Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum

Monitoring of the economic, social and labor situation in the BRICS countries
Issue 17.2022
2022.04.25 — 2022.05.01
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
BRICS Solutions for Sustainable Development Goals Awards 2022 kick off (Стартовала церемония вручения наград БРИКС «Решения для достижения целей в области устойчивого развития — 2022») / China, April, 2022
Keywords: Sustainable_Development, rating

Recently, the "BRICS Solutions for Sustainable Development Goals Awards 2022", hosted by the Chinese Chapter of BRICS Business Council, has kicked off. As an important exchange event initiated by the BRICS Business Council, the Awards aims to promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and stimulate the cooperation and exchanges in multiple fields among BRICS countries by sharing the best practices and optimal solutions. Since its introduction in 2020, the event has been widely participated in by BRICS countries.

This year, the event sets four categories, namely livelihood improvement, technological innovation and application, environmental protection and clean energy use, as well as international cooperation, collecting cases from BRICS countries, emerging markets and developing countries. Meanwhile, industry experts have been engaged to form an international jury. Moreover, based on innovative application, the event focuses on paths to sustainable development, seeks practical solutions, and deepens international exchange and cooperation, to contribute the BRICS wisdom to the UN SDGs.

2022 BRICS Business Council Chairpersons Communication Meeting Held (Состоялась коммуникационная встреча председателей Делового совета БРИКС-2022) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: top_level_meeting

On April 28th, the BRICS Business Council Chairpersons Communication Meeting was successfully held online. Mr. Chen Siqing, Chairman of BBC Chinese Chapter and Chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, attended and addressed the meeting. The chairpersons of Brazilian, Russian, Indian and South African Chapters attended the meeting and delivered speeches. Mr Li Kexin, Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs and BRICS Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Zhang Weiwu, Senior Executive Vice President attended the meeting. The Secretariat of Chinese Chapter reported BBC work progress and plans of this year. Representatives of Chinese Council members and of BBC secretariats attended the meeting.

Chen Siqing said, as a model of cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS cooperation plays an important role in driving world economic growth, improving global economic governance and promoting democracy in international relations. BBC constitutes an important part of BRICS cooperation. Based on the theme of "Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development", BBC made great progress in strengthening pragmatic cooperation and building consensus among the BRICS business communities, and in promoting coordination and communication between governments and business communities. BBC should actively strengthen innovation coordination, deepen partnership, and promote BRICS cooperation, so as to help companies of BRICS countries achieve win-win results and provide BRICS momentum and stability for world economic recovery and international development.

Chairpersons of other Chapters highly appreciated the leading role played by Chinese Chapter as the chair, fully recognized the achievements and progress of BRICS cooperation in various fields this year, and said that they will continue to support Chinese Chapter's work during its chairmanship and jointly push for pragmatic cooperation among BRICS business communities and fruitful results of the BRICS Year of China.

Under the witness of BRICS Leaders of States, the BRICS Business Council(hereinafter as the BBC) is established during the 5th BRICS Leaders Summits of 27th March 2013 which is held in Durban, South Africa. It is composed of five prominent entrepreneurs of each BRICS countries, representing various industries and sectors. The Chinese Chapter was formally established in Beijing on May 27th, 2013. BBC is an important mechanism for exchanges and cooperation between the business communities of BRICS countries. It aims at strengthening and promoting economic, trade, business and investment ties among the Business communities of BRICS countries. It will ensure that there is a regular dialogue between the Business communities and the Governments, identify problems and bottlenecks and recommend solutions accordingly to the BRICS Leaders of State.
The World Does not Need a Hegemon. It Needs a Multipolar Order (Миру не нужен гегемон. Ему нужен многополярный порядок) / Russia, April, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion, global_governance

Valdir Da Silva Bezerra, Master in International Relations, St. Petersburg State University; Member of USP's International Relations Research Nucleus on Topics Related to Asia (NUPRI-GEASIA) and Researcher of the Center for BRICS Studies of the University of Sao Paulo (GEBRICS) – special for InfoBRICS

