Emerging economic nations sign ‘open world economy’ declaration

30 Jul 18

The leaders of an association of five major emerging economies have signed a declaration highlighting the importance of an “open world economy”.

During the 10th BRICS summit last week, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also agreed to fight unilateralism and protectionism.

This comes in the midst of global trade tension, after the US issued tariffs on steel and aluminium, which has triggered retaliation from other countries, such as China, Canada and the European Union.

The declaration recognised the “unprecedented challenges” that the trading system is currently facing but said a global open world economy would benefit everyone.

It said: “We underscore the importance of an open world economy, enabling all countries and peoples to share the benefits of globalisation, which should be inclusive and support sustainable development and prosperity of all countries.”

The leaders called for all members of the World Trade Organization to abide by its rules and “honour their commitments” in the multilateral system.

It said: “We reaffirm the centrality of the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, as embodies in the World Trade Organization, that promotes a predictable trade environment.”

The summit took place in Johannesburg at the end of last week. It is the first BRICS meeting since US president Donald Trump announced his tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods from around the world, including China.

Speaking at the summit on Thursday, Chinese president Xi Jinping said that countries must work together to “safeguard the rule-based multilateral trading regime” and “reject protectionism outright”.

Last week, the US president met the European Commission president in Washington. The two agreed to work together to avoid a full-blown trade war in talks Trump hailed as “a very strong understanding”.

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