Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Ahead Of Its Time: The Shanghai Gold Exchange....Hello Freed Gold.

China advances gold exchange launch, Singapore delays contract

(Reuters) - China will launch its international gold exchange 11 days ahead of schedule, sources said on Tuesday, racing ahead in the scramble to set up an Asian bullion benchmark as rival Singapore is forced to delay its gold contract due to technical issues.
Asia, home to the world's top two gold buyers - China and India, has been clamouring to gain pricing power over the metal and challenge the dominance of London and New York in trading.
The state-run Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch the global gold bourse in the Shanghai free-trade zone on Thursday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The SGE had initially planned the launch for Sept. 29.
The change was made based on the availability of some government officials to participate in the launch event, one of the sources said, adding that all 11 physical gold contracts will begin trading on Thursday.
The ability to bring forward the launch, which will mark the first time foreign players will be allowed to participate directly in China's physical gold market - the biggest in the world, shows the country's preparedness with the exchange that it is hoping will become the centre of Asian gold trading.
The response has been strong, with the bourse exceeding expectations in signing up trading members, Reuters reported earlier.
Meanwhile, Singapore has delayed the launch of its gold contract to October, two other sources said. The 25 kg contract was set to be launched on the Singapore Exchange this month. The delay was due to some technical issues in setting up the trading system, the sources said.
Officials at the Singapore Exchange and SGE were not immediately available for comment.
CME Group will launch a physically deliverable contract in Hong Kong later this year, while Dubai is also preparing to launch a contract. Thailand is also considering setting up a spot gold exchange. (Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

We Love Singapore More n More...

I am most grateful to GoldCore's Mark O'Byrne for agreeing to my request to publish in full his below article.

Singapore's drive to become gold hub continues

Singapore's plans to become a gold and precious metals hub took a key step forward Thursday.
Metalor Singapore – a newly created refinery in the Metalor Group – was added to the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) good delivery list.
“Metalor Singapore has also passed the LBMA’s exhaustive testing procedures, under which its gold bars were examined and assayed by independent referees, and its own assaying capabilities were tested,” Metalor said.
The refiner is located in Singapore City. Its primary sources of gold are scrap materials sourced from the jewelry sectors and its refined gold output is in the form of large gold bars for industry and institutional buyers.
Last month, Metalor Technologies opened its refining plant in Tuas, Singapore. The facility offers a complete range of refining services from evaluation of scrap to bullion production and is estimated to have a production capacity of up to 150 tonnes a year.
Speaking at the official opening, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said the gold industry will contribute significantly to Singapore’s economy. He said that it should create half a billion dollars (US$0.5 billion) extra value to the economy and generate 1,000 good professional, managerial, executive and technical jobs by 2020.
"We want to grow with the Asian market; that is the reason we wanted to be there," Hubert Angleys, CEO of Metalor Technologies, said. "We are located in the middle of the two largest gold consumer markets, China and India. We want to take advantage of this geographic location and certainly we are looking forward to getting metal from these two countries but also exporting, through our Singapore customers, metal to these two countries."
Singapore, already a banking, financial and wealth management hub in Asia, is ramping up its bid to become a center for gold trading that will rival London. Leading investment experts such as Jim Rogers, Jim Sinclair and Marc Faber have extolled the virtues of owning physical coins and bars in Singapore.
“Individuals are making a mistake if they’re holding all their assets in one country.…I still have the majority of my gold in Switzerland, but I am already moving gold to Asia,” Faber said.
Just three weeks ago, the Southeast Asian city-state unveiled plans to launch a physically deliverable gold contract in September to meet strong demand from Asia – home to the world's biggest gold buyers. The Singapore Exchange is launching a new gold contract which will be the world's first wholesale 25 kilo bar gold contract and will be made up of a series of six daily contracts.
"This gold contract is a plan two years in the making. The reason is that we have seen a trend of gold moving from West to East and there is actually no market place for market players to buy gold at a wholesale level," Albert Cheng, managing director of Far East at the World Gold Council, told CNBC.
The launch of the gold contract on the Singapore Exchange is supported by the World Gold Council, Singapore Bullion Market Association and four banks that include JP Morgan and Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered.
The launch of a gold contract in Singapore will bring centralized trading and clearing of physically cleared gold and could provide a price benchmark for gold trading in Asia. At a whopping 25 kilos, the gold bar in this contract is double the size of a typical London Good Delivery gold bar which is around 12 kilobars or 400 ounces. At today’s prices, each gold bar would be worth over $1 million.
Singapore is clearly targeting HNW, UHNW and family office gold buyers, not to mention institutional buyers with this contract.
At the moment the benchmark price for gold, known as the London fix, is set daily in London at times that both fall after the close of Asian markets. Asia still mostly relies on this fixing for the buying and selling of bullion in volume. The London fix is currently under scrutiny for manipulation and is likely to be taken over by the CME and Thomson Reuters as the silver fix was.
"This contract is meant for the Asian market," said the World Gold Council's Cheng, explaining why the contract will only be open for trade for three hours each day. "There is a robust London market, and that comes in later in the day. But in Asian hours – there is no morning market for wholesale trade. Having a structure means the wholesaler can contribute to the market, which then becomes more transparent."
Asia is the largest buyer of gold and one of the largest producers, so price discovery in Singapore makes increasing sense. Also, given growing demand for gold comes from within Asia it makes sense to have benchmark pricing within the region.
In 2010, Singapore set up a high-security storage facility called the Singapore Freeport that subleases storage space to storage providers. Two years ago, the government scrapped a sales tax for investment-grade gold and in the past year banks have set up gold vaults.
The other trend Singapore is trying to take advantage of is the growing wealth in the region. Research firm Wealth Insight expects the country to overtake Switzerland as the world's biggest hub of offshore wealth by 2020.


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Scratch Below This Surface

Yes, of course, the SDR will never make the light of day. Those running the show for the next couple of centuries don't want it, don't need it, and have already shown in the clearest possible terms that they won't be using it. This truth sits on the very surface of the below story.

Now, scratch a little deeper..... (not too far, mind you, we don't want you striking someone's Gold...)

China and Switzerland sign bilateral currency swap line

Chinese Renminbi notes
The central banks of China and Switzerland have struck a bilateral currency swap agreement, a move that advances the international use of the renminbi and boosts Switzerland’s hopes of becoming a trading hub for the Chinese currency.
Under the terms of the deal, signed in Beijing on Monday by Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, and Thomas Jordan, chairman of the Swiss National Bank, renminbi and Swiss francs can be purchased and repurchased between the two central banks, up to a limit of Rmb150bn or SFr21bn.
The deal comes amid fierce competition among western financial centres for renminbi business. Earlier this year, the PBoC struck deals with the Bundesbank in Frankfurt and the Bank of England in London which will make it easier for business to be settled in the Chinese currency in both centres.
The SNB said in a statement that the swap agreement was “a key prerequisite for the development of a renminbi market in Switzerland”, adding that it highlighted the increasingly close ties being forged between the two states. Last year, Switzerland became only the second European country after Iceland to sign a free trade deal with China.
The PBoC said that the deal would “promote greater convenience of trade and investment between the two countries, provide further liquidity support to Switzerland’s renminbi market, and boost overseas use of the renminbi”.
Renminbi trading represents a little more than 1 per cent of activity in the $5tn-a-day foreign exchange spot market, but its share has climbed steadily. China has reached bilateral currency swap lines with around 25 global central banks in a bid to promote international use of the renminbi.
Most of these lines have never been used, but they could prove useful in the event of financial turmoil. In 2008, US dollar funding costs soared forcing banks to pull back from trade finance and causing China’s foreign trade to tumble. Bilateral swap lines help to reduce the reliance on the dollar of the countries involved.
As part of the agreement, the PBoC also granted the SNB an investment quota for the Chinese interbank bond market worth Rmb15bn, or a little more than SFr2bn.
The SNB said that this would allow it to diversify its foreign currency reserves, which have swelled to SFr452bn in the last two and a half years. The steep increase follows the central bank’s decision to stop the Swiss franc from appreciating beyond SFr1.20 per euro, in the face of haven inflows sparked by the concerns about the stability of the eurozone.
At the end of the first quarter, the SNB held 48 per cent of its foreign currency reserves in euros, 26 per cent in dollars, 8 per cent in yen, and 7 per cent in sterling.
China has been slowly opening up its domestic capital markets to foreign investment. Foreign institutions held Rmb437bn in Chinese domestic bonds at the end of June, according to China’s main bond clearing house.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Welcome To The Unstoppable Future (Where Gold Bullion is King)

