Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 41.2020
2020.10.05 — 2020.10.11
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Modi, Xi Jinping to Come Face-to-Face at BRICS Summit for First Time Since Ladakh Standoff (Моди и Си Цзиньпин встретятся лицом к лицу на саммите БРИКС впервые после Ладакхского противостояния) / Myanmar, October, 2020
Keywords: political_issues, narendra_modi, xi_jinping, summit

For the first time since the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to come face-to-face virtually at the BRICS annual summit to be held on November 17.

Russia, the chair of the five-nation BRICS, announced that the annual summit of the bloc will be held on November 17 via video conference.

The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) is known as an influential bloc that represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world's population.

The BRICS countries have a combined GDP of USD 16.6 trillion.

"The theme of the meeting of the leaders of BRICS countries is "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth"," the Russian government said in a statement.

Both Prime Minister Modi and President Xi have attended all summit meetings of the BRICS in the last few years.

PM Modi and Chinese President Xi are attending the virtual summit, said a diplomat, involved in the arrangements for the multilateral event.

Last year, the BRICS summit had taken place in Brazilia, the capital city of Brazil. PM Modi and Chinese President Xi also held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh since early May that has significantly strained the bilateral ties.

Both sides have held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.

The Russian statement also said, "this year the five countries have continued close strategic partnership on all the three major pillars: peace and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges."

Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said despite the current global situation due to the spread of the coronavirus infection, the activities under Russia's BRICS chairmanship were consistent.

"Since January, more than 60 events have been organized, including via videoconferencing. The BRICS Summit will be the jewel-in-the-crown event of the Russian BRICS chairmanship, which will provide impetus for further strengthening cooperation together with our partners to ensure the well-being of BRICS countries," Mr Kobyakov said.
Russian BRICS Sherpa Sergei Ryabkov: "BRICS can and must become a leader in shaping the global post-COVID architecture" (Российский шерпа БРИКС Сергей Рябков: «БРИКС может и должен стать лидером в формировании глобальной пост-COVID-архитектуры») / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: covid-19, quotation

On 7 October Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Russian Sherpa in BRICS, attended the 4th International Research and Educational Programme "BRICS School".

Addressing the young 'BRICSologists,' Sergei Ryabkov spoke about Russia's approaches to the development of the multidimensional BRICS Strategic Partnership in all three pillars of cooperation – politicu and security, economy and finance, humanitarian and cultural contacts – as well as the expected results of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020.

"This year, when we mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in World War II and the creation of the UN, the voice of solidarity of the BRICS countries supporting the emerging democratic multipolar world order is needed more than ever – a world order based on mutual respect for the legitimate interests of all states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and unconditional adherence to the norms and principles of international law. In the current situation, BRICS can and must play an important role, become a leader in shaping the global post-COVID architecture, as well as in in the elaboration of a unifying agenda for the international community's development," Sergei Ryabkov noted.

He highlighted the significant contribution of youth, academic community and civil society to strengthen humanitarian and research contacts between the BRICS countries.
XII BRICS Summit to be held on 17 November 2020 via videoconference (XII саммит БРИКС состоится 17 ноября 2020 года в режиме видеоконференции) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: summit, top_level_meeting

The theme of the Meeting of the Leaders of BRICS countries is "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth".

The main purpose of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020, as it is for a multifaceted cooperation between the BRICS countries, is to contribute to raising living standards and quality of life our peoples.