According to some interpretations from Anglo-Saxon scholars, the international system needs an uncontested hegemon, possessing an overwhelming military and economic force, so that no other States could try to counterbalance it, even if a coalition of dissatisfied powers is eventually formed; this unipolarity based on a large superiority of military and economic factors would then reduce the importance of the 'balance of power' among Great Powers, due to the material disparity between the leading State and the other competitors. Up until recently, some argued for instance that even if there was an open dispute for global power among the Great Powers of today, the aggregate military capability that the Washington-led NATO possess outweighs any combination that, let's say, Russia and China could achieve in the foreseeable future.

However, this interpretation misses a very important point. Great Powers are rarely satisfied with a situation in which they are fully under the yoke of a hegemon. Russia is one such example. [The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir] Putin´s foreign policy is strategically oriented to oppose the concept – as well as the full realization - of a unipolar world based on the American hegemony . Back at the beginning of the 2000s, Russian official documents warned about attempts to create an International Relations structure "under US leadership and designed for unilateral solutions (primarily by the use of military force) to key issues in world politics in circumvention of the fundamental rules of international law".

On this note, two such examples generally given by Russia are: the US decision to invade Iraq in 2003 without a United Nations Security Council approval and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombardment of Serbia in 1999 under US leadership, when the Hegemonic State made use of its military might (through the Atlantic Alliance) to achieve its desired political goals. At the same time, the traditional American presidency of the World Bank and the Voting Shares (and therefore political influence) enjoyed by the US at the International Monetary Fund [IMF] became elements of criticism by a number of emerging economies since mid-2000s, that viewed those institutions as 'mere instruments' used by industrialized countries to control poorer States in the so- called Global South, forcing them to adopt certain economic and social policies in return for financial assistance.

That helps explain why BRICS [the political group composed by Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa] became an undesirable element for the Hegemonic project, once the group represents "an unwelcome challenge to the established world order as defined by the US-dominated […] IMF and the World Bank". Notwithstanding, it is a common practice for the United States to use its overwhelming financial position in the system in order to pressure other States to change their decisions and conduction of foreign policy. For instance, after 2014 the US in particular (along with its Western partners) imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation in the context following the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, concerning the reunification of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

However, not only were Western sanctions ineffective in changing Moscow's positions, but they were also viewed by approximately 2/3 of the Russian population (interviewed between 2014-2015) as yet another "attempt to weaken and humiliate Russia", a conduct that time and time again continues to be implemented against Moscow. Now, the harshest sanctions imposed on any country in human history were implemented by America and its allies towards Russia due to its actions in Ukraine, which, more than just serving as an instrument of economic and political pressure over the Russian leadership, are directed against the Russian population in general in the most varied fields.

Be it as it may, Russia is not alone as a 'target' for Western policy-makers. During the latter half of [Donald] Trump's administration, the US imposed tariffs on several Chinese goods exported to America, in retaliation to what Washington deemed as 'unfair practices of trade' undertaken by Beijing. In what became later termed as a "Trade War" between China and the United States, the Americans used its position as one of the biggest consumer markets for Chinese products (accounting alone for 20% of China's exports by that time), in order to minimize the American deficit in their bilateral trade, as well as trying to hurt the Chinese economy and, therefore, slow down its economic growth. It is in that context that we must assess the concerns of American authorities towards Russia and China's partnership. For the US administration Russia represents a threat for its military dominance, whereas China represents a threat for its economic preponderance in the system as well as within international organizations of financial governance. In effect, China's decades-long fast-paced economic growth even inspired some analysts to consider the Asian country as the 'future world Superpower' of the 21st century.

