BRICS countries are amongst the most prominent emerging economies in the world. To enhance opportunities and promote economic and trade cooperation, the BRICS Trade Ministers have been meeting regularly.
BRICS Trade Ministers met for the first time in Sanya, China on 13 April 2011 on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit. The meeting established CGETI as the institutional mechanism under the Economic and Financial cooperation pillar of BRICS. CGETI undertakes discussions in various areas relating to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Multilateral Trading System (MTS), MSMEs, Services, Trade Promotion, Non-Tariff Measures etc. On 2 December 2011, in Beijing, China, the Contact Group for Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) held its first meeting.
The 1st standalone meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers was held on 28 March 2012 in New Delhi, India. Subsequently, BRICS Trade Ministers held their 2nd meeting in Mexico later in 2012 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. In 2013, they held their third meeting in Durban, South Africa under South Africa’s Chairship of BRICS. The fourth meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers was held in Fortaleza, Brazil, under Brazil’s Chairship.
During the ministers’ 5th meeting, held under Russia’s Chairship of BRICS 2015 in Moscow, they released ‘The Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership’ and agreed to take forward closer economic cooperation as envisioned earlier at the BRICS Summits in Sanya, Delhi, Durban and Fortaleza.
During India’s Chairship of BRICS 2016, it organized the 1st BRICS Trade Fair in New Delhi. This major initiative was proposed by the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, during his address to the members of the BRICS Business Council at Ufa, Russia in 2015. In line with the overall core theme for BRICS in 2016, the focus of the BRRICS Trade Fair was ‘Building BRICS – Innovation for Collaboration’. Various trade and business sectors like Agriculture and Agro-processing, Auto components, Chemicals, Green Energy, Handicrafts, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, ICT, Infrastructure, Leather, Textiles & Apparels were represented during the Trade Fair. The fair included exhibition by the 5 BRICS countries and B2B match making lounge.
The 7th meeting of the trade ministers was held in 2017 under China’s Chairship of BRICS in Shanghai, wherein the ministerial declaration agreed that BRICS countries will cooperate in areas like Intellectual Property Rights, Supporting the Multilateral Trading System etc. The 8th and the 9th BRICS Trade Ministers’ meetings were held in 2018 and 2019 at South Africa and Brazil respectively.
The 10th meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers was held in July 2020 during Russia’s Chairship of BRICS. A significant achievement of the BRICS Trade Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 was the adoption of an updated “Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025”. The strategy will be reviewed by Brazil in 2025. This strategy attempts at promoting information exchange, enhance transparency for development of mutual trade and investment among BRICS countries, develop and strengthen customs cooperation, strive for inclusive growth and diversify trade & investment cooperation, create favorable conditions for promoting Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise cooperation and encourage closer collaboration of BRICS business communities.