Modi leaving for BRICS summit on Sunday

modiPrime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first foray into international diplomacy when he leaves Sunday for the sixth summit of BRICS countries July 15-16, with the meeting expected to discuss creation of development bank and reforms of the UN Security Council.

It will also provide the first occasion for Modi, who took office May 26, to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin as also leaders of Brazil and South Africa.

The visit will be Modi’s first participation in an international meeting as the prime minister. He will have bilateral meetings during his visit and also meet leaders of other South American countries along with other BRICS leaders.

The leaders of South American countries have been invited by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to meet the BRICS leaders.

The summit will be held in Brazilian cities of Fortaleza and Brasilia.

Officials have said that India will pursue the issue of UN Security Council reforms “in discussions in whatever form”.

The officials said Modi would be accompanied by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (independent charge) Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Modi will make a transit halt in Germany.

The officials said that the transit halt will be Berlin on way to Brazil and Frankfurt on his way back.

However, the much talked-about meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not take place as she is travelling to Brazil to watch the FIFA World Cup final Sunday between her country and Argentina.

Signing of agreements to create BRICS Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement are being considered central to the agenda of the BRICS summit.

The BRICS Development Bank, which would mirror the World Bank, will have authorised capital to be used for infrastructure financing and sustainable development projects in member countries.

The Contingent Reserve Arrangement will function as an additional buffer for BRICS countries facing difficulties with their balance of payments.

Issues relating to climate change and export credit guarantees are also expected to come up for discussion.

The summit will also come out with a declaration.

Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Rousseff during which issues related to trade, investment, health, environment, science and technology will be discussed.

He is also expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The summit will inaugurate the second cycle of BRICS as each member country has hosted one summit meeting so far.

While the meeting at Fortaleza will have discussions between leaders about the potential of BRICS, the working session between leaders of BRICS and the heads of government of south America will be held at Brasilia July 16.

As part of the BRICS summit, meetings of business forums, trade ministers and business council would be held July 14.

The first summit meeting of the BRICS was held 2009. The countries together account for more than 40 percent of the world’s population.