CHINESE President Xi Jinping arrived in the western Indian state of Goa Saturday for a summit of the emerging-market bloc of BRICS that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Leaders of the five countries are expected to discuss BRICS cooperation and other issues of common concern at the Oct. 15-16 summit, themed with “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.”
A Goa declaration will be issued when the summit concludes Sunday.
Along with Xi, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma will be attending the summit, the eighth of its kind.
The five leaders will hold dialogues with representatives of the BRICS Business Council and state leaders of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries at the summit.
The BIMSTEC, initiated to connect South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
President Xi will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders of other countries on the sidelines of the summit.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRICS cooperation mechanism, which gathers the world’s five major emerging economies.
The bloc members have seen their cooperation growing over the past decade, especially the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) in 2014.
Despite economic headwinds in the BRICS countries and external skepticism about whether the block is losing its power over recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said earlier this month in its latest issue of World Economic Outlook that in emerging market and developing economies, the 2016 growth will accelerate for the first time in six years.
China and India, in particular, will continue their relatively fast pace in growth this year and next, according to the IMF projections. Meanwhile, the IMF cut its 2016 growth prospects for advanced economies following a slowdown in the United States and Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union.
The five BRICS leaders just met last month in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou when China hosted the 11th summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies.
At their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, President Xi said that BRICS members should enhance coordination to make emerging-market economies and developing countries play a bigger role in international affairs.
BRICS nations are leaders among emerging-market economies and developing countries, and also important members of the G20, Xi said, noting that they should reinforce coordination to build, maintain and develop the BRICS and G20 platforms.
China has been a staunch supporter for and an active participant in BRICS cooperation, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong told reporters earlier this week.
“We hope the Goa summit can send out a positive signal of confidence, solidarity and cooperation, help deepen our practical cooperation and promote the cooperation level, enhance communication and coordination on major international issues to safeguard our shared interests, and strengthen dialogue and cooperation with other countries in the region,” Li said at a press conference ahead of Xi’s trip.
India is the final stop of Xi’s Southeast Asia and South Asia tour, which has already taken him to Cambodia and Bangladesh.
Before leaving Bangladesh on Saturday morning, Xi laid a wreath at the national martyr monument in Dhaka.