This year the five countries have continued close strategic partnership on all the three major pillars: peace and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

"Despite the current global situation due to the spread of the coronavirus infection, the activities under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 are carried out in a consistent manner. Since January 2020 more than 60 events have been organized, including via videoconferencing. The BRICS Summit will be the jewel-in-the-crown event of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship, which will provide impetus for further strengthening cooperation together with our partners to ensure well-being of BRICS countries." - noted Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Executive Secretary of the Organising Committee to Prepare and Support Russia's SCO Presidency in 2019–2020 and BRICS Chairmanship in 2020.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
BRICS Bonds: Towards a BRICS Bond Index (Облигации БРИКС: на пути к индексу облигаций БРИКС) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: expert_opinion, economic_challenges

By Nicholas Shubitz (SA)

According to BIS research, as of Q4 2019, Australia , Belgium, Canada, Germany, Israel, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Unites States, each comprise significantly higher proportions of central government debt securities still due for maturity than South Africa and Russia. Spain has approximately six times the outstanding government debt securities due for maturity compared with South Africa. US outstanding government debt securities are one-hundred times that of Russia. This, despite offering a much lower yield, with the US prime rate at 0.25%, a full 400 hundred basis points lower than Russia's respectable 4.25%.

Interest offered on BRICS government debt, despite being higher than developed nation government bonds, is still not attracting investors in sufficient numbers to drive down interest rates to levels comparable with developed market government debt securities. Attracting more investors to purchase BRICS government bonds would make financing infrastructure development in our countries more affordable and make servicing our debts without defaulting much easier. This would create a positive feedback look for our debt. BRICS nation government bonds have been subject to inflationary risks and other risk premia, including foreign exchange risk for various reasons.

India, South Africa, and China are net oil importers, and so fluctuating oil prices have inflationary impacts that are quickly priced into forex markets. China's trade surplus and massive foreign reserves allow them to maintain currency stability, but Russia as an oil exporter has been subject to currency risk due to commodity prices. Lower oil prices and a more diversified Russian economy will help. Nevertheless, there is a strong incentive to design a BRICS bond or BRICS bond index that can help hedge risks for bond investors within the context of BRICS. This will make investing in BRICS government debt more attractive as investors lower their risk outlook while still enjoying higher yields than Japanese and German bonds which actually have negative yields.

In a research paper for Emerging Markets Review, academic analysts determined that "Russia followed by South Africa is the net transmitter of shocks within BRICS" (Ahmad, Mishra, Daly 2018). The paper also noted, however, that "China and India exhibit weak connectedness, suggesting that these markets may be useful for hedging and diversification opportunities in BRICS". Naturally, because of the role of the dollar as the global reserve currency, the authors concluded that the "USA is the strongest transmitter of shocks to BRICS bond indices", which should inspire BRICS nations to diversify their trade away from dollars as soon as possible.

World of Work
Webinar on Basics of BRICSology (Вебинар по основам БРИКСологии) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: social_issues, cooperation, expert_opinion

On October 6, 2020, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) co-hosted a webinar "The Basics of BRICSology" as part of the 4th BRICS International School 2020 organized by the National Committee on BRICS Research (Russia). This program offers lectures, webinars and other educational events for young diplomats, journalists, entrepreneurs, researches and students from the BRICS countries.

The BRICS International School is a unique scientific and educational program aimed at training young experts specializing in BRICS studies in political, economic, humanitarian fields and other relevant areas of interaction within the five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The session on BRICSology brought together distinguished Russian experts, among them Prof. Georgy Toloraya, Founder and Deputy Chairman of the Board at the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research, Dr. Dmitry Razymovsky, Director at the RAS Institute for Latin American Studies, Dr. Alexey Kupriyanov, Senior Researcher at the RAS Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Prof. Alexey Maslov, Acting Director at the RAS Institute of Far Eastern Studies, and Dr. Alexandra Arkhangelskaya, Senior Researcher at the RAS Institute for African Studies. RIAC Program Manager Ksenia Kuzmina moderated the discussion.

Russian speakers introduced participants to the history and current trends of the BRICS development as well as to the member states' national priorities and relations between BRICS countries.

Development of human capital is the key goal of BRICS: The outcomes of BRICS Civil Forum 2020 (Развитие человеческого капитала - ключевая цель БРИКС: итоги Гражданского форума БРИКС 2020) / Greece, October, 2020
Keywords: expert_opinion, social_issues

On September 23-25, the international multimedia press center of Russia hosted an online conference in Moscow, focusing on the results of the BRICS Civil Forum 2020.

