Xi urges BRICS business communities to improve cooperation, warns against politicization of global economy


In a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the BRICS business community to strengthen cooperation on trade, investment and finance, expand cooperation on cross-border e-commerce, logistics, local currencies and credit standing, and keeping industrial and supply chains safe and uncongested.

During his speech, Xi also warned that politicizing the global economy as his tool or weapon, and deliberately imposing sanctions using his leading position in the international financial and monetary systems would only harm his own interests as well. than those of others and make everyone suffer.

Xi called for maintaining the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO, removing barriers to trade, investment and technology, and keeping the global economy open.

China will continue to enhance its opening-up and foster a business environment based on market principles, governed by law and in line with international standards, Xi said, while encouraging businesses to invest and grow in China, strengthen trade and economic cooperation and share development opportunities.

The BRICS Business Forum was held in Beijing on Wednesday, online and on site, on the sidelines of the 14th BRICS summit, which also kicked off on Wednesday.

The meetings aim to further strengthen cooperation among the BRICS countries, which account for about a quarter of the global economy, 18 percent of global merchandise trade and 25 percent of global foreign investment.

Last year, BRICS countries recorded $8.55 trillion in merchandise trade, an increase of 33.4 percent from the previous year, according to official data.

Besides the five BRICS members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRICS Business Forum has also attracted the active participation of 13 countries, including Kazakhstan, Argentina, Thailand and Indonesia.

At the forum, participants called for more inclusive business cooperation at a time when the global economy grapples with the fallout from the still raging COVID-19 pandemic and rising geopolitical tensions.

“Trade and open markets have historically gone hand in hand with better economic performance in countries at all levels of development, creating new opportunities for workers, consumers and businesses around the world and helping to break out of million people out of poverty,” said Busi Mabuza. , chairman of the Industrial Development Corp of South Africa (IDC), told the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday.

The global economy is seriously ill and its lifeblood – international trade – has become weak, sluggish and congested, Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Wednesday.

After rebounding to double digits in 2021, the annual trade growth rate is now expected to fall to low single digits, according to Al-Benyan.

The more varied and extensive trade flows, the more resilient the global economy will be to unpredictable disruptions such as those it has experienced over the past two years, he continued: “If I, who come from outside of the BRICS countries, I can exemplify the increased openness our world so badly needs, so I would be extremely pleased to participate here today.”

In Wednesday’s keynote speech, Xi also urged rejecting zero-sum games and pursuing win-win cooperation.

The tragedies of the past tell us that hegemony, group politics and block confrontation bring neither peace nor security; they only lead to wars and conflicts, Xi said.

Urging the international community to reject zero-sum games and jointly oppose hegemonism and power politics, Xi called for building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.

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