Not surprisingly, the 2017 [American] National Security Strategy mentioned Russia and China as a challenge to American power, influence, and interests in the international system. According to the document, Russia and China are 'revisionist powers' seeking to shape the global order according to values contrary to those of the US, revealing themselves as "serious competitors that are building up the material and ideological wherewithal to contest U.S. primacy and leadership in the 21st Century". Curiously, 25 years ago former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski opined that the most dangerous scenario for the US leadership in world affairs would be a major coalition of China and Russia (as well as other dissatisfied powers) that could serve as an 'anti- hegemonic' bastion united not by ideology (as was common during the Cold-War era) but by complementary grievances.

Despite the fact that both Russia and China are deeply integrated into the existing world order, as demonstrated by their participation in important Global Governance mechanisms such as the UN Security Council, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the G-20 and others, the Moscow-Beijing's strategic partnership is intended, most of all, to defend the concept of 'multipolarity in world affairs', a position that runs contrary to the Hegemonic and unilateralist designs of the West in general and of the United States in particular.

All in all, both Russia and China (as well as other important global players such as the Islamic World) hold the fundamental premise that the plurality of value systems should be preserved, in opposition to the short-sighted Western formula of "one size fits all", which already proved ineffective in trying to suppress the tradition of different cultures (through a process of forced 'homogenization') around the globe due to its fundamental misunderstanding of complex civilizations.

Therefore, what Russia, China and other countries stand for is the adoption of a multipolar and multifaceted world order, where each particular society could exercise its right to choose their own political and economic organization, while keeping their 'own norms and values', so that there is no 'End of History', but instead its continuity. That being said, one can easily see why the Hegemon does not need (and most of all does not want) multipolarity to be established. However, it does not matter what the Hegemon needs, but what the world needs. And what the world needs is a multipolar order.

Russia-South Africa relations dynamically develop in strategic partnership spirit — Putin (Отношения России и ЮАР динамично развиваются в духе стратегического партнерства — Путин) / Russia, April, 2022
Keywords: Vladimir_Putin, quotation, Cyril_Ramaphosa

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Freedom Day, noting the dynamic development of relations between the two countries and the established political dialogue. The telegram was published on Wednesday on the Kremlin website.

"Relations between Russia and South Africa are dynamically developing in the spirit of strategic partnership. We have established a meaningful political dialogue and productive cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian spheres. The coordination of efforts between Moscow and Pretoria within the UN, BRICS, G20 and other multilateral structures is yielding good results," Putin said in the telegram.

The Russian leader expressed confidence in further expansion of mutually beneficial ties between the two countries, noting that it meets the interests of both peoples and "goes in line with the strengthening of international security and stability."

The Russian president wished his South African counterpart health and success, and well-being and prosperity to all the citizens of South Africa.

Freedom Day is a national holiday of the Republic of South Africa. On April 27, 1994 after the end of the apartheid regime in the country, the first general democratic elections were held.

Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Russia wants to increase settlements in national currencies with BRICS, EAEU, SCO states (Россия хочет увеличить расчеты в национальных валютах со странами БРИКС, ЕАЭС, ШОС) / Russia, April, 2022
Keywords: economic_challenges

TASHKENT, April 25. /TASS/. Moscow is interested in increasing settlements in national currencies with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) nations, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told a forum on Monday.

Last year, Russia's trade with EAEU, BRICS and SCO members grew by up to 38%, he said, adding that in total those integrations account for half of the global economy.

Hyperinflation and growth of prices for exchange commodities in Europe and the US and their influence on industry and economy pushes Russia's interest in shifting to national currencies in trade up, Manturov noted.

"What is happening in the global economy and the world today prompts us how to adjust our logistics and production cooperation, in what direction we should develop our economies," he said, adding that the shift to national currencies enables countries "to become as independent from the viewpoint of mutual payments for supplies of products and mutual cooperation as possible."

Russia sees prospects of cooperation with Uzbekistan in the areas of pharmaceuticals sector, car production, agriculture and food machine building, as well as fertilizers, the minister said. Moscow is also interested in supplying products made jointly with Uzbekistan to such partners of the country as Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries, he added.