Speakers listed the cases and measures pertaining to their implementation as part of previous groups, and announced the topics of their upcoming meetings.

Victoria Panova, co-chair of the BRICS Civil Forum and Managing Director of the National Committee on BRICS Research, said that a total of eight working groups were present at the forum, including dedicated groups on ecology, digital economy, culture, science and education. Panova pointed to the development of human capital as the primary goal of the forum.

"We all remember how, during a meeting by world leaders in Brazil, Vladimir Putin laid out measures aimed at boosting the living standards and quality of life of the peoples of the five BRICS countries as the main goal of this organization," she emphasized.

Each year, the BRICS organization is becoming more independent and cohesive across the board, including through the use of digital technologies.

Victoria Panova also enumerated the main recommendations and measures based on the results of the work done by some groups. For example, recommendations made by the Healthcare group in 2015 on measures to handle a global pandemic have been supplemented. As part of the Education and Science group, the BRICS Network University and the BRICS University League have been created and now start working together. The group on ecology, which faces a host of paramount and urgent tasks, deserved a special mention.

Oleg Zhiganov, co-chairman of the BRICS Civil Forum's Information Strategies and Society working group, said that they would concentrate on the issue of post-truth in the modern-day media of the BRICS countries.

"During this event, we agreed with our colleagues that we will speak the truth and nothing but the truth," Zhiganov said, having in mind critical approach and fact-checking in a rapidly developing information society.

"The main thing that we are going to discuss is providing support for educational projects in universities and schools in order to instill a sense of critical thinking in young people and the ability to assess the objectivity of certain facts," Zhiganov noted.

Natalia Tsaizer, co-chair of the BRICS Civil Forum's Women and Girls working group, shared the results of her group's meetings, highlighting the current issue of gender equality in the BRICS countries. She noted that her working group is out to eliminate gender imbalance and equalize men and women when it comes to career growth and their role in decision-making structures, including in the military.

"There are a huge number of areas in the economy, politics, and the social sphere, where women are underestimated in terms of their involvement in the processes, not only as observers, performers and 'beautifiers' of the working process, but as actors ready to make decisions, set goals and implement them," Tsaizer said.

The issue of gender equality is extremely relevant not only in the BRICS countries, but elsewhere in the world. However, while it is imperative to provide equal opportunities for men and women to be involved in various organizations, Natalia Tsaizer still warned against sliding into what she described as "militant feminism." The participants in the working group's meeting proposed involving women in the decision-making process in various areas, and setting up anti-crisis committees within BRICS where women would make up at least 50 percent of their membership.

"On the one hand, this is quotas, but on the other, this is something we just can't do without because we need to regulate our presence that we could rely on," Tsaizer argued. She also noted that right now the working group consists of women only, since men are not very actively involved in tackling such issues, even though achieving gender balance is high on the agenda of the Women and Girls group.

Stepan Kanakin, the coordinator of the BRICS Civil Forum, answered questions regarding the technical aspects of organizing the forum in conditions of a pandemic.
BRICS Film Festival 2020 Closing Ceremony: BRICS Film Forum and announcement of Festival award winners (Церемония закрытия Кинофестиваля БРИКС 2020: Кинофорум БРИКС и объявление победителей фестиваля) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: movie

On 7 October the 5th BRICS Film Festival within the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival (1-7 October) concluded in Moscow.

The BRICS Film Forum under the theme "BRICS Cinemas as Alternatives to Hollywood" took place on the final day of the Festival. This event gathered film directors, producers, participants in the Festival's competition programme, film studies experts on the cinema of the BRICS countries, as well as representatives from BRICS countries' embassies and cultural centres.

The Film Forum participants discussed the development of the national cinema industries in BRICS countries, with a special focus on film production, promotion and cooperation, including during the pandemic.

In his opening remarks, Mikhail Shvydkoi, Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation, stressed the importance for BRICS countries to cooperate in various fields, especially in cinematography.