Sixth BRICS Summit – Fortaleza Declaration

1. We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Fortaleza, Brazil, on 15 July 2014 at the Sixth BRICS Summit. To inaugurate the second cycle of BRICS Summits, the theme chosen for our discussions was “Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions”, in keeping with the inclusive macroeconomic and social policies carried out by our governments and the imperative to address challenges to humankind posed by the need to simultaneously achieve growth, inclusiveness, protection and preservation. 
2. In the aftermath of the first cycle of five Summits, hosted by every BRICS member, our coordination is well established in various multilateral and plurilateral initiatives and intra-BRICS cooperation is expanding to encompass new areas. Our shared views and commitment to international law and to multilateralism, with the United Nations at its center and foundation, are widely recognized and constitute a major contribution to global peace, economic stability, social inclusion, equality, sustainable development and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries. 
3. We renew our openness to increasing engagement with  other countries, particularly developing countries and emerging market economies, as well as with international and regional organizations, with a view to fostering cooperation and solidarity in our relations with all nations and peoples. To that effect, we will hold a joint session with the leaders of the South American nations, under the theme of the Sixth BRICS Summit, with a view to furthering cooperation between BRICS and South America. We reaffirm our support for the South American integration processes, and recognize in particular the importance of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in promoting peace and democracy in the region, and in achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication. We believe that strengthened dialogue among BRICS and South American countries can play an active role in enhancing multilateralism and international cooperation, for the promotion of peace, security, economic and social progress and sustainable development in an interdependent and increasingly complex, globalizing world. 
4. Since its inception the BRICS have been guided by the overarching objectives of peace, security, development and cooperation. In this new cycle, while remaining committed to those objectives, we pledge to deepen our partnership with a renewed vision, based on openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. In this sense, we are ready to explore new areas towards a comprehensive cooperation and a closer economic partnership to facilitate market inter-linkages, financial integration, infrastructure connectivity as well as people-to-people contacts. 
5. The Sixth Summit takes place at a crucial juncture, as the international community assesses how to address the challenges of strong economic recovery from the global financial crises, sustainable development, including climate change, while also formulating the post-2015 Development Agenda. At the same time, we are confronted with persistent political instability and conflict in various global hotspots and non-conventional emerging threats. On the other hand, international governance structures designed within a different power configuration show increasingly evident signs of losing legitimacy and effectiveness, as transitional and ad hoc arrangements become increasingly prevalent, often at the expense of multilateralism. We believe the BRICS are an important force for incremental change and reform of current institutions towards more representative and equitable governance, capable of generating more inclusive global growth and fostering a stable, peaceful and prosperous world. 
6. During the first cycle of BRICS Summits, collectively our economies have consolidated their position as the main engines for sustaining the pace of the international economy as it recovers from the recent economic and financial global crisis. The BRICS continue to contribute significantly to global growth and to the reduction of poverty in our own and other countries. Our economic growth and social inclusion policies have helped to stabilize global economy, to foster the creation of jobs, to reduce poverty, and to combat inequality, thus contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this new cycle, besides its contribution in fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth, BRICS will continue to play a significant role in promoting social development and in contributing to define the international agenda in this area, building on its experience in addressing the challenges of poverty and inequality. 
7. To better reflect the advancement of the social policies of the BRICS and the positive impacts of its economic growth, we instruct our National Institutes of Statistics and the Ministries of Health and Education to work on the development of joint methodologies for social indicators to be incorporated in the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication. We also encourage the BRICS Think Tanks Council to provide technical support in this task. We further request the BRICS National Institutes of Statistics to discuss the viability and feasibility of a platform for the development of such methodologies and to report thereon. 
8. The world economy has strengthened, with signs of improvement in some advanced economies. Significant downside risks to this recovery remain, however. Unemployment and debt levels are worryingly high and growth remains weak in many advanced economies. Emerging market economies and developing countries (EMDCs) continue to contribute significantly to global growth and will do so in the years to come. Even as the global economy strengthens, monetary policy settings in some advanced economies may bring renewed stress and volatility to financial markets and changes in monetary stance need to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated in order to minimize negative spillovers.
9. Strong macroeconomic frameworks, well regulated financial markets and robust levels of reserves have allowed EMDCs in general, and the BRICS in particular, to better deal with the risks and spillovers presented by the challenging economic conditions in the last few years. Nevertheless, further macroeconomic coordination amongst all major economies, in particular in the G20, remains a critical factor for strengthening the prospects for a vigorous and sustainable recovery worldwide. In this context, we reaffirm our strong commitment to continue working among ourselves and with the global community to foster financial stability, support sustainable, stronger and inclusive growth and promote quality jobs. The BRICS stand ready to contribute to the G20 goal of lifting our collective GDP by more than 2 percent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming 5 years. 
10. We commend Russia for the successful work during its presidency of the G20 in 2013. The institution of the BRICS Summits largely coincided with the beginning of the global crisis, the first G20 Summits and the consolidation of that Group as the premier forum for economic coordination among its members. As a new round of BRICS Summits begins, we remain committed to deliver constructive responses to global economic and financial challenges and to serve as a strong voice for the promotion of sustainable development, inclusive growth, financial stability and of more representative international economic governance. We will continue to pursue our fruitful coordination and to promote our development goals within the international economic system and financial architecture. 
11. BRICS, as well as other EMDCs, continue to face significant financing constraints to address infrastructure gaps and sustainable development needs. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the signing of the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB), with the purpose of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging and developing economies. We appreciate the work undertaken by our Finance Ministers. Based on sound banking principles, the NDB will strengthen the cooperation among our countries and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to our collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. 
12. The Bank shall have an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion. The initial subscribed capital shall be of US$ 50 billion, equally shared among founding members. The first chair of the Board of Governors shall be from Russia. The first chair of the Board of Directors shall be from Brazil. The first President of the Bank shall be from India. The headquarters of the Bank shall be located in Shanghai. The New Development Bank Africa Regional Center shall be established in South Africa concurrently with the headquarters. We direct our Finance Ministers to work out the modalities for its operationalization.
13. We are pleased to announce the signing of the Treaty for the establishment of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with an initial size of US$ 100 billion. This arrangement will have a positive precautionary effect, help countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements. We appreciate the work undertaken by our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The Agreement is a framework for the provision of liquidity through currency swaps in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures. 
14. We also welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation among BRICS Export Credit and Guarantees Agencies that will improve the support environment for increasing trade opportunities among our nations. 
15. We appreciate the progress our Development Banks have made in enhancing and strengthening the financial ties among BRICS countries. Given the importance of adopting innovation initiatives, we welcome the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement on Innovation within the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism. 
16. We recognize that there is potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to pool capacities. We direct our relevant authorities to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard. 
17. We believe that sustainable development and economic growth will be facilitated by taxation of revenue generated in jurisdictions where economic activity takes place. We express our concern over the harmful impact of tax evasion, transnational fraud and aggressive tax planning on the world economy. We are aware of the challenges brought by aggressive tax avoidance and non-compliance practices. We, therefore, affirm our commitment to continue a cooperative approach on issues related to tax administrations and to enhance cooperation in the international forums targeting tax base erosion and information exchange for tax purposes. We direct our relevant authorities to explore ways of enhancing cooperation in this area. We also direct our relevant authorities to strengthen cooperation in the field of customs. 
18. We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness. The IMF reform process is based on high-level commitments, which already strengthened the Fund's resources and must also lead to the modernization of its governance structure so as to better reflect the increasing weight of EMDCs in the world economy. The Fund must remain a quota-based institution. We call on the membership of the IMF to find ways to implement the 14th General Review of Quotas without further delay. We reiterate our call on the IMF to develop options to move ahead with its reform process, with a view to ensuring increased voice and representation of EMDCs, in case the 2010 reforms are not entered into force by the end of the year. We also call on the membership of the IMF to reach a final agreement on a new quota formula together with the 15th General Review of Quotas so as not to further jeopardize the postponed deadline of January 2015. 
19.       We welcome the goals set by the World Bank Group to help countries end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity. We recognize the potential of this new strategy in support of the fulfillment of these ambitious goals by the international community. This potential will only be realized, however, if the institution and its membership effectively move towards more democratic governance structures, strengthen the Bank's financial capacity and explore innovative ways to enhance development financing and knowledge sharing while pursuing a strong client orientation that recognizes each country's development needs. We look forward to initiating the work on the next shareholding review at the World Bank as soon as possible in order to meet the agreed deadline of October 2015. In this sense, we call for an international financial architecture that is more conducive to overcoming development challenges. We have been very active in improving the international financial architecture through our multilateral coordination and through our financial cooperation initiatives, which will, in a complementary manner, increase the diversity and availability of resources for promoting development and ensuring stability in the global economy. 
20. We are committed to raise our economic cooperation to a qualitatively new level. To achieve this, we emphasize the importance of establishing a road map for intra-BRICS economic cooperation. In this regard, we welcome the proposals for a “BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy” and a “Framework of BRICS Closer Economic Partnership”, which lay down steps to promote intra-BRICS economic, trade and investment cooperation. Based on the documents tabled and informed by the input of the BRICS Think Tanks Council (BTTC), we instruct our Sherpas to advance discussions with a view to submit their proposal for endorsement by the next BRICS Summit. 
21. We believe all countries should enjoy due rights, equal opportunities and fair participation in global economic, financial and trade affairs, recognizing that countries have different capacities and are at different levels of development. We strive for an open world economy with efficient allocation of resources, free flow of goods, and fair and orderly competition to the benefit of all. In reaffirming our support for an open, inclusive, non-discriminatory, transparent and rule-based multilateral trading system, we will continue our efforts towards the successful conclusion of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), following the positive results of the Ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9), held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to establish by the end of this year a post-Bali work program for concluding the Doha Round, based on the progress already made and in keeping with the mandate established in the Doha Development Agenda. We affirm that this work program should prioritize the issues where legally binding outcomes could not be achieved at MC9, including Public Stock-Holding for Food Security Purposes. We look forward to the implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation. We call upon international partners to provide support to the poorest, most vulnerable WTO members to enable them to implement this Agreement, which should support their development objectives. We strongly support the WTO dispute settlement system as a cornerstone of the security and predictability of the multilateral trading system and we will enhance our ongoing dialogue on substantive and practical matters relating to it, including in the ongoing negotiations on WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding reform. We recognize the importance of Regional Trade Agreements, which should complement the multilateral trading system, and of keeping them open, inclusive and transparent, as well as refraining from introducing exclusive and discriminatory clauses and standards. 
22. We reaffirm the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) mandate as the focal point in the UN system dedicated to consider the interrelated issues of trade, investment, finance and technology from a development perspective. UNCTAD’s mandate and work are unique and necessary to deal with the challenges of development and growth in the increasingly interdependent global economy. In congratulating UNCTAD for the 50th anniversary of its foundation in 2014, which is also the anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77, we further reaffirm the importance of strengthening UNCTAD’s capacity to deliver on its programs of consensus building, policy dialogue, research, technical cooperation and capacity building so that it is better equipped to deliver on its development mandate.