World of Work
The 12th Meeting of BRICS Working Group on Agriculture Held (Состоялось 12-е заседание Рабочей группы БРИКС по сельскому хозяйству) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: top_level_meeting, cooperation

From April 27 to April 28, 2022, China, as the chair of BRICS, held the 12th Meeting of BRICS Working Group on Agriculture in Beijing.

The meeting was held online, at which all sides reported progress on the implementation of the Action Plan 2021-2024 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries. BRICS representatives reviewed and adopted proposals on the Agenda of the 12th Meeting of BRICS Agriculture Ministers. The working group meeting also consulted on the Draft Joint Declaration of the 12th Meeting of BRICS Agriculture Ministers and discussed on the relevant outcome documents on food security.
First 2022 BRICS Think Tank Symposium Held (Состоялся первый симпозиум аналитических центров БРИКС 2022 года) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: BRICS_Think_Tank, top_level_meeting

On April 25th, the first 2022 BRICS think tank symposium was held online. The meeting was hosted by China Council for BRICS Think-tank Cooperation (CCBTC), the Chinese coordinator for BRICS think tank cooperation, and organized by University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), the vice-chairman organization of CCBTC. BRICS scholars gathered online and shared their views on "promoting high-quality economic and trade cooperation among BRICS countries".

Jin Xin, Secretary-General of CCBTC, director-general of the Research Office of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, and Xia Wenbin, president of UIBE delivered speeches respectively. Jin Xin said that at present, changes and the pandemic unseen in a century are intertwined and interacting with each other. The international landscape is evolving fastly and the recovery of the world economy remains a daunting task. Economic globalization has suffered setbacks, which have caused serious impacts on all countries, especially emerging markets and developing countries, and brought new challenges to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Faced with such complicated and ever-changing international situation, as an important force to promote the evolution of the international order, improve global governance and promote the development of all countries, BRICS countries should safeguard the common interests of emerging market countries and developing countries, and play a greater role in safeguarding and practicing true multilateralism, and promoting global economic recovery and sustainable development.

Under this background, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative at the UN General Assembly, which serves to draw a road map for solving the global development imbalance, provide an accelerator for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has received warm response from the international community. In order to echo the concerns of all parties on development issues, China takes "Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for global Dvelopment" as the theme of 2022 BRICS cooperation, with the hope to work with all parties to build a more comprehensive, close and pragmatic BRICS partnership to jointly achieve stronger, greener and healthier global development. Economic and trade cooperation is a key area of cooperation among BRICS countries, and a higher level of economic and trade cooperation is a strong support for BRICS countries to jointly achieve high-quality and sustainable development. To promote high-quality economic and trade cooperation among BRICS countries: first, we should improve global economic governance and create a sound environment for international economic and trade cooperation; second, it is necessary to improve the level of economic, trade and financial cooperation and strengthen the ability to cope with external risks; third, we need to strengthen digital cooperation and create new highlights of economic and trade cooperation; fourth, we should develop green economic cooperation and help BRICS countries achieve green economic development.

Xia Wenbin said that global development cooperation is facing many unfavorable factors, and it is urgent for countries all over the world, especially emerging market countries as represented by BRICS, to deepen cooperation and enhance the influence of developing countries in international affairs. BRICS countries need to jointly promote global economic governance, maintain a fair and just world economic order, oppose all forms of trade and investment protectionism, strengthen development-oriented financial cooperation, cement high-quality economic and trade cooperation mechanisms, carry out international assistance cooperation on key issues such as famine, refugees, climate change and public health, build a "BRICS think tank community", and realize the institutionalization and normalization of BRICS think tank cooperation. The University of International Business and Economics will continue to improve its research capability and think tank construction on BRICS, and make contributions to promoting high-quality economic and trade cooperation among BRICS countries, deepening BRICS partnership and South-South cooperation, and enhancing China's open economy development in the new era.

