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Prospects for the 2016 BRICS Goa Summit

Alissa Wang, Researcher, BRICS Research Group
August 30, 2016

On the morning of 4 September 2016, BRICS leaders will hold an informal meeting ahead of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. The BRICS Summit follows one month later on 15-16 October in Goa, India. On 13 August 2016, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in New Delhi with his Indian counterpart to conduct strategic communications on carrying forward mutually beneficial cooperation. At this meeting, the two sides agreed to " strengthen mutual support over the successful organization of the upcoming G20 and BRICS Summits."

One of the most pressing issues ahead of the upcoming BRICS and G20 summits is the South China Sea. This was also the main focus of the discussions in New Delhi. China made it clear that the South China Sea issue was of vital national concern, that it will not accept the recent ruling in the Hague and that India should "fully comprehend Beijing's concerns." News agencies reported that India should " continue to play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia Pacific " and that India should " avoid unnecessary entanglement with China over the South China Sea debate … if the country wishes to create a good atmosphere for economic cooperation." It is likely that China will press forcefully for a favourable statement on the South China Sea from the other BRICS members.

In the long run, the most important milestone that could be achieved at the 2016 summits is the strengthening of the BRICS-G20 relationship in global governance. This relationship will likely focus on innovation, inclusiveness and institution building. Innovation and inclusiveness are the overlapping themes of both the 2016 BRICS and G20 summits. The Goa Summit features a five-pronged approach composed of institution building, implementation, integration, innovation and continuity with consolidation (I4C), and the Hangzhou Summit features the 4 "I's" of innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive. The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), launched in July 2015 in Shanghai, will likely be the institution of focus at Goa. The NDB's three key features of south-south cooperation, equity in power-sharing and sustainable development will be strongly supported by both Hangzhou and Goa's overlapping principles of innovation and inclusiveness. This was already seen in April 2016, when NDB board of directors met on the sidelines of World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings to approve its first set of loans to support innovative renewable energy projects across BRICS countries including solar energy, wind power and hydro projects. The BRICS summit is also likely to capitalize on the $750 million fund NDB collected from BRICS members in early 2016 to strengthen this institution. Thus, it is likely that the overlapping agendas and common effort toward strengthening the NDB will lead to greater G20-BRICS cooperation in global governance with an emphasis on the role of developing countries and innovative and sustainable development.

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Alissa WangAlissa Wang is the chair of summit studies for the BRICS Research Group, and a research assistant at the G7 and G8 Research Group, the G20 Research Group, and the Global Health Diplomacy Program, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs in Trinity College at the University of Toronto. She is pursuing an undergraduate degree with a specialist in international relations, a major in global health and a minor in political science. She is an editor for the reports produced by the G20 Research Group summit studies team, an analyst for the G7 Research Group summit studies team, and works on compliance research. Alissa is interested in Chinese history and politics as well as China's role in global governance. She was a member of the field team at the G7 Elmau Summit in Germany in 2015 and the G7 Ise Shima Summit in Japan in 2016.

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