Cashing In on BRICS Profits: How Member States Reap the Benefits of Cooperation
AP Photo/ Mark SchiefelbeinBusiness19:42 03.09.2017(updated 23:07 03.09.2017) Get short URLDenis BolotskyTopic: 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen
As BRICS leaders hold talks in Xiamen, China’s coastal city is also hosting the BRICS business forum. For entrepreneurs from Russia, China, Brazil, South Africa and India it’s a perfect chance to discuss economic cooperation.
When you look at the locations picked for each BRICS summit, you can often notice that they are also the birthplaces of large cooperation projects launched by the association’s members.
In April of this year, a freight train departed from Xiamen to Moscow, carrying $362,000 worth of goods. This newly-organized direct railway service allows Chinese exporters to cut the usual transit time by 12 days. Exporters say that not only is the railway route quicker than ocean transport, it’s also almost 90% cheaper than air freight.
For Russia promoting economic cooperation within BRICS format is a key priority. The bloc’s own New Development Bank recently approved 7 investment projects in BRICS countries worth around $1.5 billion. This year the bank is set to approve a second package, almost doubling its previous investments. On August 30 the NDB said in a statement that one of the loans is for the development of information technology systems for Russia’s judicial system.
Other areas, such as China’s foreign tourism industry are currently on the rise with millions of people travelling between Moscow and St. Petersburg annually. And that, in turn, boosts Russia’s economy, creating new jobs in the hospitality and transportation sectors.
Shanghai-based Ctrip — the world’s second-largest online travel agency, revealed a 50-percent increase in the number of its Chinese clients who booked trips to Russia this year. The agency’s CEO Jane Sun, who is a delegate to this year’s BRICS business forum, told Sputnik, on the sidelines of the event, that Russia’s decision to lift visa restrictions for Chinese visitors was a smart move.
In 2016 Ctrip acquired an online travel booking service Skyscanner — a move, which helped the Chinese company to expand its geographic outreach. Jane Sun says that Skyscanner may soon become even more attractive for Russian internet users:
“We want to make a Russian-language website, as Skyscanner has a really strong segment in Russia.”
The 9th BRICS summit is being held in Xiamen — a coastal city in China’s Fujian province, on September 3-5.. BRICS is an international platform for emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Next year BRICS leaders will be meeting in Pretoria, South Africa.