Zhang Qi, member of the CCBTC and director-general of foreign economic research department, Development Research Center of the State Council, Sun Zhuangzhi, director-general of Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Wang Rongming, president of Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Wang Qiang and Hong Junjie, vice presidents of University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Tu Xinquan, dean of China Institute for WTO Studies, UIBE, Lan Qingxin, director of BRICS Research Center, UIBE, Xue Yi, director of scientific research department, UIBE, Zhao Dianlong, vice president of China Railway Construction Co., Ltd. and other Chinese representatives believe that in recent years, BRICS cooperation has maintained sound momentum, with fledging mechanisms and deepening cooperation, and is increasingly important for global economic development and governance system. At present, BRICS countries are facing a more complicated internal and external environment, and need to stick to true multilateralism, strengthen coordination and cooperation, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. Therefore, we should jointly carry out the innovation-driven development strategy, implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025, actively participate in the discussion and negotiation of global trade and environment issues, promote the building of the BRICS PartNIR, and safeguard the broad interests of BRICS and developing countries.

Scholars from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa believe that achieving sustainable development is the key to dealing with public health crisis, economic recession and climate change. Challenges that BRICS countries are facing at present are how to continue the economic recovery while fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and how to keep the trade and investment open against the backdrop of unilateralism and populism. BRICS countries need to implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 and carry out "hard" cooperation in core areas such as finance, trade, investment, sustainable development, infrastructure and public health. At the same time, we will continue to carry out "soft" cooperation in sports, culture and education, and enhance people's understanding of BRICS cooperation. For BRICS practical cooperation, scholars also put forward many suggestions, such as to establish an effective management mechanism to continue to promote sound internal cooperation, strengthen financial market development cooperation, use BRICS countries' own currencies for trade settlement, use online platforms for direct or indirect financing, strengthen PPP cooperation, establish inter-government alliances to realize the new industrial revolution, jointly discuss green development and energy transformation, and build a carbon-neutral global economy.

The symposium is an integral part of the 2022 BRICS think tank exchange and cooperation programs, and has received strong support from all BRICS countries. Representatives from Institute for Applied Economic Research of Brazil, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research, Valdai International Discussion Club, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, St Petersburg State University of Economics, Observer Research Foundation of India, Institute of Research and Information Systems of Developing Countries, Nelson Mandela University and Humanities Research Council of South Africa and other important BRICS think tanks and universities attended the meeting.

BRICS TVET Cooperation Alliance Established (Создан Альянс сотрудничества БРИКС в области технического и профессионального образования и обучения) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: social_issues, cooperation

The BRICS TVET Cooperation Alliance Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Education of China, was convened in Beijing on April 27th. It was a virtual/hybrid event attended by more than 100 participants, including policymakers, diplomats stationed in Beijing, vocational educators and industry and business representatives. They jointly witnessed the inauguration of the Alliance.

Mr. Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education of China, addressed the Conference via a pre-recorded video. He commended the joint efforts of BRICS countries leading to the establishment of the Alliance. He sees the Alliance as a significant driver for vocational education reforms by creating a platform for dialogue and information sharing to promote substantive cooperation. Minster Tian put forward three suggestions: 1) practice inclusivity for every BRICS country and every member to take ownership, follow the principles of openness and collaboration, 2) align closely with the industry to ensure the constant adaptation of vocation education for nurturing a highly skilled workforce relevant to the needs of social-economic development, 3) deploy state-of-the-art solutions incorporating digital and green technologies to enable innovative delivery models, speed up the reform of the TVET talents training programs, and create a sharing mechanism of digital resources.

The Alliance is strongly endorsed by BRICS policymakers. Mr. Victor Godoy, Minister of Education of Brazil, Mr. Bugaev Alexander, First Deputy Minister of Education of Russia, Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of India and Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of South Africa all indicated their full support through their video congratulatory remarks. They applauded China for taking the lead to establish the Alliance and hosting its inaugural conference. They prepared to encourage members from their home country to actively participate in the Alliance's various activities and partnership building.

