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Minister calls for stronger BRICS ties

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2020-12-09 07:18

Member nations urged to bolster communication, policy coordination

Better communication and policy coordination among BRICS countries have been called to deepen partnerships in new industries and the technology sector.

Xiao Yaqing, minister of industry and information technology, said strengthening mutual learning and policy exchanges can help BRICS countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-better leverage their complementary advantages to achieve synergies, and enhance their international competitiveness.

Xiao made the remarks during a video address to the opening session of the BRICS Forum on Partnership on New Industrial Revolution, which was held in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Tuesday.

"Apart from the focus on new industries, new technologies and new business formats, efforts are needed to provide more training opportunities for people in BRICS countries and jointly cultivate talents that can adapt to the development of the new industrial revolution," he said.

According to the minister, BRICS countries can also work together to build a batch of model and flagship projects, which will continuously facilitate the flow of technology, talent, capital, and material among these countries, and help promote their industrial transformation and upgrade.

Xiao's comments came as China is rapidly leveraging information and communications technology to resume economic activities while fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. During the first three quarters of this year, China's industrial output rose by 1.2 percent on a yearly basis, reversing the decline of 1.3 percent seen in the first six months.

Stringier new industrial revolution partnerships can help BRICS countries better deal with the fallouts of the pandemic and revive economic activities, said experts.

Partnership on New Industrial Revolution is an initiative formed in 2018 to deepen cooperation among the BRICS countries in digitalization, industrialization and innovation. Its aim is to address the challenges and maximize the opportunities arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Lu Yimin, a councilor at the China Council for the BRICS Business Council, said: "Building a partnership on new industrial revolution is a historical opportunity for the BRICS, and it is a new bright spot and new direction for deepening cooperation."

According to Lu, the new round of industrial revolution will help reconstruct international relations. Currently, multiple working groups under the BRICS Business Council have begun to actively promote digital transformation and technical cooperation in various fields.

Li Yong, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, said in his video address that the forum is being held as the international community seeks mutual understanding, cooperation and solidarity.

"The global manufacturing scene is rapidly transforming with the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is currently driving the convergence of the digital and traditional manufacturing sectors," Li said.

According to Li, technologies associated with this industrial paradigm have been pivotal in the development of innovative solutions to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. From this point, the outbreak has become an unexpected accelerator of the digital transformation.

Li said the UNIDO strongly supports the BRICS countries in its proactive approach to implement the partnerships on new industrial revolution.

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