23. We acknowledge the important role that State Owned Companies (SOCs) play in the economy and encourage our SOCs to continue to explore ways of cooperation, exchange of information and best practices. We also recognize the fundamental role played by small and medium-sized enterprises in the economies of our countries as major creators of jobs and wealth. We will enhance cooperation and recognize the need for strengthening intra-BRICS dialogue with a view to promote international exchange and cooperation and to foster innovation, research and development. 
24. We underline that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN) and the end of the Second World War. In this connection, we support the UN to initiate and organize commemorative events to mark and pay tribute to these two historical moments in human history, and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding a just and fair international order based on the UN Charter, maintaining world peace and security, as well as promoting human progress and development.
25. We reiterate our strong commitment to the UN as the fundamental multilateral organization entrusted with helping the international community maintain international peace and security, protect and foster human rights and promote sustainable development. The UN enjoys universal membership and is at the very center of global governance and multilateralism. We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. We reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to Brazil, India and South Africa's status and role in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN. 
26. We recall that development and security are closely interlinked, mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace. We reiterate our view that the establishment of sustainable peace requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equity and cooperation, that addresses the root causes of conflicts, including their political, economic and social dimensions. In this context, we also stress the close interrelation between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. We also highlight the importance of bringing gender perspectives to conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. 
27. We will continue our joint efforts in coordinating positions and acting on shared interests on global peace and security issues for the common well-being of humanity. We stress our commitment to the sustainable and peaceful settlement of disputes, according to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasize the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others. 
28. We agree to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development, in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. We will foster dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect in the field of human rights, both within BRICS and in multilateral fora – including the United Nations Human Rights Council where all BRICS serve as members in 2014 – taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfill human rights in a non-selective, non-politicized and constructive manner, and without double standards. 
29. We commend the efforts made by the United Nations, the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), among others, in support for the realization of legislative and presidential elections in Guinea Bissau, paving the way for the return to constitutional democracy in the country. We recognize the importance of promoting long-term political stability in Guinea-Bissau, which necessarily encompasses measures to reduce food insecurity and to advance a comprehensive security sector reform, as proposed by the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Similarly, we also welcome the efforts of the UN, AU and Southern African Development Community (SADC) in support of legislative and presidential elections in Madagascar, assisting in the return of constitutional democracy in the country. 
30. We commend the efforts of the international community in addressing instability in Africa through engagement with, and coordination by, the AU and its Peace and Security Council. We express our deep concern at the deterioration of the security and the humanitarian situation in West Africa. We call upon all parties in these conflicts to cease hostilities, exercise restraint and engage in dialogue to ensure return to peace and stability. However, we also note the progress that has been made in areas of the region in addressing political and security challenges. 
31. We also express our concern with the plight of the abducted women and children of Chibok and call for an end to the continued terrorist acts perpetrated by Boko Haram.
32. We support the efforts of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in its task to help the Government of Mali fully stabilize the country, facilitate national political dialogue, protect civilians, monitor the human rights situation, create conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced persons, and extend the State authority in the whole country. We emphasize the importance of an inclusive political process; the immediate implementation of a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process; and political, economic and social development in order for Mali to achieve sustainable peace and stability. 
33. We express our concern about the ongoing political and humanitarian crises in South Sudan. We condemn the continuation of violence against civilians and call upon all parties to ensure a safe environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We also condemn the continuation of confrontations despite the successive commitments to the cessation of hostilities and express our belief that a sustainable solution to the crisis is only possible through an inclusive political dialogue aimed at national reconciliation. We support, in this regard, the regional efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, especially the mediation process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). We welcome the "Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan", signed on May 9, and expect the political leaders of South Sudan to remain committed to the negotiation process and to the completion of dialogue on the formation of a transitional government of national unity within 60 days, as announced by IGAD on June 10. We commend the efforts of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to fulfill its mandate and express our deep concern about the armed attacks that were led against UN bases in the country. 
34. We reiterate our grave concern with the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). We strongly condemn the abuses and acts of violence against the civilian population, including sectarian violence, and urge all armed groups to cease hostilities immediately. We recognize the efforts of the Economic Community of Central African States and the AU to restore peace and stability in the country. We commend the establishment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA). We express our support for a successful transition from the African-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) to MINUSCA by 15 September 2014. We urge the transitional authorities in the CAR to adhere strictly to the N'Djamena Roadmap. We call upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need. We reaffirm our readiness to work with the international community to assist the CAR in accelerating the implementation of the political process of the country. 
35. We support the efforts by the UN, in particular the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), deployed under UN Security Council resolution 2098, and the regional and sub-regional organizations to bring peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and we call upon all involved to honor their obligations in order to achieve lasting peace and stability in the DRC. 
36. We welcome the AU Malabo Summit decision to establish an interim African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) by October 2014 to respond quickly to crisis situations as they arise. We stress the importance of adequate support to ensure the timely operationalization of the ACIRC, pending the final establishment of the African Stand-by Force.
37. We express deep concern about the ongoing violence and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria and condemn the increasing violations of human rights by all parties. We reiterate our view that there is no military solution to the conflict, and highlight the need to avoid its further militarization. We call upon all parties to commit immediately to a complete cease-fire, to halt violence and to allow and facilitate immediate, safe, full and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations and agencies, in compliance with the UN Security Council resolution 2139. We recognize practical steps undertaken by the Syrian parties in implementing its requirements, including the practice of local cease-fire agreements reached between the Syrian authorities and the opposition forces.
            We reiterate our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever it occurs. We are gravely concerned at the continued threat of terrorism and extremism in Syria. We call on all Syrian parties to commit to putting an end to terrorist acts perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist organizations.
            We strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons in any circumstances. We welcome the decision of the Syrian Arab Republic to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. In accordance with related Organization for the Proscription of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council decisions and UN Security Council resolution 2118, we reiterate the importance of the complete removal and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons. We commend the progress in that regard and welcome the announcement that the removal of declared chemicals from the Syrian Arab Republic was completed. We call on all Syrian parties and interested external actors with relevant capabilities to work closely together and with the OPCW and the UN to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission in its final stage.
            We support the mediation role played by the UN. We appreciate the contribution made by former Joint UN – Arab League Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, and welcome the appointment of Mr. Staffan De Mistura as UN Special Envoy to Syria, and express our hope for his active efforts to promote an early resumption of comprehensive negotiations.  We recall that national dialogue and reconciliation are key to the political solution for the Syrian crisis. We take note of the recent Syrian presidential elections. We stress that only an inclusive political process, led by the Syrians, as recommended in the Action Group on Syria Final Communiqué of 2012, will lead to peace, effective protection of civilians, the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian society for freedom and prosperity and respect for Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We emphasize that a national reconciliation process needs to be launched as early as possible, in the interest of the national unity of Syria. To that end, we urge all parties in Syria to demonstrate political will, enhance mutual understanding, exercise restraint and commit to seeking common ground in accommodating their differences.
