(Eds: Updating with additional inputs)
New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) The ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy is still visible and mutual cooperation among the BRICS nations can make a useful contribution for its recovery, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday at a China-hosted virtual summit of the five-nation grouping.
The prime minister also said the BRICS member countries have similar approach to the governance of the global economy.
Modi made the remarks in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.
"Today for the third year in a row, we are meeting virtually amid the challenges of the Covid pandemic. Even though the scale of the epidemic has reduced globally than before, however many of its ill effects are still visible in the global economy," Modi said.
"We, the BRICS member countries, have had a very similar view of the governance of the global economy. And so our mutual cooperation can make a useful contribution to post-Covid global recovery," he added.
The BRICS leaders met virtually in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis and the prolonged military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
China hosted the summit in its capacity as the chair of the grouping for this year.
In his address, Modi said a number of institutional reforms were made in the BRICS which have increased the effectiveness of the organisation.
"It is also a matter of happiness that the membership of our New Development Bank has also increased. There are many areas where the lives of our citizens are getting directly benefited from our mutual cooperation."
"For example, establishment of vaccine R and D center, coordination among custom departments, establishment of shared satellite constellation, mutual recognition of pharma products, etc," he added.
Modi said such practical steps make BRICS a unique international organisation whose focus is not just limited to dialogue.
"BRICS Youth Summits, BRICS Sports, and increase in exchanges amongst our civil society organisations and think-tanks have strengthened our people-to-people contact," he said.
"I am confident that today's discussion will bring out many suggestions to further strengthen our BRICS ties," the prime minister said. PTI MPB GSN