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Transcript of Media Briefing by Secretary (ER) On Prime Minister’s visit to Brazil for BRICS Summit (November 13-14, 2019)

November 14, 2019

Distinguished members of the media, my dear friends,

Welcome to the briefing on the visit to Brazil by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to attend the 11th BRICS Summit.

Prime Minister is accompanied by an official delegation. A large business delegation from India is also present, which attended the BRICS Business Forum yesterday, where the business community of all five countries were represented.

The theme of the BRICS Summit this year is "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”.

Prime Minister arrived in Brasilia yesterday. This is PM’s second visit to Brazil yesterday. He had bilateral talks with his counterparts from China, Brazil and Russia. You have already been briefed on the bilateral interactions.

Later in the evening, Prime Minister attended the closing ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in the evening along with other BRICS leaders. This was followed by a Welcome Dinner being hosted by HE President Bolsonaro for all the leaders, which was preceded by a cultural programme.

This morning, after a Photo-op, the BRICS restricted session was held, which was a closed session. The discussions during this session focussed on challenges and opportunities for the exercise of National Sovereignty in the contemporary world. In his statement, Prime Minister underlined the importance of a rule-based world order which respects diversity and equality and eschews unilateral policies or the use of force. He stressed on the challenges to sovereignty arising from a range of factors including terrorism which seeks to undermine the nation State, technology’s impact, especially digital technology on sovereignty and the challenges & opportunity it offers, importance of development cooperation on reasonable terms to strengthen sovereignty without constraining it and the need to respect each other’s sovereignty in that context.

The restricted session was followed by the BRICS Plenary Session where the leaders discussed intra-BRICS cooperation for the economic development of BRICS societies. Prime Minister welcomed the BRICS Summit deliverables on a range of areas including Innovation BRICS Network (iBRICS), BRICS New S,T & I Architecture, BRICS Institute of Future Networks and the establishment of the Women’s Business Alliance. He placed special emphasis on Intra-BRICS Trade in goods and services and welcomed the BRICS Joint Statement’s endorsement of his focus on reformed multilateralism.

Some of the significant announcements made by the Prime Minister included the following:

(i) India will host the BRICS Digital Health Summit on Innovative Solutions to Healthy Lifestyle. This will be in keeping with "Fit India Movement” launched by PM. The Digital Health Summit will seek to integrate digital technology with healthcare informatics and diagnostics.

(ii) PM also announced his intention to build on the workshops hosted on Traditional Medicine and have a BRICS MoU on Traditional Medicine. As you are aware, this is an initiative which was taken up under India’s Presidency in 2016.

(iii) Another initiative was on Sustainable Water Management. PM has offered to host the first BRICS Water Ministers Meeting in India.

(iv) Since India has been a world leader in film production and technology. India will host the BRICS Film technology Symposium in conjunction with FICCI-FRAMES in Mumbai in March 2020.

(v) Terrorism has been an important area of focus in BRICS and, as you are aware, Brazil just hosted the first BRICS Seminar on Strategies to counter terrorism. BRICS has also set up 5 sub working groups on terrorism. PM announced that India will host a BRICS workshop on Digital Forensics.

(vi) PM also mentioned that India will host the BRICS Youth Summit with focus on areas like start ups, hackathon, games etc. This is in keeping with the people-to-people initiatives taken by India during our Presidency in 2016, all of which has been welcomed and sustained over the last few BRICS chairship.

(vii) PM announced his intention to initiate BRICS internship and fellowship Programme for students from all BRICS countries.

Thereafter, the meeting of BRICS leaders with BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank took place. The chairman of the Brazilian BRICS Business Council submitted his report. The President of the New Development Bank also submitted his report. Prime Minister welcomed the positive developments that have taken place on both fronts and made several focused suggestions in this context.

On the conclusion of Summit, Leaders issued a Joint Declaration.

PM will attend a lunch hosted by the President of Brazil after which he will leave for India.

This concludes my remarks. Thank You.

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