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Dear friends!

Allow me to congratulate the winners of the Contest for BRICS Young Leaders whose papers are published in this special issue of the BRICS Journal of Economics, partner of the Contest. No doubt, these articles bring to the BRICS agenda the most promising projects for promoting practical cooperation among the youth of our five countries.

The Contest for BRICS Young Leaders was held within the annual BRICS International School by the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and other partner organizations. The BRICS International School was initially established to train young professionals in BRICS studies through educational experiences focusing on fostering the pentalateral partnership of the BRICS countries. As the project evolves, we are proud to say that it has been widely contributing to building the pool of talented youth from BRICS and beyond.

On behalf of the Russian National Committee of BRICS Research, I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the BRICS Journal of Economics for the support of the Contest as a part of the youth track within the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020. Let me express my hope that the BRICS Journal of Economics will further expand its impact in promoting knowledge and cutting-edge research as one of the most forward-looking journals in the field of BRICS studies.

Since the creation of BRICS in 2009, the participating countries have made a significant progress in economic, technological, social, and humanitarian development, and have strengthened their positions in the institutions of the global governance. During its first decade, efforts of the BRICS countries became one of the key factors in world politics and global economic development.

This year Russia took over the Chairmanship in BRICS for the third time under the motto “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth.” Its main purpose was determined as raising standards and quality of life of the peoples of our five countries. The Chairmanship is built on the three pillars of BRICS strategic partnership — policy and security, economy and finance, and cultural and humanitarian contacts. As a part of its policy track, BRICS countries continued to promote universal principles of international law, central role of the United Nations in international affairs and contributed to forming of a more democratic and multilateral system of the global governance.

Efforts of the BRICS countries within economic pillar focused on the renewal of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025. The new Strategy emphasized trade,

The Quality of Competition Law Institutions and Enforcement 5 investment and finance, support of the digital economy and sustainable development as its priority areas. By adopting the Strategy, the five countries expressed their commitment to strengthen cooperation within the BRICS businesses communities, to facilitate the reform of the global trade and financial system, to advance cooperation within the BRICS Contingency Reserve Arrangement and the New Development Bank. The BRICS countries prioritized working in the fields of innovation and technology and addressing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, sustainable development, climate change, energy, infrastructure development and food security.

Within the humanitarian track, Russia prioritized strengthening of people-to-people contacts with the development of the youth track one of its core tasks. The BRICS countries continued strengthening youth exchanges in the fields of science, technology and innovation, volunteerism and entrepreneurship. It is illustrated by the comprehensive support of youth initiatives within the Russian Chairmanship and reflected in the XII BRICS Summit Moscow Declaration.

This year BRICS reached a number of practical agreements to support our economies to recover from the health crises. BRICS countries agreed to support small, medium and micro businesses to participate in international trade, to foster interbank cooperation and strengthen the role of the New Development Bank.

Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak affected the Russian BRICS Chairmanship this year. The global healthcare crises and its implications for BRICS became the cross-cutting issue of discussions within the meetings at all levels and all fields of our cooperation. As an example of BRICS response to this challenge, the BRICS countries agreed to establish an early warning system for epidemiological threats and to develop specific steps for the legal regulation of medical products that will improve our capacities to combat similar threats in the future.

I am proud that the Contest for BRICS Young Leaders and the BRICS International School engaged so many capable young people to elaborate solutions addressing the most pressing issues for the global community. The innovative ideas to foster partnership and friendship among the peoples of BRICS proposed by the participants of these projects will bring a positive change. I am convinced that with the contribution of the young leaders to the BRICS agenda, we will be able to solve issues of international importance and to build a better world.

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