With all the tension brewing at the border with Pakistan, all eyes are now on the Goa 2016 BRICS summit. An acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — the BRICS summit this year will see the heads of state get together in Goa on October 15 and 16, 2016.
The 8th BRICS summit is going to be crucial in shaping India’s relationships with China and Russia.
China’s recent and unequivocal support to Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute has not been received well in India. With the tug of war between India and Pakistan, it is likely that tensions will mount. With both the Indian and Chinese heads of state meeting in Goa later this week, the conversation should be an interesting one.
On the side, the other important highlight of the BRICS summit is the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian PM Narendra Modi. This meeting is most likely to convert into a $1 billion Kamov 226T chopper deal.
The deal stipulates joint production and export of 200 Ka-226T choppers. On his tour to Russia, Modi had already signed the preliminary contract. The Kamov will replace the high altitude choppers Cheetah and Chetak that the Indian army uses.
India’s BRICS Chairmanship plans to adopt a five-pronged approach this year.
It will include institution building so as to foster, increase, sustain and institutionalise BRICS cooperation; implementation of decisions agreed upon at previous summits; integration of the existing cooperation machinery; innovation; and continuity of the mutually existing cooperation machinery.
To increase people-to-people contact among BRIC member states, especially youth, other activities planned by the government include a U-17 football tournament, youth summit, young diplomats’ forum, film festival etc.
As the agenda for the BRICS summit unfolds, the Kamov deal and more importantly the Indo-Sino relations will garner the primary attention of not just India but also Pakistan and China.