38. We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the universally recognized international legal framework, including the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. We believe that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a fundamental component for building a sustainable peace in the Middle East. We call upon Israel and Palestine to resume negotiations leading to a two-State solution with a contiguous and economically viable Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with Israel, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders based on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We oppose the continuous construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Government, which violates international law, gravely undermines peace efforts and threatens the viability of the two-State solution. We welcome recent efforts to achieve intra-Palestinian unity, including the formation of a national unity government and steps towards conducting general elections, which is key element to consolidate a democratic and sustainable Palestinian State, and call on the parties to fully commit to the obligations assumed by Palestine. We call on the UN Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We recall with satisfaction the decision of the UN General Assembly to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, welcome the efforts of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in providing assistance and protection for Palestine refugees and encourage the international community to continue to support the activities of the agency.
39. We express our support for the convening, at the earliest possible date, of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. We call upon all states of the region to attend the Conference and to engage constructively and in a pragmatic manner with a view to advancing that goal.
40. Noting the open-ended consultations on a draft International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities, and the active and constructive engagement of our countries in these consultations, we call for an inclusive and consensus-based multilateral negotiation to be conducted within the framework of the UN without specific deadlines in order to reach a balanced outcome that addresses the needs and reflects the concerns of all participants. Reaffirming our will that the exploration and use of outer space shall be for peaceful purposes, we stress that negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space remain a priority task of the Conference on Disarmament, and welcome the introduction by China and Russia of the updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects.
41. While reiterating our view that there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, we reaffirm our support to its resolution through political and diplomatic means and dialogue. In this context, we welcome the positive momentum generated by talks between Iran and the E3+3 and encourage the thorough implementation of the Geneva Joint Plan of Action of 24 November 2013, with a view to achieving a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to this issue. We also encourage Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue strengthening their cooperation and dialogue on the basis of the Joint Statement signed on 11 November 2013. We recognize Iran's inalienable right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a manner consistent with its international obligations.
42. Recognizing that peace, security and development are closely interlinked, we reaffirm that Afghanistan needs time, development assistance and cooperation, preferential access to world markets and foreign investment to attain lasting peace and stability. We support the commitment of the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan during the transformation decade (2015-2024), as enunciated at the Bonn International Conference in December 2011. We stress that the UN should play an increasingly important role in assisting Afghanistan's national reconciliation, recovery and economic reconstruction. We also reaffirm our commitment to support Afghanistan's emergence as a peaceful, stable and democratic state, free of terrorism and extremism, and underscore the need for more effective regional and international cooperation for the stabilization of Afghanistan, including by combating terrorism. We extend support to the efforts aimed at combating illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan within the framework of the Paris Pact. We expect a broad-based and inclusive peace process in Afghanistan which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We welcome the second round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan which contribute to the democratic transfer of power in this country. We welcome China’s offer to host the Fourth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in August 2014.
43. We are deeply concerned by the situation in Iraq. We strongly support the Iraqi government in its effort to overcome the crisis, uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are concerned about spillover effects of the instability in Iraq resulting from increased terrorist activities in the region, and urge all parties to address the terrorist threat in a consistent manner. We urge all regional and global players to refrain from interference that will further deepen the crisis and to support the Iraqi government and the people of Iraq in their efforts to overcome the crisis, and build a stable, inclusive and united Iraq. We emphasize the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq, taking into consideration the wars and conflicts the Iraqi people have sufferedand in this context we commend the peaceful and orderly holding of the latest parliamentary elections.
44. We express our deep concern with the situation in Ukraine. We call for a comprehensive dialogue, the de-escalation of the conflict and restraint from all the actors involved, with a view to finding a peaceful political solution, in full compliance with the UN Charter and universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
45. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to tackle transnational organized crime, with full respect for human rights, in order to reduce the negative impact it has on individuals and societies. We encourage joint efforts aimed at preventing and combating transnational criminal activities in accordance with national legislations and international legal instruments, especially the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In this regard, we welcome BRICS cooperation in multilateral fora, highlighting our engagement in the ECOSOC Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
46. Piracy and armed robbery at sea are complex phenomena that must be fought effectively in a comprehensive and integrated manner. We welcome the efforts made by the international community to counter maritime piracy and call upon all stakeholders – civilian and military, public and private – to remain engaged in the fight against this phenomenon.  We also highlight the need for a transparent and objective review of the High Risk Areas, with a view to avoiding unnecessary negative effects on the economy and security of coastal states.  We commit to strengthen our cooperation on this serious issue.
47. We are deeply concerned by the world drug problem, which continues to threaten public health, safety and well-being and to undermine social, economic and political stability and sustainable development. We are committed to countering the world drug problem, which remains a common and shared responsibility, through an integrated, multidisciplinary, mutually reinforcing and balanced approach to supply and demand reduction strategies, in line with the three UN drug conventions and other relevant norms and principles of international law. We welcome the substantive work done by Russia in preparing and hosting the International Ministers Meeting on 15 May 2014 to discuss the world drug problem. We take note of the proposal for the creation of an Anti-Drug Working Group presented at the Second Meeting of BRICS Heads of Drug Control Agencies.
48. We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic, or any other justification. We call upon all entities to refrain from financing, encouraging, providing training for or otherwise supporting terrorist activities. We believe that the UN has a central role in coordinating international action against terrorism, which must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, and with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We express our concern at the increasing use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters, of information and communications technologies (ICTs), in particular the Internet and other media, and reiterate that such technologies can be powerful tools in countering the spread of terrorism, including by promoting tolerance and dialogue among peoples. We will continue to work together to conclude as soon as possible negotiations and to adopt in the UN General Assembly the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We also stress the need to promote cooperation among our countries in preventing terrorism, especially in the context of major events.
49. We believe that ICTs should provide instruments to foster sustainable economic progress and social inclusion, working together with the ICT industry, civil society and academia in order to realize the ICT-related potential opportunities and benefits for all. We agree that particular attention should be given to young people and to small and medium-sized enterprises, with a view to promoting international exchange and cooperation, as well as to fostering innovation, ICT research and development. We agree that the use and development of ICTs through international cooperation and universally accepted norms and principles of international law is of paramount importance, in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and open digital and Internet space. We strongly condemn acts of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular the right to privacy. We take note of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet, held in São Paulo, on 23-24 April 2014. We thank Brazil for having organized it.
50. We will explore cooperation on combating cybercrimes and we also recommit to the negotiation of a universal legally binding instrument in that field. We consider that the UN has a central role in this matter. We agree it is necessary to preserve ICTs, particularly the Internet, as an instrument of peace and development and to prevent its use as a weapon. Moreover, we commit ourselves to working together in order to identify possibilities of developing joint activities to address common security concerns in the use of ICTs. We reiterate the common approach set forth in the eThekwini Declaration about the importance of security in the use of ICTs. We welcome the decision of the National Security Advisors to establish a group of experts of BRICS member States which will elaborate practical proposals concerning major fields of cooperation and coordinate our positions in international fora. Bearing in mind the significance of these issues, we take note of Russia’s proposal of a BRICS agreement on cooperation in this field to be jointly elaborated.
51. We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols, with special attention to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets. We recognize the challenge posed by the agreed targets on conservation of biodiversity and reaffirm the need to implement the decisions on resource mobilization agreed to by all parties in Hyderabad in 2012, and set resource mobilization targets that are ambitious in order to allow for their fulfillment.
52. Acknowledging that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind, we call on all countries to build upon the decisions adopted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a view to reaching a successful conclusion by 2015, of negotiations on the development of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, in accordance with the principles and provisions of UNFCCC, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. In this regard, we reiterate our support to the Presidency of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, to be held in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. We also note the convening of the UN Climate Summit 2014 to be held this September.