The BRICS TVET Cooperation Alliance is established under the guidance of BRICS vocational education policymakers. It has 68 founding members, including vocational education associations, vocational education institutions, research organizations and businesses.
Chinese Firms Offer More Jobs in S. Africa (Китайские фирмы предлагают больше рабочих мест в Южной Африке) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: social_issues

More than 100 Chinese companies investing in South Africa have pledged to create 20,000 jobs for locals over the next three years.

The pledge was given at the Job Fair 2022 of Chinese-invested Enterprises in South Africa held in Johannesburg. Pengxin International Mining, Bright Minerals South Africa and Huawei are some of the companies that pledged to employ many people. Huawei said it would provide 450 jobs and Pengxin 3,500 jobs in the next three years.

Such job creation would give an economic fillip to South Africa, whose unemployment rate is about 35 percent.

China's Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong said Chinese companies are committed to helping the country tackle unemployment.

"Chinese enterprises in South Africa are working hard to give stability to the production and supply chains. They together write wonderful chapters of China-South Africa win-win cooperation and common development. Let us join hands and move forward toward a bright future together."

China will import goods worth $100 billion from South Africa in the next three years, Chen said. His office is ready to facilitate trade between the two countries, he said.

Sino-South African collaboration could focus on 5G, digital economy, high-tech, e-commerce, smart cities, clean energy and vaccine production. Chinese companies are always encouraged to transfer technology and skills training for local employees, Chen said.

South Africa's Minister of Employment and Labor Thulas Nxesi thanked the Chinese companies for their pledge, which he said will go a long way in helping to reduce unemployment.

"We want to offer our sincere thanks to these and many other companies for their efforts. We urge Chinese companies to partner with South African companies-small, medium and big, to create the much-needed jobs. These collaborations will ensure that these companies get a chance to scale up to compete globally."

Chinese and South African "social partners" can develop tangible programs that will contribute to economic growth, tackle unemployment and poverty in both countries, he said, calling on other countries to emulate what the Chinese companies have done.

Alvin Botes, deputy minister of international relations and cooperation, said Sino-South Africa relations date back to the liberation struggle, evolving to mutual socioeconomic growth. The pledges show the practical relations of both countries, he said.

"This event today demonstrates China's efforts to support South Africa's objectives of eradicating the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality and is evident of the depth of our partnership. This will certainly have other spin-offs such as the transfer of expertise and skills."

Botes urged South African youths to take advantage of the offer and apply for jobs. The job fair is complementing strategic partnership and enhancing relations between China and South Africa, he said.

Botes said South Africa is willing to work with China in G20, BRICS, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, promoting South-South cooperation and in the Belt and Road Initiative.

China Daily

BRICS countries pen cooperation alliance on education (Страны БРИКС создают альянс сотрудничества в сфере образования) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: social_issues, cooperation

A BRICS Technical and Vocational Education and Training Cooperation Alliance, or BRICS-TCA, was officially inaugurated on Wednesday.

The inauguration conference was hosted by the Ministry of Education and organized by the China Education Association for International Exchange with the support of Ningbo Polytechnic of China.

The BRICS-TCA was jointly initiated by CEAIE, National Council of the Federal Network of Vocational, Scientific and Technological Education Institutions of Brazil, Federal Institute for the Development of Vocational Education of Russia, Directorate General of Training of India and the South African College Principals Organization.

Its founding members include industrial organizations, TVET institutions, research institutes and enterprises. CEAIE President Liu Limin is BRICS-TCA's first rotating chairperson.

Adhering to the principles of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, BRICS-TCA aims to be a multilateral platform for exchanging information and practices to foster cooperation between BRICS TVET stakeholders.

Members are encouraged to forge substantive partnerships to raise TVET provision across BRICS. Its objective is to empower youth through productive employment and contribute to BRICS' socioeconomic development.

