Putin encourages BRICS to collaborate on anti-virus programs

BRASILIA, Brazil — Russian President Vladimir Putin told fellow leaders of the BRICS group of emerging economy nations Wednesday that he supports more co-operation in information and computing.

“We would like the other countries to look at our advances in those areas to participate with us, including in anti-virus programs that are fundamental for the information sector,” Putin said.

Speaking at an event for business executives, Putin also told the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa that Russia has proposed a data-exchange network to help small- and medium-size companies in their nations to find suppliers more efficiently.

The five leaders gathered in Brazil’s capital underscored in speeches Wednesday night their greater integration aimed at boosting the countries’ economic growth.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said mounting protectionism and threats in the world have eroded international trade and investment, weighing down global growth.

China is in the midst of trade fight with the U.S. that has caused economic forecasts to slide.

Still, Xi said, the outlook for continued Chinese growth provides opportunities for the world.

“Looking forward, China’s resolve to open its market remains unchanged and so does its positive growth trajectory,” Xi said.

Prime Minister Narenda Modi of India said that taxation and customs process have become simpler between the five countries and that the business environment is becoming more conducive. But he asked business leaders for their help.

“Inter-BRICS trade and investment targets must be more ambitious. Your suggestions for further reducing trade costs between us will be very useful,” Modi said. “I would also like to request that we identify priority business sectors for us in the next 10 years and on the basis of these we create a blueprint for inter-BRICS co-operation.”

On Thursday, the leaders will hold the plenary session of the BRICS session and hold bilateral meetings.

The Associated Press