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First BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Gov'ts Cooperation Forum opens in S. China

(Xinhua)

12:53, December 02, 2011

SANYA, Hainan, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The first BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum opened Friday in the beach-side resort of Sanya, focusing on deepening cooperation between the world's five major emerging economies.

Politicians, scholars and business people from the five BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- will meet at the two-day forum to foster further communications and discuss shared concerns amid global uncertainties.

The decision to hold this forum was announced at the BRICS summit in April this year, when leaders of the five nations jointly issued a declaration to seek shared prosperity.

Under the theme of "Broad Vision, Shared Prosperity, Developing Friendship Cities, Promoting Cooperation," the forum is expected to bring together BRICS cities with regular meetings to foster closer ties and boost local-level cooperation.

"The forum is expected to create a platform to boost communication between local governments and further promote ties between BRICS sister cities," said Lu Yongxiang, a senior Chinese legislator at the opening ceremony.

The BRICS countries have played a significant role in maintaining world peace, safety and stability. They have also contributed to global growth, multilateralism, and democratization of international relations, said Lu, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

"Promoting common prosperity has become an especially urgent and important task in the face of all the current global uncertainties," he said, adding that the BRICS countries are all facing great missions as well as rare opportunities.

The term of BRIC was coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neil in 2001 to group four fast-growing economies -- Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Formally established in June 2009, BRIC became BRICS when South Africa was inducted into the group during a summit held in Sanya, China, in April 2011.

Chinese cities now have established 1,817 sister-city agreements with foreign cities and states, of which 167 were from the BRICS countries.

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