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BRICS Contact Group Meeting participants discuss common approaches to economic cooperation during the pandemic

On 29 April 2020, the second meeting of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 took place via videoconference and was chaired by Natalya Stapran, Director of the Department for Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

Meeting participants presented national packages of measures to support the economy, as well as to lift the lockdown and self-isolation regime.

“We are facing a global crisis. Therefore, cooperation within BRICS requires urgent and coordinated response measures in order to protect the health and wellbeing of the citizens of our countries and to revive economic growth,” Natalya Stapran said.

While discussing the new version of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025, BRICS partners expressed the need to include in the Strategy joint approaches to counter epidemics and overcome the economic consequences of the crisis like the current one.

Representatives of BRICS countries also discussed the issues of supporting a multilateral trade system, revealing the potential of the digital economy and implementing sustainable and inclusive development agenda in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. They also noted the need to provide transparency of all decisions taken regarding COVID-19 and active participation of all BRICS countries in monitoring these measures by the WTO.

They exchanged views on the impact of the coronavirus on MSMEs, including possible BRICS joint actions to support them amid the implemented measures to counteract COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic on trade and investment. The meeting gave specific attention to the prospects of easing the requirements for BRICS investors on foreign markets and creating a predictable and stable investment environment.