53. While bearing in mind that fossil fuel remains one of the major sources of energy, we reiterate our belief that renewable and clean energy, research and development of new technologies and energy efficiency, can constitute an important driver to promote sustainable development, create new economic growth, reduce energy costs and increase the efficiency in the use of natural resources. Considering the dynamic link between renewable and clean energy and sustainable development, we reaffirm the importance of continuing international efforts aimed at promoting the deployment of renewable and clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, taking into account national policies, priorities and resources. We stand for strengthening international cooperation to promote renewable and clean energy and to universalize energy access, which is of great importance to improving the standard of living of our peoples.
54. We are committed to working towards an inclusive, transparent and participative intergovernmental process for building a universal and integrated development agenda with poverty eradication as the central and overarching objective. The agenda should integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced and comprehensive manner with concise, implementable and measurable goals, taking into account differing national realities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. The Post-2015 Development Agenda must also be based on and fully respect all Rio principles on sustainable development, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We welcome the outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals, which decided to launch an intergovernmental process at the beginning of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly that will lead to the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
55. We reiterate our commitment to the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to working together to achieve a consensual and ambitious proposal on SDGs. We emphasize the importance of the work by the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing and highlight the need for an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources in achieving sustainable development objectives and supporting developing countries in the implementation efforts, with ODA as a major source of financing. We support the creation of a facilitation mechanism for the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies and call for the establishment of a working group within the UN on this proposal, taking into account the Rio+20 outcome document and the Secretary General's reports on the issue. In this regard, we reaffirm that the outcome of each of these processes can contribute to the formulation of Sustainable Development Goals.
56. We recognize the strategic importance of education for sustainable development and inclusive economic growth. We reaffirm our commitment to accelerating progress in attaining the Education for All goals and education-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and stress that the development agenda beyond 2015 should build on these goals to ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning for all. We are willing to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in the area and welcome the meeting of Ministers of Education held in Paris, in November 2013. We intend to continue cooperation with relevant international organizations. We encourage the initiative to establish the BRICS Network University.
57. In March 2014 we agreed to collaborate through dialogue, cooperation, sharing of experiences and capacity building on population related matters of mutual concern to member states. We recognize the vital importance of the demographic dividend that many of us possess to advance our sustainable development as well as the need to integrate population factors into national development plans, and to promote a long-term balanced population and development. The demographic transition and post-transition challenges, including population ageing and mortality reduction are amongst the most important challenges facing the world today. We confirm our strong commitment to address social issues in general and in particular gender inequality, women's rights and issues facing young people and we reaffirm our determination to ensure sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all.
58. We recognize that corruption negatively affects sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and financial stability. We are committed to combat domestic and foreign bribery, and strengthen international cooperation, including law enforcement cooperation, in accordance with multilaterally established principles and norms, especially the UN Convention Against Corruption.
59. Considering the link between culture and sustainable development, as well as the role of cultural diplomacy as a promoter of understanding between peoples, we will encourage cooperation between BRICS countries in the cultural sector, including on the multilateral basis. Recognizing the contribution and the benefits of cultural exchanges and cooperation in enhancing our mutual understanding and friendship, we will actively promote greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of each other’s arts and culture. In this regard, we ask our relevant authorities responsible for culture to explore areas of practical cooperation, including to expedite negotiations on the draft agreement on cultural cooperation.
60. We are pleased with progress in implementing the eThekwini Action Plan, which further enhanced our cooperation and unleashed greater potential for our development. In this regard, we commend South Africa for the full implementation of the eThekwini Action Plan.
61. We are committed to promoting agricultural cooperation and to exchange information regarding strategies for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable population, reduction of negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climate change. We recall with satisfaction the decision of UN General Assembly to declare 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.
62. We take note of the following meetings which were held in preparation for this Summit:
- Third BRICS Think Tanks Council (BTTC);
- Third BRICS Business Council;
- Sixth Academic Forum;
- Fifth Business Forum;
- Fourth Financial Forum.
63. We welcome the outcomes of the meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and endorse the Joint Communiqué of the Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers held in preparation for the Summit.
64. The 5th edition of the BRICS Business Forum provided an opportunity for match-making and for in-depth discussion of highly relevant issues of the trade and investment agenda. We welcome the meeting of the BRICS Business Council and commend it for its Annual Report 2013/2014. We encourage the respective business communities to follow-up the initiatives proposed and to deepen dialogue and cooperation in the five areas dealt with by the Industry/Sector Working Groups with a view to intensifying trade and investment flows amongst BRICS countries as well as between BRICS and other partners around the world.
65. We reiterate our commitment made during the BRICS Leaders-Africa Retreat at the 5th BRICS Summit to foster and develop BRICS-Africa cooperation in support of the socioeconomic development of Africa, particularly with regard to infrastructure development and industrialization. We welcome the inclusion of these issues in discussions during the BRICS Business Council Meeting, held in Johannesburg in August 2013.
66. We welcome the BTTC Study “Towards a Long-Term Strategy for BRICS: Recommendations by the BTTC”. We acknowledge the decision taken by the BTTC, taken at its Rio de Janeiro meeting in March 2014 to focus its work on the five pillars upon which the BRICS long-term strategy for cooperation will rest. The BTTC is encouraged to develop strategic pathways and action plans that will lead to the realization of this long-term strategy.
67. We welcome the holding of the first Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Cape Town Declaration, which is aimed at: (i) strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation; (ii) addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences and complementarities; (iii) co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes utilizing appropriate funding and investment instruments; and (iv) promoting, where appropriate, joint BRICS partnerships with other strategic actors in the developing world. We instruct the BRICS Ministers of Science and Technology to sign at their next meeting the Memorandum of Understanding on Science, Technology and Innovation, which provides a strategic framework for cooperation in this field.
68. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Information Sharing and Exchange Platform, which seeks to facilitate trade and investment cooperation.
69. We will continue to improve competition policy and enforcement, undertake actions to address challenges that BRICS Competition Authorities face and further enable competitive environments in order to enhance contributions to economic growth in our economies. We note South Africa’s offer to host the 4th Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2015.
70. We reiterate our commitment to fostering our partnership for common development. To this end, we adopt the Fortaleza Action Plan.
71. Russia, India, China and South Africa extend their warm appreciation to the Government and people of Brazil for hosting the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza.
72. Brazil, India, China and South Africa convey their appreciation to Russia for its offer to host the Seventh BRICS Summit in 2015 in the city of Ufa and extend their full support to that end.
Fortaleza Action Plan
1. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs / International Relations on the margins of UN General Assembly.
2. Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors.
3. Mid-term meeting of BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas.
4. Meetings of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the margins of G20 meetings, WB/IMF meetings, as well as stand-alone meetings, as required.
5. Meetings of BRICS Trade Ministers on the margin of multilateral events, or stand-alone meetings, as required.
6. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, preceded by the Meeting of BRICS Agricultural Cooperation Working Group.
7. Meeting of BRICS Health Ministers.
8. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation.
9. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education.
10. Meeting of Ministers or Senior Officials responsible for social security, on the margins of a multilateral meeting.
11. BRICS Seminar of Officials and Experts on Population Matters.
12. Meeting of BRICS Cooperatives (held in Curitiba on 14-16 May 2014).
13. Meetings of financial and fiscal authorities on the margins of WB/IMF meetings as well as stand-alone meetings, as required.
14. Meetings of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI).
15. Meeting of the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum.
16. Meeting of the BRICS Urbanization Forum.
17. Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2015 in South Africa.
18. Meeting of BRICS Heads of National Statistical Institutions.
19. Meeting of Anti-Drug Experts.
20. Meeting of BRICS Experts on Anti-corruption cooperation, on the margins of a multilateral meeting
21. Consultations amongst BRICS Permanent Missions and/or Embassies, as appropriate, in New York, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Washington, Nairobi and Geneva, where appropriate.
22. Consultative meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on the margins of relevant sustainable development, environment and climate related international fora, where appropriate.
23. Sports and Mega Sporting Events. 
New areas of cooperation to be explored
- Mutual recognition of Higher Education Degrees and Diplomas;
- Labor and Employment, Social Security, Social Inclusion Public Policies;
- Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue;
- Insurance and reinsurance;
- Seminar of Experts on E-commerce.