Chinese Vice-Minister of Education Tian Xuejun, Brazilian Minister of Education Victor Godoy, Russian First Deputy Minister of Education Bugaev Alexander, Indian Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar and South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande made video addresses or sent congratulatory messages at the conference.

In his speech, Tian said inaugurating the BRICS TVET Cooperation Alliance is a significant step toward further TVET reforms in BRICS countries.

It will serve as a platform for dialogue and a powerful catalyst for spurring substantive cooperation, he said.

He believes the alliance will play an important role in promoting economic restructuring and industrial transformation for a new era of global prosperity.

BRICS-TCA's five national coordinators made concluding remarks and all indicated their commitment to fostering exchanges and joint initiatives under the alliance's framework.

In his concluding remarks on behalf of the Chinese national coordinator, Yu Yougen, CEAIE Deputy Secretary-General, pointed out the establishment of BRICS-TCA implements BRICS leaders' consensus and echoes BRICS countries' common interests.

It reflects the five governments' priorities on TVET and shared value of strengthened TVET cooperation.

Yu emphasized CEAIE's commitment to promoting TVET development with counterparts from BRICS countries.

BRICS to use big data to achieve sustainable development goals (БРИКС будет использовать большие данные для достижения целей в области устойчивого развития) / China, April, 2022
Keywords: sustainable_development

The Chinese Academy of Sciences will enhance dialogue and collaboration with peers from BRICS countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-to use big data as a tool to achieve sustainable development, scientists said during the BRICS Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development, which began on Tuesday.

Entrusted by CAS President Hou Jianguo, Zhang Yaping, vice-president of CAS, attended the opening ceremony and said that the goal of the event is to establish a platform for BRICS scientists, engineers and policymakers to share their knowledge and experience in implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"All BRICS academies of sciences are committed to promoting the advancement of science and technology and social progress in our respective countries," he said.

"Beyond that, we should continuously join hands to conduct scientific and technological cooperation, and further contribute to the sustainable development of the world at large."

Given the number of global challenges from food security to pandemic control, Zhang said it is imperative for scientific communities to create a toolbox containing more scientific knowledge and technological solutions to address these issues.

Moreover, it is important to take advantage of information technology, such as big data, to promote scientific and technological innovation and progress, and help authorities make more sensible, accurate and effective decisions, he said.

To fulfill the promise made by President Xi Jinping during the 75th UN General Assembly in 2020, China established the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals and launched the world's first satellite dedicated to serving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Over the past six months, the center has collected geoscience data covering oceans, atmosphere, biology, ecology and many other fields, providing a scientific and technological cooperation platform for research institutions and scientists around the world, Zhang said.

As for BRICS nations, Zhang said the scientific communities from the five countries have enjoyed close communication and fruitful cooperation in terms of high-level visits, academic seminars, joint research programs and personnel exchanges.

"I call on all of us to further strengthen ties and enhance exchanges with other countries and international organizations, and promote closer international cooperative relations through deeper scientific and technological cooperation," he said.

Guo Huadong, director-general of the center, said many indicators for sustainable development goals lack data support, which makes it difficult for experts and policymakers to accurately evaluate the situation and make scientific decisions.

During the forum, Guo said the center released four data products containing remote sensing and Earth sciences data that would help BRICS nations evaluate their human activities, urban development, forestry coverage and other scientific indicators related to sustainable development.

Jonathan Jansen, president of the Academy of Science of South Africa, said big data can be used to help countries predict and manage global challenges from climate change to inequality, but it is also important for non-government organizations to play a role in using new technologies like big data to tackle these problems.

Luiz Davidovich, president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, said collaboration in science and technology can breach barriers and help humanity achieve sustainable development goals.

Alexander Sergeev, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said it is important to combine efforts to build resilience and face global challenges together through scientific research.

Narinder Kumar Mehra, vice-president of the Indian National Science Academy, said the BRICS scientific communities can play a vital role in promoting science, technology and innovation to improve health and education, reduce inequality and facilitate sustainable development as well as peace and prosperity.

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