to provide credit to each other and collaborate in capital market and other financial services in their local currencies and not dollar.

The major agreement was signed Thursday by the designated banks of the five countries at the conclusion of third BRICS Summit in the port city here. The group voicing its opposition to use of force in Libya, expressing support to India’s claim for a permanent membership in the UN security council and pressing for strict adherence to safety norms for nuclear facilities following worldwide alarm over a radiation scare in Jtsunami hit Japan are the highlights of the out come of the summit.

The summit was attended by Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The declaration adopted at the end of the Summit supports a broad based international reserve currency to provide stability and security to the system. Secretary East in the Ministry of External Affairs Manbir Singh said that a contact group is also being established to intensify business cooperation among the member countries.

The declaration expressed concern over the impact of developments in West Asia and North Africa. The summit meeting discussed the issue of Libya and voiced opposition to use of force. It underlined the need for resolving the issue through peaceful means and dialogue with UN and regional organizations playing an appropriate role.

The member countries vowed to coordinate their positions on global political and economic issues. An action plan has been unveiled in the declaration which encompasses greater coordination among the member countries on a range of issues including fight against terrorism, challenges to energy and food security besides cooperation on finance, agriculture and sports.

Addressing the joint media briefing after the Summit, Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh said the leaders reviewed the international situation, discussed international economic, financial and trade issues, the challenges of sustainable development, food, energy security and climate change. Dr. Singh said that he was deeply encouraged by the consensus among the group on the need for an international order that is rule based and respects the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual States.

Earlier, addressing the Summit, Dr. Manmohan Singh said the challenge before the BRICS countries is to harness the vast potential that exists among them as all are rich in resources, material and human. He said India stood ready to work with other BRICS countries to realize these goals. The Prime Minister said that Indian economy is more open and more connected to the world than it has been in the past and the financial and capital markets are sound, and eager to absorb foreign direct investment.
Referring to the international economic and financial situation, he said the quality and durability of the recovery process in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis depends to a great measure on how the BRICS economies perform. Dr. Singh said the BRICS countries, as members of the G-20, closely cooperate with the rest of the world and will continue to do so as it prepares for the next G-20 Summit in France.

Amid worldwide alarm over a radiation scare in Japan following the tsunami, India and other BRICS nations also pressed for strict adherence to safety norms for nuclear facilities. They also floated a proposal for mutual assistance in similar incidents.

The leaders felt that despite the incident in Japan, nuclear energy is required to be developed. The declaration said nuclear energy will continue to be an important element in future energy mix of BRICS countries. Dr.Manmohan Singh told the summit that nuclear safety has emerged as a major source of concern the world over after the tragedy in Japan. There is need for cooperation in the area and in the disaster relief and management.

Russian leader Medvedev later told the media that Russia proposed for provision of mutual assistance in case of similar disasters as happened in Japan.

On the sidelines of the summit Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Thursday  held discussions with the heads of the states of South Africa and Brazil. Official sources said that intensifying strategic cooperation remained the focus of talks with Brazilian President Dilma Vana Roussef and his South African Counter part Jacob Zuma. They held extensive discussions with Dr. Singh on the issues of mutual interest and international developments of common concern.

Enhancing bilateral economic ties remained high on the agenda of talks with the South African President. Bilateral trade between the two countries has reached 15 billion US Dollars and 96 Indian firms are currently investing in that country.

In his meeting with the Brazilian President Dilma Vana Roussef, the talks covered energy cooperation with the oil rich country. Earlier Dr. Singh had separate meetings with the Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian Counter part Drimitry Medvedev. In his meeting with the Chinese President the two leaders decided to resume high level defence exchanges and set up a mechanism to address irritants on the boarder in tune with the agreements reached earlier. During his meeting with the Russian president the two countries decided to look into the nuclear safety norms and enhance cooperation in the Hydro Carbon Sector.

After the successful completion of his first leg of his visit to China, the Prime Minister is leaving for Astana capital of Kazakhstan tomorrow on a two day official. He is visiting the country at the invitation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. It will be his first visit to Kazakhstan and second to central Asia region. Dr. Singh will have bilateral talks with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his counter part Karim Massimov in Astana on several issues including civil nuclear cooperation, Agriculture and enhancement in trade.