India has assumed the Presidency of BRICS in February,2016. Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues. BRICS cooperation has two pillars -consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as of Ministers of Finance, Trade & Health, S&T, Education, Agriculture, Communication, Labour etc. and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of Working Groups/Senior Officials. Regular annual Summits as well as meetings of Leaders on the margins of ILO, G20 Summits, etc. are also held.
First ever Meeting of BRICS Employment Working Group (BEWG) which is essentially a Senior Officers Level meeting between BRICS Countries to shape the agenda for Labour and Employment track in BRICS, has been scheduled to be held on 27th – 28th July, 2016 at Hyderabad. Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment will also address the meeting hosted by India. During this two days, there would be Sessions on, i) Finalization of BRICS Employment Working Group, ii) Presentation by ILO on “Employment Generation for Inclusive Growth”, iii) Presentation by India on Possible Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS nations and iv) Discussion on Draft BRICS Ministerial Declaration.
BEWG meeting is a prelude to the Meeting of BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meeting under the Indian Presidency, scheduled to be held on September, 27th– 28th,2016 at Agra.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa are the BRICS countries five major emerging economies, comprising 43% of the world population, having 37% of the world GDP and 17% share in the world trade. So far, Seven BRICS Summits have taken place and the 8th BRICS Summit will be hosted by India during its Chairmanship in 2016.
The Labour and Employment Ministers of BRICS Nations met for the first time at Ufa, Russia in January 2016 to deliberate upon core labour and employment issues concerning them like informality in the labour market, labour mobility, social security and ensuring decent work with the aim to attain the sustainable goals of poverty alleviation and employment generation. The first BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers recognized the setting up of an Employment Pillar as essential and this laid the foundation of BRICS Employment Working Group (BEWG). The Working Group would be deliberating labour and employment issues that are common to BRICS. These include, “Employment Generation for Inclusive Growth”, “Possible Social Security agreements amongst BRICS” and “Networking of Labour Institutes of BRICS”.
BRICS countries represent the changing face of labour market and reiterate commitment to work more closely in the area of labour and employment and realign our policy tools to the emerging economic & labour market needs.