BRICS Women’s Business Alliance Strengthens Role of Women in BRICS Economies

27 October 2020
Russia, Russia

On 27 October, Izvestia Multimedia Information Centre hosted a news conference on the launch of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance. 

The event saw the presence of Galina Karelova, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation and Chairperson of the Eurasian Women’s Forum Council, Mikhail Kalugin, Head of the BRICS Office, Foreign Policy Planning Department, Russian Foreign Ministry; Anna Nesterova, Head of the Russian National Chapter of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance and Board Chairperson of GlobalRusTrade, as well as members of the Russian National Chapter of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance: Yelena Marinina, Deputy Director of the Roscongress Foundation and Director of the Roscongress Foundation’s Social Platform – Innosocium Foundation; Olga Belyavtseva, board member and shareholder of Progress Capital JSC; Yelena Chashchina, Director General of EPOTOSGroup of Companies, and Galina Volkova, Founder & CEO of Orthomoda. 

In her opening remarks, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Galina Karelova noted that the idea to establish the Alliance was announced at the First SCO and BRICS International Women’s Congress in 2017 in Novosibirsk, while the concept was presented at the 2nd Eurasian Women’s Forum. The Deputy Speaker emphasized that the Alliance covers the most relevant areas of dealing with modern challenges, including healthcare development, food security, environmental protection, inclusive economy, tourism and creative industries. 

“I am sure that the Alliance will facilitate the active inclusion of women in the economy across BRICS, as well as the implementation of joint projects, expansion of access of women entrepreneurs to sales markets, and strengthening business contacts,” Galina Karelova concluded. 

Mikhail Kalugin noted that one of the priorities of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 is to strengthen economic cooperation, including the launch of practical activities of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance. “I am certain that this large-scale project in which so much effort has been invested is one of the most significant deliverables of Russia’s year in BRICS .” 

Anna Nesterova said the BRICS Business Council currently serves as the main mechanism for the development of business cooperation between the BRICS States. The Council stood at the origins of the Alliance and supported its establishment as a separate cooperation mechanism. 

“We will be developing a global platform for promoting BRICS women’s business both among the five states and beyond. The priority of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance will be precisely the economic agenda, including increasing trade between the BRICS States, facilitating the access of women’s small and medium-sized businesses to new markets through e-commerce channels, developing remote rural territories and active participation of women in economy through access to online education and digital services,” Anna Nesterova commented. 

The Alliance is expected to give impetus to the development of new global partnerships in innovation development, healthcare, food security, environmental protection, creative industries and tourism. 

Yelena Marinina noted that the development of creative industries is a global trend acknowledged by the United Nations, which declared 2021 the International Year of Creative Economy. “To honour international cooperation with regard to creative industries, we are preparing for the 2021 Eurasian Women’s Forum. This is the largest highly respected international platform for discussing the role of women in modern society. The social platform of the Roscongress Foundation, the Innosocium Foundation, is developing an international track and the creative industries track within this project. Inviting international female experts and opinion leaders in the creative sector will make the Forum agenda more versatile and global, and will contribute to not only exchange experience between the participants, but also to create opportunities for further cooperation,” Yelena Marinina noted. 

“Facilitating access of women’s businesses to new markets, including through the use of new e-commerce channels, is one of the most important tasks for the BRICS countries. We need to build a common platform for communications and sharing experience between women entrepreneurs in BRICS in order to take our cooperation to a new level as soon and as efficiently as possible,” Olga Belyavtseva stressed. 

Yelena Chashchina focused on the other area of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance, which is to create safe tourism across BRICS in terms of health, infrastructure for cultural exchanges, exchange of tourist traffic and achieving leading positions in the travel industry. 

“The women of BRICS do not necessarily put the promotion of their business interests first. We intend to create a partnership aimed at solving global problems in healthcare, the environment and climate,” Yelena Chashchina stressed. 

According to Galina Volkova, the social aspect is very important in the development of international business cooperation. As a representative of small and medium-sized socially oriented businesses, she believes that a stable economy and successful business are the basis of any social component. 

“We highly value the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance and its activities aimed at expanding women’s economic rights and opportunities. The high percentage of women among the founders and top managers of businesses in the BRICS countries confirms that the group has created favourable conditions for the development of women’s entrepreneurship. I am convinced that further progress in this area will be substantially determined by the exchange of best practices within the Alliance,” said Presidential Adviser Anton Kobyakov.