On June 18, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum hosted a panel discussion "Women in BRICS Economy: Roles, Meanings, Source of Growth" dedicated to the activities of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance. The event was attended by representatives of the national chapters of the Alliance, diplomatic missions, businesses and public associations of the five BRICS countries. The session was moderated by Anna Nesterova, Chairperson of the Russian Chapter of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance.
Anna noted that a separate Alliance session within SPIEF is an important precedent for the Alliance and an opportunity to present its achievements to the main economic community in Russia and the world.
During the event, the issues of innovative development, such as digital literacy and e-commerce, were widely discussed. Cooperation in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Joint work in food and energy security, creative industries and tourism. Particular attention was paid to the care economy and financial support for women's entrepreneurship.
Welcome remarks were made by Wang Wenli, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in St. Petersburg. She noted that the BRICS countries are now an important driving force in the restoration and development of the modern world economy, and expressed the hope that the Women's Business Alliance will promote the active participation of women in the economic and trade cooperation of the five countries.
Zhang Yi, Deputy Secretary General of China Chamber of International Commerce, stressed the results of the year and important events of the Alliance. Thus, for the second year in a row, the Alliance co-organizes the BRICS Women's Innovation Contest, which was initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the XII BRICS Summit in 2020. This year, the Contest became one of the key events of the Chinese BRICS Presidency and attracted more than 400 participants from all BRICS countries.
The issue of food security was actively raised by the Russian participants in the session. Member of the Russian Chapter of the Alliance Olga Belyavtseva raised the issue of high-quality baby food, while CEO of Lazarevskoye Christina Romanovskaya emphasized the need for a wider implementation of the principles of sustainable development in agriculture.
Anna Nesterova noted that recently, the topic of the need to increase settlements in national currencies has gained popularity in the BRICS countries. Such measures will contribute to the expansion of international cooperation of women's business in the framework of the Alliance. Chetna Sinha, founder and chairperson of Mann Deshi Bank, India's first bank for and by rural women, supported Anna, emphasizing that the use of national currencies will increase the stability of the economies and expand mutual trade between the BRICS countries.
The topic of care economy, which Galina Volkova is leading in the Alliance on behalf of the Russian Chapter, was also discussed. Galina took the initiative to create a BRICS Career Consulting Centre, as well as holding a cultural forum of the Alliance to present the national characteristics of the BRICS countries.
Elena Chashchina, a member of the Russian Chapter, raised the issue of the safety of the human environment, including ensuring safety at work, in transport, at home.
On the sidelines of SPIEF, an agreement on cooperation between Russia and India was also signed, which was the result of the work of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance in the framework of environmental protection.
"We intend to create a joint venture in India, share firefighting technology and produce world-class quality products that meet international standards, and we hope that this project will be one of many successful examples of business cooperation born and realized thanks to the Alliance", - said Elena Chashchina.
The Indian side noted that the agreement between India and Russia has the potential to develop into multilateral cooperation with both BRICS partners and other countries of the world.