"The 5th Forum is a major achievement. It is always a challenge to hold the first forum, and even more so the second one, but with the 5th Forum it becomes clear that there is a need for a broad and serious conversation when it comes to the film industry," Mr Shvydkoi pointed out. He went on to call on film studies experts to help BRICS film industry overcome problems it faces from a cultural perspective, and also asked film producers and providers to contribute to these efforts.

Also on 7 October, the BRICS Film Festival announced its winners. Jury President Sergei Mokritsky said that this year's Festival programme was very interesting, and watching the competing films was "a true pleasure." He also thanked all the members of the jury for their work and insightful discussions.

This was the first time that the BRICS jury decided to award two prizes for best actress and not to name the best actor.

"The female characters were stronger than the male ones. We decided that when women take on a man's work, they often are better at it than men, so they should also be recognized for this," Mr Mokritsky said.

Speaking of the film that won the main prize, Mr Mokritsky described Poppie Nongena as a present-day film that explores historical processes.

Best film: POPPIE NONGENA by Christiaan Olwagen, South Africa

Special prize: RED GHOST by Andrei Bogatyrev, Russia

Best director: Lou Ye, SATURDAY FICTION, China

Best actress: Kani Kusruti, BIRIYAANI, India

Best actress: Thalita Carauta, THE SILENCE OF THE RAIN, Brazil

At the end of the award ceremony of the 5th BRICS Film Festival Boris Mashtaler, Executive Director of Russia's National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, who represented Russia at the 2019 BRICS Film Festival in Niteroi, Brazil, passed the Festival flag over to H.E. Mr Bala Venkatesh Varma, Indian Ambassador to Russia, whose country will be hosting the next festival.

BRICS countries agree on the concept of the virtual BRICS Network Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (Страны БРИКС согласовали концепцию виртуального сетевого центра БРИКС по материаловедению и нанотехнологиям) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: innovations, cooperation

On 1 and 2 October, under the chairmanship of India the BRICS Working Group on Materials Science and Nanotechnology held its second meeting via videoconference.

The participants agreed on the concept for the BRICS Network Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology, initiated by Russia in 2017. This concept sets forth the goals and objectives for creating the Centre, as well as how universities and research institutions can become part of it.

The Centre's main goals include promoting international cooperation and identifying priorities for joint research projects by the participating countries on materials science and nanotechnology, as well as raising funding and attracting support from public and private sources for promoting research, technology and innovation. In addition, the Centre is expected to host thematic international research conferences and seminars, as well as to create a website on its activities and participants. The leading BRICS universities and research institutions on materials science and nanotechnology, which share the Centre's goals and objectives and are ready to contribute to joint programmes and events in multilateral and bilateral settings, can join the centre.

The Boris Yeltsin Ural Federal University (UrFU) will serve as the parent organisation of this virtual centre, providing for its secretariat, website and taking care of organizing in person or online meetings of the Centre's Council twice a year.

Working Group participants also outlined the key areas of materials sciences that the BRICS countries should focus on. Each of the BRICS countries will oversee one or several subjects. Russia, for example, will be in charge of modern magnetic and ferroelectric materials.

In addition, the meeting participants approved the Regulations of the Working Group on Materials Science and Nanotechnology, which sets forth its goals, objectives, functions and procedures. Within BRICS, Russia and India are in charge of coordinating this working group and ensuring its operation.

BRICS Film Festival. Sergei Mokritsky, Jury President: "The BRICS Film Festival emphasises how similar human emotions are, not the differences between us" (Кинофестиваль БРИКС. Сергей Мокрицкий, председатель жюри: «Кинофестиваль БРИКС подчеркивает схожесть человеческих эмоций, а не различия между нами») / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: movie, expert_opinion

  • What are your expectations for the BRICS Film Festival?
I have a good feeling about the festival. This is the second time that I have the honour to take part in this festival. The first time was in China, so I now know that the Festival invariably offers an interesting and solid programme. We have already watched two films, and I am quite certain that more pleasant surprises are yet to come. This Festival's programme will not be an exception, since it was built by professionals. I take great interest in seeing these films.

