Sergey Katyrin: the creation of a unified digital infrastructure will be one of the priorities of the BRICS Business Council

The first meeting of the BRICS Business Council took place on March 12 via video conference. It was attended by the President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergei Katyrin, who heads the BRICS Business Council in the year of Russia's chairmanship, as well as leaders and representatives of national parts of other states - Busi Mabutsa (South Africa), Daniel Godinho (Brazil), Anshuman Hannah (India), Yang Song ( China).
In his speech, Sergei Katyrin noted that five new states have been taking full part in BRICS since the beginning of the year - the UAE, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia.
“I would like to emphasize that we sincerely welcome the entry of new member countries into the association. I am confident that BRICS, with its new, expanded composition, will in the very near future acquire even greater weight in the global economic arena. According to experts, the BRICS countries will provide almost 40% of global GDP by 2028, and this is a very serious figure,” he noted.
Sergei Katyrin reported that the Egyptian side has appointed the chairman of the national part of the BRICS Business Council. This is the President of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Ahmed Alouakil. Representatives of the diplomatic missions of these states accredited in Moscow agreed to participate in today’s meeting from other new member countries, he specified.
The Chairman of the BRICS BC highlighted the main priorities of the formation’s work for the current year. Firstly, this is the creation of a “seamless” transport and logistics infrastructure within the association, improving communications and modern logistics schemes, including through the development of the railway network. Secondly, the creation of a sustainable system of financial settlements, payment services and a mechanism for compiling BRICS credit ratings, as well as the development of cooperation in insurance markets. Thirdly, the creation of a unified digital infrastructure, as well as cooperation in such an important and relevant area today as artificial intelligence.
Also, traditionally, joint work will continue in the fields of agriculture, energy, and professional training.
Separately, Sergei Katyrin focused on proposals for reorganizing the structure of some working groups, expanding and deepening their work agenda. All these proposals were previously broadcast through the secretariats of the national parts of the BRICS BC.
He thanked his colleagues for supporting the proposal to create a subgroup on transport and logistics within the working group on infrastructure. Also, according to him, a unanimous decision was made regarding the renaming of the working group on professional training. Now it is a working group on professional training, applied technologies and innovation.
“For individual groups, we see the need to expand their agenda. Today, artificial intelligence is used in almost all areas of the economy. Ethical and regulatory issues arise in this area. In this regard, we propose to include issues of cooperation in the field of development of artificial intelligence on the agenda of the Working Group on the Digital Economy and accordingly change the name of the “Working Group on the Digital Economy and Development of Artificial Intelligence”. Also, due to the high relevance of the climate agenda, we propose to include “climate” in the agenda of the Working Group on Energy and Green Economy and rename it accordingly,” said Sergei Katyrin.
He drew the attention of the participants to the working group on small aviation, which during its work did not receive the expected development. One of the possible and most logical options for reorganizing this group is its merger with the Working Group on Industry, the head of the RF CCI indicated.
“Taking into account that for several years now investment issues have been on the agenda of the Working Group on Financial Services, we propose to rename it the “WG on Financial Services and Investments”, and the working group on Trade and Investment to the “WG on Interbank Cooperation, Trade and international cooperation,” he added.
Sergei Katyrin also spoke about the proposed BRICS BC events, which will be held in person.
Among them is the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will take place from June 5 to 8. This year it will be opened by a large-scale forum called “BRICS Partnership for Development”.
In September, Moscow will host the final stage of the Annual Competition of the Best BRICS Practices in the Field of Sustainable Development (BRICS Solutions Awards) and the awarding of the winners.
Key events will take place on October 17-18 in Moscow at the World Trade Center. Namely, the final meetings of the working groups and the annual meeting of the BRICS Business Council (October 17). The BRICS Business Forum is scheduled for October 18.
The culmination of the agenda will be a meeting of members of the BRICS Business Council with the heads of BRICS member states on October 22 in Kazan.

During the meeting, presentations were made by representatives of the working groups of the Russian part of the BRICS BC: Sergey Pavlov (WG on infrastructure, subgroup on transport and logistics), Valery Belyakov (WG on financial services and investments), Sergey Storchak (WG on interbank cooperation, trade and international cooperation), Alexey Ivanov (WG on industrial cooperation), Andrey Neznamov (WG on digital economy and artificial intelligence), Andrey Sapozhnikov (WG on energy, green economy and climate), Vladimir Nosov (WG on agriculture (agribusiness), Alina Doskanova (WG on professional training, applied technologies and innovations).
The next meeting of the BRICS Business Council will be held in June.
                                                                                                                    By Nail Shakhvaliyev