Terrorism Biggest Threat, Resulted in $1 Trillion Loss to World Economy: PM Modi at BRICS Summit

Agencies

Brasilia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday raised the issue of terrorism at the 11th BRICS Summit here and said the menace has resulted in the loss of $1 trillion to the world economy.

Addressing the BRICS Plenary Session at the iconic Itamaraty Palace in the presence of the presidents of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa, Modi said terrorism is the biggest threat to development, peace and prosperity.

"According to some estimates, the economic growth of developing nations has decreased by 1.5% due to terrorism," he said, adding the scourge has caused a loss of $1 trillion to the world economy. "The atmosphere of doubt created by terrorism, terror financing, drug trafficking and organised crime indirectly and deeply harms trade and business. I am happy that the first seminar on BRICS Strategies for Countering Terrorism was organised."

"We hope that such efforts and activities of the five working groups will increase strong BRICS Security Cooperation against terrorism and other organised crimes," Modi said, adding that sustainable water management and sanitation are important challenges in urban areas.

"I propose to hold the first meeting of BRICS water ministers in India," Modi said. "Recently, we started 'Fit India Movement'. I want to increase contacts and exchanges between us in the field of fitness and health."

Modi also emphasised on paying special attention to mutual trade and investment, saying intra-BRICS trade accounts for just 15% of the world trade, while its combined population is over 40% of the world's population.

"Now we need to discuss the direction of BRICS, and how to mutually cooperate more effective in the next 10 years. Despite success in many areas, there is considerable scope to increase efforts in some areas. The theme of this summit - 'Economic growth for an innovative future', is very apt. Innovation has become the basis of our development. Therefore, it is necessary that we strengthen cooperation for innovation under BRICS," he said.

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on Thursday opened the 11th BRICS Summit where deliberations are took place on key areas such as trade, investment and counter-terrorism.

Ahead of the summit, BRICS leaders -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Prime Minister Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa -- posed for a group photo.

Brazil is the current chair of the grouping which represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world population and they have a combined nominal GDP of $16.6 trillion.