  • This year the Festival takes place amid a pandemic, which is an unusual context. How did this complicate the preparations?
I am delighted that the BRICS Film Festival is taking place as part of the Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF). It is an honour and a responsibility to be on the same programme with a major and renowned Class A festival. The theatres were packed during the first screenings, despite the restrictions. This means that filmgoers enjoy what they see and have missed cinema theatres and the feeling of togetherness when watching a film. I am glad that Festival organisers postponed it rather than cancelling the event altogether, and it is now taking place. I think that we are on the brink of a new relationship between the audience and the screen. A computer screen or a home screening will never replace the feeling of being in a cinema and the magic flickering of the screen. This is why we love cinema.

  • Each of the BRICS countries follows its own path when it comes to culture, which naturally affects the way they view films. Could you briefly outline what sets film directors from these countries apart from one another?
We have only seen two films so far, so it is too early for me to elaborate on the signature styles of all the film directors from these countries. We live in different corners of the planet. In most cases, BRICS countries do not have a shared border. The first film we watched was from South Africa. It tells the story of a person to whom we all can relate: his passions, doubts, loneliness, the need for love and the desire to save one's soul. These are universal problems that people understand be it in Africa, China, India or Brazil. For me, The BRICS Film Festival emphasises how similar human emotions are, not the differences between us, and the way we respond to various challenges.

  • Online streaming platforms are gaining momentum in the BRICS countries. Is this a development opportunity for the market or on the contrary an attempt to drive viewers apart?
The emergence of new screening forms is inevitable, and we must accept this. I like going to cinemas that have huge screens. Not to sound old-school, but I do not get the same feelings at home as opposed to a real cinema. Still, I understand that the world is changing, and these platforms will keep growing. I can understand this with my mind, but my heart is still with the good old cinema. May all flowers bloom, while I will hope that there will still be those who love the theatre.

  • Culture traditionally plays an important role in the BRICS countries. What can art figures do to strengthen international cultural ties?
First of all, let me note that I am really fond of the very idea of the Festival as it brings together BRICS countries through culture, not only economics. Despite all the differences between us, we share emotions that we can all relate to. I recall the time when I lived in a village near Zhitomir, and how my mother loved watching Indian films at the local cinema. Everyone loved them. The Brazilian film industry, and soap operas in particular, inspired us to produce our own TV series. These were always of very good quality. The films we saw at the previous BRICS festivals were interesting and covered pressing social issues. I understand Brazilian films just as well as Indian ones.

I always look forward to watching Chinese films, always surprised by the diversity of genres and their exotic nature. I always take great interest in watching them. South Africa gives us a glimpse into a world that we have not seen before, so that we can learn more about this country. After each screening jury members from BRICS countries discuss what they saw, and explain many things to us. This gives us a real insight into things. We need festivals of this kind. They show how fragile people are, how small our planet is, and that we must respect each other's culture.

However, there are also challenges. I am aware of the hard choice our jury will have to make. There are many films on the programme but only so many prizes. All films are worthy, so I really would love everyone to be recognised.

BRICS Energy Week to be held on 10-16 October (Энергетическая неделя БРИКС пройдет 10-16 октября) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: cooperation

On 10-16 October, under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation along with other interested organizations will hold BRICS Energy Week.

The 5th Meeting of BRICS Energy Ministers scheduled for 14 October via videoconference, chaired by Alexander Novak, Russian Minister of Energy, will be the central event of the week. The BRICS Energy Ministers will discuss the coordination of international efforts to overcome the impact of the pandemic on energy sector, promotion of the energy dialogue between the BRICS countries, expansion of technological cooperation, as well as the results of the BRICS Energy Research Platform's activities and plans for further development. A Joint Statement by the BRICS Energy Ministers and a framework document on the development of energy cooperation 2025 are expected to be adopted following the meeting.