The 4th Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers - Joint Communiqué - Fortaleza, 14 July 2014

The Ministers responsible for trade of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in Fortaleza, Brazil, on 14 July 2014, on the eve of the Sixth BRICS Summit.
Global economic developments and their impact on trade and investment
1. The BRICS Trade Ministers reviewed the global economic situation and expressed concern at the slow pace of recovery, which continues to hinder trade and investment flows. They noted that the uncertainty regarding economic growth and policy responses in developed countries could lead to increased volatility in financial markets and further affect the international economy. They emphasized that updating international governance structures remains a necessity for better policy coordination and for the promotion of global economic prosperity.
2. The Ministers expressed their confidence that, in spite of the challenging economic environment, the BRICS countries will continue to contribute to the global economic recovery. They welcomed the expansion of trade and investment among the BRICS countries and vowed to continue to work to further strengthen their economic relations. In this context, they reaffirmed their commitment to refrain from trade protectionist measures that are incompatible with WTO obligations, while respecting the special and differential treatment for developing countries.
Current state of play in the WTO and the way forward
3. The BRICS Trade Ministers noted the succesful outcome of the WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali in December 2013. They undertook to pursue vigourously the achievement of the objectives and timelines set out in the Bali Ministerial decisions. They reaffirmed the importance of an open and rules-based multilateral trading system and underlined the central role of the WTO in setting rules for global trade.
4. The Ministers emphasized that the conclusion of the Doha Round on the basis of its development mandate remains central to the objective of promoting the full integration of developing countries into the global trading system.
5. The Ministers affirmed their commitment to coordinate efforts with a view to ensuring that the efforts to establish a work programme in the WTO will lead to a balanced, transparent, inclusive and development-oriented outcome in all pillars. The Ministers also reaffirmed that the work programme should reflect the centrality of agriculture and of the development dimension and the commitment to prioritise the issues where legally-binding outcomes could not be achieved at the Bali Ministerial Conference. The Ministers also noted the importance of NAMA and services and the need to work on the existing Doha texts.
BRICS cooperation on trade and investment matters
6. The Ministers noted that trade and investment make a vital contribution to the creation of jobs and to the promotion of strong, sustainable and balanced growth and development.
7. The Ministers welcomed the Joint Trade Study prepared by the Contact Group for Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI). The Study makes important recommendations for promoting value-added exports among our countries and ensuring that intra-BRICS trade is more sustainable. They have noted the Report and instructed the CGETI to continue working on its recommendations.
8. The Ministers took note of the discussions in the CGETI on a range of actions to foster economic cooperation and to promote trade and investment between the BRICS.
9. The Ministers endorsed the BRICS Trade and Investment Facilitation Action Plan developed by the CGETI. They noted that it built upon the BRICS Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework and encouraged BRICS members to implement it on a voluntary basis.
10. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of a continued dialogue on international investment agreements. They noted the principles outlined in the document “A BRICS Perspective on International Investment Agreements” as a voluntary reference for countries to advance a more balanced approach to investment treaties.
11. The Ministers emphasized the importance of strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation in e-commerce, with a view to extending the opportunities for intra-BRICS trade and enhancing closer economic cooperation. They welcomed the proposal to establish a BRICS Expert Dialogue on Electronic Commerce. They instructed the CGETI to elaborate terms of reference for the Expert Dialogue.
12. The Ministers acknowledged the documents “BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy” and “Framework of BRICS Closer Economic Partnership” and welcomed the efforts to establish guidelines for a coordinated approach to economic cooperation among the BRICS, especially on trade and investment.
13. The Ministers highlighted the potential for forging closer links between the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the BRICS. They instructed their officials to explore ways to promote cooperation in this field, such as sharing information on the MSME regulatory framework, promoting business to business contacts and identifying the appropriate institutional framework for MSME cooperation.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Dr. ANOTHER: Unscramble This One, Please....

