constraints the participation of developing countries in the global trade.
"The ministers agreed in principle to the concepts in the mechanism and urged the CGETI (BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues) to advance this work including on the issue of scope," it said.
The trade ministers meeting made an assessment of the BRICS economic scenario in relation to areas of cooperation on trade and investment.
They also recognised the importance of preserving policy space to promote industrialisation and value addition and to enhance cooperation for structural transformation and sustainable development of BRICS countries.
"The ministers agreed that close cooperation among the CGETI, the BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank is useful for implementing and bringing the BRICS economic cooperation to a new high quality level," the communique said.
The ministers also acknowledged the role of MSMEs as the engines of export led growth and employment generation.
With a view to ensure greater business engagement amongst MSMEs in the BRICS region, the ministers underlined the importance of developing cooperation among MSMEs in the crucial areas of trade and investment.
This cooperation can be in the form of exchange of information on the regulatory framework, rules, regulations and good regulatory practices governing MSMEs; interface among the major chambers of commerce and industry of the MSMEs, and participation of MSME stakeholders in BRICS economic events such as trade fairs, conferences, seminars etc, it said.
The trade ministers also appreciated the work being
carried out in the BRICS countries for development of national single windows as per the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
These would help both exporters and importers with a single point interface for all their clearances.
They endorsed the "Framework for BRICS Single Window Cooperation" and underlined the importance of closer cooperation among the BRICS countries in the development of their national single windows.
The BRICS nations reiterated the support for the multilateral trading system and the centrality of the WTO in providing a rule based, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive global trading system.
They stressed the need to advance negotiations on the remaining DDA (Doha Development Agenda) issues as a matter of priority. They called on all WTO members to work together with a sense of urgency and solidarity to ensure a strong development oriented outcome.
The ministers also urged the BRICS Business Council to speed up the development of the BRICS roadmap for trade, economic and investment cooperation while identifying and implementing suitable projects.
The ministers of five emerging market economies endorsed the 'Framework for cooperation on Standardisation' that was agreed to by the CGETI.
The ministers also urged the CGETI to work on the elements of the framework with a view to ensure that the cooperation leads to a better understanding of each other standards.
The ministers underlined that the services sector contributes to more than half of the GDP of many BRICS countries and endorsed the "Framework for Cooperation on Trade in Services".
They also highlighted the importance of facilitating expansion of trade in services by addressing existing barriers.