• Nirmala Sitharaman, India's commerce and trade minister, poses with her counterparts of other BRICS countries before a crucial trade ministers' meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.Twitter/CIM India@GOI
  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian commerce and trade minister, discusses economic cooperation in various sectors with Mr Marcos Periera, Trade Minister of Brazil.Twitter/CIM India@GOI

Trade ministers of BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are holding talks in New Delhi on Thursday ahead of the Goa summit scheduled to be held on Saturday and Sunday. 

The meeting comes a day after the first trade fair of the member countries opened in the capital, showcasing the technological and manufacturing capabilities of the five nations.

The three-day event is being organised on the theme "Building BRICS - Innovation for Collaboration" with participation from about 600 exhibitors spanning 20 sectors that include auto components, green energy, textiles, tourism, jewellery and aerospace.

To strengthen trade and investment ties among the five countries, BRICS Business Forum and BRICS Business Council have also been scheduled for Thursday and Friday, respectively. 

The role of BRICS countries in global trade is significant, according to an update by the Indian government.

"Merchandise imports from the world into the BRICS countries have gone up from $2.95 trillion in 2012 to $3.03 trillion in 2014. Likewise, the global merchandise exports of the BRICS countries have gone up from $3.2 trillion in 2012 to $3.47 trillion in 2014," an official statement said on October 3, 2016.

"Intra-BRICS trade has also been on the rise. In 2012, intra-BRICS trade stood at $281.4 billion and this increased to $297 billion in 2014," it added.

The Goa summit is expected to be dominated by global and regional concerns, including terrorism and the collective response to the menace. The summit is also significant in the context of India accusing Pakistan of fomenting terrorism in the country and China's reluctance to take an unequivocal stand on the issue, as is evident in its extending the technical hold on branding JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. JeM is often held responsible for terror attacks on its soil.