My good and trusted friend, twitter's @1ntheknow, asked what i make of the below article, submitted by Mike Krieger and published at ZH. The deceptive RBI narrative is, naturally, crying out to be mocked: the RBI is going to swap the Gold in its own vaults for "international-standard" Gold, apparently. I don't know about you, but I had no idea that the RBI was storing inferior quality Gold, but let's not get hung up on small details....

Then, after such inferior quality Gold has been swapped for the 'Real Deal', glorious 'international-standard' Gold....you know what the RBI is going to do?! Yep, that's right...it's going to send that newly acquired glorious 'international-standard' Gold to the BofE. Naturally!

Net-effect: the sub-'international-standard' Gold once occupying RBI vault space has now gone, and in its place is ultra-gleaming, glorious 'international-standard' Gold, sitting in BofE vaults (but with RBI's name on it)..... Yeah, sure!!

Below the ZH article published yesterday (3/7/14) is another article, published 3rd November, 2009 at MarketWatch. It was major news at the time. India had just bought 200 Tonnes of IMF Gold. Remember?

Now, I'm not Dr. ANOTHER, but is it just possible that India's 200 Tonnes purchase of IMF Gold came in the form of a paper IOU which the RBI has been storing in its vault? Could it be that the RBI is swapping that somewhat inferior paper gold IOU for some 'international-standard' Gold, ie hard,  gleaming Gold Bullion? Is this what underlies the goldbizspeak duplicitous narrative.

You may have noticed that when referring to the RBI's newly acquired 'international-standard' Gold Bullion, i didn't mention that Bullion's 'hold-in-yer-hand' attribute. That's because, as we know, the RBI won't be holding it in their hands, but rather 'sending it' (ahem...) to the BofE for safe-keeping in BofE hands.

Paper shuffling, book-keeping entries; NOT a single ounce of Gold Bullion has moved to or from the RBI since it purchased in 2009 that IMF Gold. For as ANOTHER told us: "Gold lies VERY still"... Especially when we're talking about CBs.


India’s Central Bank To Sell Gold On The Market In Exchange For Gold At The Bank Of England

Tyler Durden's picture


 
Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
India’s gold policy over the last several years is about as dysfunctional as any government policy I have ever seen, and that’s saying a lot. In case you need a reminder, here are a few posts I have written on the subject:
The Times of India: “Almost Every Passenger on a Flight from Dubai to Calicut Was Found Carrying 1kg of Gold”
Gold Smuggling Increases 7x in India and Surpasses Illegal Drug Trade
Indian Temples Fight Back Against Government Gold Grabbing Plot
In a nutshell, Indians were buying too much gold for their government’s comfort, so the “authorities” stepped in with duties and import restrictions in an attempt to stifle the trade. So smuggling soared.
Fast forward to today. It appears the government has finally realized they can’t stop their citizens penchant for gold, so they have decided to dump central bank gold onto the market. What is incredible to me is that they are justifying this with a so-called “swap” into phantom gold at the Bank of England. The favored global hub of shady, rent-seeking, banker oligarchs.
What’s even more interesting about this is the fact that so many Central Banks seems to be swapping or selling their gold to Western interests. Most notably Ecuador selling to Goldman Sachs, which I highlighted in the piece: Ecuador to Transfer More Than Half its Gold Reserves to Goldman Sachs in Exchange for “Liquidity.”
Now from Reuters:
MUMBAI, July 2 (Reuters) – India’s central bank said on Wednesday it has sought quotes from banks to swap gold in its own vaults for international-standard gold, aiming to improve the management of its reserves.

The Reserve Bank of India said the operation would “standardise the gold available with RBI in India with respect to international standards” and the gold acquired would be delivered to its overseas custodian, the Bank of England.

By holding gold reserves in London, the RBI would gain flexibility to mobilise them if needed to defend the currency. It shipped some of its gold holdings to Britain in 1991 as part of a series of emergency measures to tackle a financial crisis.
This begs the question of who really needs the gold, the RBI, or London bankers?
According to the World Gold Council, India holds the 11th-largest gold reserves of 557 tons. At current market prices, they would be worth nearly $24 billion. It was not immediately clear how much of that would be swapped.

Market participants said the central bank was likely to offload its old gold onto the local market in India.
At least the people will get a hold of it as opposed to criminal Central Bankers.
That would have the beneficial effect of boosting domestic gold supply without hitting India’s current account – which faces renewed pressure as the conflict in Iraq has pushed up India’s oil import bill.

“It’s a good move by the RBI, this will at least ease the stock requirement of the jewellery industry,” said a senior official with a foreign bank that supplies gold to India.
You have to wonder if this in any way relates to concern about the upcoming Swiss referendum on the country’s gold reserves, which Parliament has been fighting hard to prevent from happening. For example, back in May Bloomberg reported that:
Swiss parliamentarians urged rejection of a popular initiative that would curtail the Swiss National Bank (SNBN)’s independence by requiring it to hold a fixed portion of its assets in gold.

Members of the Swiss parliament’s lower house voted 129 to 20 with 25 abstentions today against the plan, which demands that at least 20 percent of the central bank’s assets be in gold. It would also disallow the sale of any such holdings and require all SNB gold be held in Switzerland.