BRICS Energy Week will open on 10 October with the #ВместеЯрче (#TogetherBrighter) International Festival of Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency in Saransk. "The Peer Dialogue" and the BRICS Conference #TogetherBrighter on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving will be the key events of the Festival.

On 15 October, Moscow will host the first Annual Meeting of the BRICS Energy Research Platform, where the first analytical reports by the BRICS countries will be presented. Anton Inyutsyn, Russian Deputy Energy Minister, as well as Energy Research Platform experts from BRICS and international organizations are expected to deliver speeches at the meeting.

The traditional BRICS Youth Energy Summit scheduled for 16 October will be the largest youth energy event in BRICS. This year, delegations from all five countries, comprised of representatives of Line Agencies responsible for the implementation of energy and youth policies as well as over 150 young scientists and experts from 40 leading universities and industrial organizations will take part in the summit. The presentation of the third issue of the BRICS Youth Energy Outlook 2020 global youth research is scheduled to take place as part of the summit.

All the BRICS Energy Week events, except the Ministers' Meeting, will be available online.

For reference:

International Festival of Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency #TogetherBrighter

Annual meeting of the BRICS Energy Research Platform

Third BRICS Youth Energy Summit

For participation in the summit, contact the organisers at:

International BRICS School opens in Moscow (В Москве открылась Международная школа БРИКС) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: social_issues, research

On 5-10 October 2020, the National Committee on BRICS Research is holding the 4th International Research and Educational Programme "BRICS School" and BRICS Young Scientists (BRICSologists) Contest under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship.

The BRICS School is a unique programme designed to train specialists in studying the interaction between the BRICS countries in political, economic and humanitarian spheres. The goal of the programme is to expand the pool of young experts on BRICS, "BRICSologists", to form a talent pool and to further develop the youth track of interaction within BRICS. The programme is conducted annually with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

The programme included 80 contestants from the five BRICS countries aged 18 to 35, including young diplomats, researchers, students and postgraduate students, journalists, entrepreneurs and public figures. They will attend lectures by leading experts and practitioners, take part in workshops and receive valuable recommendations from mentors on promoting their projects and research.

The BRICS School will hold the traditional BRICS Young Scientists (BRICSologists) Contest in 2020 to identify promising projects for promoting practical cooperation among the youth of the BRICS countries.

Victoria Panova, Managing Director of the National Committee for BRICS Research, Scientific Supervisor of the BRICS Russia Expert Council, and Vice President for International Relations at the Far Eastern Federal University, addressed the participants with a welcome speech.

"We see that BRICS is constantly evolving, and the youth track is one of the areas aimed at deepening the five-sided cooperation," Panova said. "We have picked the best of the best to take part in the BRICS School. Each of you has come up with a project aimed at promoting practical cooperation among the BRICS countries. With your help, we will continue our quest for new ideas in order to resolve issues of international importance."

On 5 October Vyacheslav Nikonov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science and Chairman of the Board of the National Committee on BRICS Research, spoke before the School's participants about the current state of international relations and the principles of leadership.

BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum to discuss achieving sustainable development goals (Форум сотрудничества городов дружбы и местного самоуправления БРИКС для обсуждения достижения целей устойчивого развития) / Russia, October, 2020
Keywords: sustainable_development, cooperation

On 19 and 20 October, Kazan will host BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum, to be partly held via videoconference.

Local government representatives from the BRICS countries will discuss issues related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which is this year's key topic.

Efforts to promote cooperation among sister cities and municipal entities of the BRICS countries are essential in order to strengthen interregional ties and share best practices in countering challenges caused by the rapid onset of urbanization.

One of the features of the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum in 2020 will be the further implementation of the "BRICS Plus" format by involving regional partners of the BRICS countries among developing countries. . This format will establish cooperation in developing joint responses to the current international challenges related to ensuring sustainable development, sustained economic growth and eliminating the existing imbalances.

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