BRICS leaders speak out against protectionism


The leaders of the world’s major emerging economies wrapped up a two-day summit in Brazil Thursday.

The culmination was the signing of a lengthy declaration focused on the importance of mechanisms to allow the nations of the world to better work together.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral has more.

The Brasilia declaration signed by the leaders of the five BRICS countries makes a strong defense of multilateralism and calls for joint efforts to promote international peace and development. To reach its goals, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also agree on the need for structural reforms of international institutions, like the United Nations and its security council and the World Trade Organization.

Chinese president Xi Jinping was particularly critical of the global rise of protectionism, in part reflected in the China-US trade conflict.

“We have seen the rise of emerging countries, developed countries, which were already within the system of global governance, but there are also causes for concern, for example, increased protectionism and unilateralism, creating a governance, developmental and reliable deficit,” Xi said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also criticized the raising of trade barriers.

“A consequence of this global recession is that we have witnessed the extensive use of unfair competition, unilateral sanctions and protectionism is thriving. In such conditions the BRICS countries have to undertake very serious efforts in order to ensure the development of our economies,” Putin said.

Despite defending free trade, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, whose government has eagerly aligned with the United States, steered clear of the trade dispute between China and the Americans when a reporter asked him about it.

“I don’t get into this commercial war. Brazil trades with everybody. We want these relationships to benefit our people,” said Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil.

Despite navigating around some delicate political issues, the BRICS leaders managed to present a final declaration designed to deepen the relationship between these developing nations. The hope that through cooperation, all five will see the rewards.