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India to chair BRICS Trade Ministers’ Meeting


India to chair BRICS Trade Ministers’ Meeting

India to chair BRICS trade ministers meeting
Photo: Hindustan Times

India will chair a virtual meeting today of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) trade ministers.

Assuming the BRICS chairmanship from Russia earlier this year, India will seek to leverage today’s gathering to set priorities for the 13th BRICS summit—to be held in New Delhi— in September. Expect trade and counter-terrorism to feature prominently in discussions.

The ministers will likely review measures aimed at advancing a BRICS multilateral trading system. Making progress on a non-tariff measures resolution mechanism—recommended successfully by India at the bloc’s July meeting — will be key to gauging the feasibility of developments geared towards forging the multilateral trading system.

Expect the implications of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s return to power to also weigh on talks. Commerce through Central Asian trade routes remains critical for Russia, India and China. Afghanistan is a key member of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative; its geostrategic location makes it a bridge for China’s New Silk Road. With Moscow, New Delhi and China all displaying possible interest in Afghanistan’s extensive mineral reserves, expect the trade ministers to exchange views on their countries’ willingness to engage the Taliban and consummate new business arrangements with the group.

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