Leaders of BRICS countries pose for group photos after the ninth BRICS summit in the eastern city of Xiamen, Fujian province, Sept 4, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
President Xi Jinping said Monday that BRICS countries should endeavor to promote practical economic cooperation while addressing the opening of the ninth BRICS summit in the eastern city of Xiamen, which was also attended by leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.
Despite the achievements the bloc has made, the potential for cooperation has yet to be fully unleashed, Xi said.
The five countries' foreign investment totaled $197 billion in 2016, but only 5.7 percent took place between BRICS members, the president said.
With profound and complicated changes taking place in the world, cooperation among BRICS countries becomes all the more important, President Xi added.
He said the BRICS countries should increase cooperation in sectors such as trade and investment, monetary and financial areas, connectivity, sustainable development, innovation and industrial cooperation.
President Xi Jinping also called on BRICS countries to synergize their development strategies to stimulate each member's growth potential.
The five countries should find areas where their respective development policies and priorities converge, and work to build a big market for trade and investment, achieve smooth flow of currency and finance, and realize infrastructure connectivity, Xi said.
Funding for BRICS co-op
President Xi also announced in his opening speech that China will set aside 500 million yuan (about $76 million) for economic and technological cooperation and exchanges among BRICS countries.
Fighting against protectionism
BRICS countries should push for economic globalization that is open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, Xi said.
He urged the group to help build an open world economy, support multilateral trade mechanisms, and stand against protectionism.
Global economic governance should be reformed to increase the representation and voice of emerging market and developing countries, so as to create new momentum for resolving the North-South development gap and boosting world economic growth, Xi said.
More exchanges among BRICS people
President Xi Jinping said people-to-people and cultural exchanges are key to bolster the vitality of BRICS cooperation.
Xi said the consensus achieved by leaders of BRICS countries on strengthening people-to-people exchanges is yielding tangible results, as various activities, such as sports meeting, film festival, cultural festival and traditional medicine high-level conference, have been held this year.