*BRICS 2016*

The BRICS group is expected to share news of its latest collaborations
during their meeting in Goa. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said
Thursday (Oct 13) that the (BRICS member) countries were looking into
creating a credit ratings agency (CRA) in line with western Moody’s etc.;
and that there would be increased cooperation on taxes and customs. There
is also talk of creating a BRICS bonds market. Since the first summit in
2009, BRICS has expanded its scope to include everything from a
national-security dialogue this year to infrastructure financing through
the (year old) New Development Bank, conceived as an alternative to the
International Monetary Fund.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet with Mr. Modi at a time
when Beijing’s support for Pakistan and its blocking of India’s
international proposals has irked New Delhi. BRICS leaders are reaching out
to the little-known regional group snappily known as BIMSTEC, or the Bay of
Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectorial Technical and Economic Cooperation,
this year. That means the leaders of the countries on the Bay of Bengal,
including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar, and those dependent
on its waters for trade, such as Nepal and Bhutan, are also traveling to

South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian president Michel Temer,
China’s president Xi Jinping, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will be
hosted by India’s prime minister Modi on the BRICS summit 2016 in Goa.
India and Russia are expected to sign major defense deals when Mr. Modi and
Mr. Putin sit down to talk and most likely sign deals for the S-400
Triumph, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft defense system, a deal worth
Rs.39,000 crore (about $3 billion). Manufactured by Russian producer Almaz
Antey and introduced into service in 2007, the cutting-edge S-400 system is
employed to ensure air defense using long- and medium-range missiles that
can hit both aerial and land targets at ranges up to 400km (248 miles) In
addition, Modi and Putin are expected to sign the crucial agreement for the
production of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters domestically on the sidelines of
the BRICS summit 2016 in Goa. Kamov 226T will replace the aging Cheetah and
Chetak choppers. (The joint venture for helicopters to be established
between defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics, and Russian Rostec State

Apart from the above, a deal on the production of 11356 project frigates
for the Indian naval forces is on the agenda of the two leaders’ meeting in
Goa. After the talks Putin and Modi will take part in laying the foundation
stones for the third and fourth blocks of the Kudankulam nuclear power
plant (NPP) via a video conference call. The power station is currently
being built by Rosatom as part of a deal signed between Moscow and New
Delhi back in 1998, with the first unit already put into operation in
August this year.

Also, The Russian Direct Investment Fund will team up with an Indian
partner to invest $1 billion in infrastructure and hydroelectric projects
in Asia's third-largest economy, the head of the Russian state fund told
Reuters on Wednesday. The RDIF and India's IDFC, a leading infrastructure
investor, will each commit $500 million to projects under a deal to be
signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India.

(Various sources)

M. D’Mello

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