New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) The group of five emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) - Wednesday targeted almost doubling intra-group trade to $500 billion by 2015.
The trade ministers of the five countries at a meeting held a day ahead of the fourth BRICS summit, agreed to remove barriers and boost intra-group trade.
Intra-BRICS trade was recorded at $230 billion in 2011.
The ministers agreed to improve the quality of their trade by focusing on more value added goods in all the three sectors - manufacturing, services and agriculture.
They also felt it necessary to capitalise on opportunities in sectors like agriculture, energy, infrastructure, mining beneficiation, healthcare and pharma and information and communication technology.
"We fully support the efforts of our respective governments at the G20 that has emerged as the premier forum to address critical global economic and financial issues. We shall work collectively to carry forward the work agenda set by the G20 leaders for promoting stronger, sustainable and more equitable growth," a joint statement issued at the end of the business forum said.
The BRICS Business Forum was set up in 2011 as a platform for the business communities of the five counntries to address their issues and explore areas of cooperation for strengthening business ties and investment opportunities.
The five BRICS countries together make up 43 percent of the world's population and hold a combined GDP of over $18 trillion.
According to Goldman Sachs, by 2050, the BRICS combined economies could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world.
The joint statement noted that the global economic situation, though improving, continues to remain uncertain.
"Greater economic cooperation amongst BRICS countries is imperative. This can help in addressing some of the domestic challenges each of us face as well as prove beneficial for global economic growth," the statement said.
Addressing the forum, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said BRICS would lead the charge in driving global recovery and growth.
"Now is the time to focus on setting new intra-BRICS trade and investment targets to ensure easy flow of capital, knowledge and information for the good of our people and that of the world," Sharma said.
The business forum meeting was jointly organised by the three apex industry lobbies - the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
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