No date for a national vote has yet been set.
Well it appears based on a Bloomberg headline from this morning that a date has been set. A friend sent me the following:
  • (BN) *SWISS TO VOTE NOV. 30 ON `GOLD INITIATIVE’
There may be some very concerned bankers in New York and London this weekend.

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nov. 3, 2009, 8:02 a.m. EST

India's central bank buys 200 tons of IMF gold for $6.7 billion


By MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- India's central bank confirmed Tuesday it had purchased 200 tons of gold bullion from the International Monetary Fund, effectively boosting its holdings by more than 50% and diversifying its $285 billion foreign-exchange stockpile.
The sale was part of the IMF's previously announced plan to sell 403.3 metric tons of bullion as part of efforts to shore up the institution's finances.
India paid $6.7 billion for the bullion, which was purchased during a two week period ending Oct. 30.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the gold purchase was part of its foreign exchange reserve management operations.
Its gold holdings were valued at $10.32 billion, or about 3.6% of its $285.52 billion forex reserve stockpile, according to newswire reports that cited figures from RBI Friday.
The recent purchase will lift India's bullion holdings to 557.7 tons, making it the 11th largest holder of the yellow metal among the world's central banks, according to newswire calculations based on September quarterly data from the World Gold Council.
The sale will "help put the Fund's finances on a sound long-term footing and enable us to step up much-needed concessional lending to the poorest countries," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement Monday.
The sale was handled privately and based on the prevailing market prices, the IMF said. Settlement is still ongoing it said.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

We Love Singapore

I have some knowledge, which is -it so happens- at complete odds with the so-called wisdom and so-called information coming from Koos' blog and the gang of self-serving storage scam scum who frequent that place and who have been harping on incessantly, and duplicitously!, about Hong Kong and Shanghai.

ANOTHER never makes a faux pas. His Group members are far too smart, far too well positioned, to make anything but the smartest move. China hosts the Gold Bullion of many wealthy (but perhaps too ‘trusting’) 'giant' westerners, who have foreseen what awaits (ie Shanghai to price Physical Gold at full value, NOT paper gold value) and want their Gold Bullion in situ, ready for that revaluation.

What, though, if part of the geopolitical background to that revaluation moment is intense East-West tensions and a mass dump of USTs at well below face value? Maybe, just maybe, the Chinese might feel they have a moral case for seizing the Physical Gold of Westerners to recoup some of their losses? No matter how implausible such an outcome may sound today, it may be that in the extraordinary times which await us, those words sound rather less hollow. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, ANOTHER and his Group have elected caution, and to be safe rather than sorry.
Only an arrogant and short-sighted fool would store his Gold Bullion in Shanghai or Hong Kong. And maybe the smartest, and best positioned, would reason that Singapore is a perfectly suitable -and safe- spot for Physical Gold to be priced at full and true value.


Singapore Seeks Gold Hub Role With China on Demand Shift


The Singapore government is promoting the city-state as a center for precious metals... Read More
Singapore will introduce a physical gold contract this year, while Shanghai starts international bullion trading, highlighting a push in the biggest consuming region to establish new price benchmarks as demand shifts east.
Singapore’s kilobar contract for 25 kilograms of 99.99 percent purity may begin as soon as September, according to a statement from Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX), the World Gold Council, the government’s trade-promotion body and the Singapore Bullion Market Association at an industry conference. The Shanghai Gold Exchange plans to start its contract priced and settled in yuan in the third quarter, Chairman Xu Luode told the same gathering.
Asian exchanges are developing bullion products as more of the world’s gold is processed and consumed in the region and the industry discusses changes to the century-old fixing benchmark in London. Asia accounted for 63 percent of total consumption of gold jewelry, bars and coins last year, up from 57 percent in 2010, according to the council, which plans to hold a meeting next month on changes to the fixing. China became the world’s largest user last year, boosting consumption as prices fell.
“The center of the world for gold consumption is Asia, so it makes sense that the center of price discovery for the physical market moves that way,” said Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “It’s only going to be positive for Asian gold demand.”
Gold for immediate delivery sank 28 percent last year, spurring demand across the region, as prospects for global growth and higher U.S. interest rates reduced the appeal of the metal as a store of value. The spot price was at $1,315.98 an ounce at 8:21 p.m. in Singapore, up 9.5 percent this year.

Metals Center

The Singapore government is promoting the city-state as a center for precious metals after removing the 7 percent goods and services tax on investment-grade gold, silver and platinum in October 2012. After the change, the trade in gold in Singapore rose 94 percent to S$35 billion ($28 billion) in 2013 from a year earlier, the groups, including IE Singapore, the trade-promotion agency, said in today’s statement.
Shanghai is aiming to become a regional bullion-trading hub, luring foreigners with services such as 1,500 metric ton storage vaults and access into the world’s largest physical-gold market, Xu said at the conference. The exchange has all the systems ready to start the platform in the city’s free-trade zone, including clearing and settlement, said Xu.
“We want Shanghai to be an offshore gold-trading hub after consulting with foreign banks,” said Xu. “Bullion flowing into those 1,500-ton vaults can be either imported into China, or en route to be transported to other markets around this region.”

Testing Ground

China started the zone in Shanghai this year as a testing ground for liberalizing interest rates and currency usage. Foreigners’ access to China’s gold market will expand the range of investment options for yuan deposits around the world, which reached at least 1.5 trillion yuan ($241 billion) in March, according to Standard Chartered Plc estimates as of last month.
About 30 percent to 40 percent of new bullion demand comes from the so-called kilobar market, Ng Cheng Thye, chairman of the Singapore Bullion Market Association, told the conference in Singapore. The kilobar market is currently priced off the London fixing, which is under scrutiny, said Ng.
The Singapore contract, which will have no price limits, will trade from 8:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. local time, with additional 5-minute, pre-opening and pre-closing sessions, according to the statement. The Singapore Exchange will act as the central clearing house, Trade Minister Lim said.

Reference Prices

“This is a timely development given the increased requirements for reference prices to be transparent,” Lim told the conference, which was organized by the London Bullion Market Association. “What the bullion industry needs most is a vibrant and robust marketplace within the heart of Asia. With our close proximity to both demand and supply in Asia, I believe that Singapore is well-placed to support the bullion industry.”
Metalor Technologies SA is in the final stage of getting good-delivery certification from the London Bullion Market Association for its new gold refinery in Singapore, Chairman Scott Morrison said at the conference. The city-state was chosen as the site for the plant, which will also produce silver, because of its location between China and India, he said. The countries are the world’s largest consumers.
The flow of bullion from west to east may last for 20 years, said Zhang Bingnan, vice chairman and general-secretary of the China Gold Association. There are not as many investment vehicles in the east compared with the west, so as incomes rise bullion demand will continue, Zhang said at the conference.

Regulatory Scrutiny

Precious metals are getting more attention from regulators after price rigging in everything from interbank lending rates to currencies led to fines and overhauled financial benchmarks. The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority in May fined Barclays Plc after a trader sought to influence the gold fix in 2012.
A new gold mechanism or changes to the current procedure should be based on executed trades rather than submitted quotes, be tradeable and not just a reference price, while data should be transparent, published and subject to audit, the producer-funded World Gold Council said last week. It will hold a meeting on July 7 in London for the industry to discuss changes.