Brics Leaders: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The heads of state of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on Thursday committed to enhancing strategic partnership to benefit their countries' citizens through promoting peace, a fairer international order, sustainable development and inclusive growth.

In a declaration at the 10th summit of their Brics formation, the leaders also resolved to strengthen cooperation in the areas of economy, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges, reaffirming their commitment to mutual respect, sovereign equality, democracy and inclusiveness.

The July 25-27 is being held in South Africa's commercial hub of Johannesburg, under the theme “Brics in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”. 

The 4th Industrial Revolution refers to the fourth major industrial era since the initial one of the 18th century, marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.

"We recognise the importance of Brics scientific, technical, innovation and entrepreneurship cooperation for sustainable development and to enhance inclusive growth," the five leaders said.

"We welcome the dynamic development of Brics cooperation in science, technology and innovation and attach special importance to the advancement of our joint work in this area."

They also undertook to strengthen Brics cooperation in energy, especially in transitioning to more environmentally sustainable energy systems supportive of the global sustainable development agenda,balanced economic growth and the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens.

Brics member states continued to strive toward universal energy access, energy security, energy affordability, reduced pollution and environmental conservation and the diversification of energy supply sources, including renewable and low carbon energy sources, investments in energy and energy infrastructure, energy industry and market development and intra-Brics collaboration for access to primary energy sources would continue to underpin their energy security, the declaration added.

The Brics heads of state welcomed the improvement in the global economy, but noted that growth had been less synchronised and downside risks still remained.

"This is reflected in a variety of challenges including rising trade conflicts, geopolitical risks, commodity price volatility, high private and public indebtedness, inequality and not sufficiently inclusive growth," they said, reiterating a recurring refrain during the summit.

"We understand the critical importance of ensuring that the benefits from growth are shared in a more inclusive manner. We further stress the importance of a favourable external environment for sustained growth of global trade."

- African News Agency (ANA)