A business forum attended by approximately 900 businessmen took place in Durban, South Africa, on the sidelines of a BRICS summit. A delegation of the CCI of Russia attended the event.
The forum centered on topical subjects, among them BRICS-Africa partnership for integration and industrialization; infrastructure (railroad, automobile and sea transport, information and communication technologies); higher efficiency of the mining industry - a growth of the added value throughout the production chain; agriculture and processing of agricultural products; finance, energy and "green" economy.
CCI of Russia President Sergey Katyrin addressed the forum delegates.
The significance of the subjects and the representative audience display not only a higher level of the dialog between our countries on a number of international political issues but also broader business cooperation between BRICS member states.
Sergey Katyrin called attention to the vast potential of cooperation of BRICS countries with states of the African continent. The CCI of Russia pins big hopes on strengthening BRICS-Africa business partnership. In spite of the global economic crisis, the African region displays rather high growth rates. Ten out of the 15 most dynamic economies of the world are located there. Judging by forecasts, Africa may rank the world's second by development rates within the next two years with the indicator of approximately 5% and even become a new world leader in terms of GDP growth in the period before 2017.
BRICS economies are on the rise and cooperation is sustainable. The BRICS Group contributed $75 billion to IMF credit resources, which had a serious influence on the strengthening of the group's international authority. There is progress in the creation of the Development Bank and a virtual currency pool.
Sergey Katyrin is sure that the prospective long-term development strategy of BRICS will display the position and role of entrepreneurs of member countries. He affirmed significant progress in cooperation of business communities of the five countries in the information exchange and the elaboration of recommendations for diversification of trade and a better investment climate.
Sergey Katyrin also chaired the panel meeting entitled "Energy and "Green" Economy." CCI of Russia Vice-President Vladimir Strashko took part in the meeting.
Sergey Katyrin noted in his brief introductory speech that energy cooperation was a BRICS priority. Volatility of energy prices is a negative factor characteristic of the global energy market. Intensive energy consumption accompanied with the emission of greenhouse gases is believed to do serious harm to the environment and influence the planet's climate. Probably, environmental and energy problems are the most acute in Africa.
The "green" economy concept has been being promoted for the past two decades. Related to energy, this is the question of more efficient use of hydro-resources and atomic energy and minimization of energy losses. The world needs sort of an energy revolution, a full-scale change of the method of energy consumption. The growth of jobs and breakthrough innovations would be promising in the energy sector. It also opens up real prospects for cooperation between BRICS states.
Naturally, one should not underestimate the possibility of more rational and environmentally friendly use of hydrocarbon resources (for instance, the latest innovations in coal gasification and use of shale and methane look promising). But Sergey Katyrin believes that alongside cooperation in the modernization of the traditional hydrocarbon energy sector BRICS member states have a broad space for joint efforts in peaceful uses of atomic energy. Russia ranks one of the world's leaders in that sector and develops successful cooperation with China, India, South Africa and a number of countries outside of BRICS. There is no doubt that broader cooperation in the development of technologies for use of non-traditional energy sources would meet common interests, the CCI of Russia head said in conclusion.
The panel meeting was held in development of the 17th session of the Conference of the UN Framework Climate Change Convention (held in Durban in November-December 2011). The participants discussed ways the governments and the private sector were reacting to climate change, financial support to the "green" economy and "pure" energy, "coal loan" operations, climate change aspects that must be supervised by the governments, and areas not requiring public consent and so on.
Before the BRICS summit started on March 27 the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had a working breakfast with representatives of business communities. The establishment of the BRICS Business Council was declared there (http://news.kremlin.ru/)
Sergey Katyrin headed the Russian Part of the Business Council the foundation of which was approved by President Vladimir Putin. Other members are Vnesheconombank CEO Vladimir Dmitriyev, Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriyev, Rostechnologii State Corporation General Director Sergey Chemezov and Russian Railways JSC President Vladimir Yakunin.
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