Terrorism results in $1 tn loss to world economy: Modi

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the Dialogue with BRICS Business Council & New Development Bank during the BRICS summit in Brasilia. (Reuters Photo)

Terrorism has caused USD 1 trillion loss to the world economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday as he addressed the 11th BRICS Summit, terming the scourge as the "biggest threat" to development, peace and prosperity.

Addressing the BRICS Plenary Session at the iconic Itamaraty Palace in the presence of the Presidents of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa, Prime Minister Modi said terrorism has emerged as the biggest threat to the development, peace and prosperity.

"According to some estimates, the economic growth of developing nations has decreased by 1.5 per cent due to terrorism," he said, adding that the scourge has caused USD 1 trillion loss to the world economy.

In 10 years, terrorism has claimed the lives of about 2.25 lakh people and destroyed societies, Modi said.

"The atmosphere of doubt created by terrorism, terror financing, drug trafficking and organised crime indirectly and deeply harms trade and business. I am happy that the first seminar on BRICS Strategies for Countering Terrorism was organised.

"We hope that such efforts and activities of the five working groups will increase strong BRICS Security Cooperation against terrorism and other organised crimes," the Prime Minister said.

According to the BRICS joint statement, the five countries condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, which should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization, and recognise terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable.

"We urge for concerted efforts to fight against terrorism under UN auspices in accordance with international law, recognise the primary role of states and their competent authorities in preventing and countering terrorism and express our conviction that a comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure effective results in combating terrorism.

"We recall the responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions, including those from their territories," the statement said without referring to any country.

Modi said that sustainable water management and sanitation are important challenges in urban areas.

"I propose to hold the first meeting of BRICS water ministers in India," Modi said.

"Recently, we started 'Fit India Movement'. I want to increase contacts and exchanges between us in the field of fitness and health," he said.

Modi also emphasised on paying special attention to mutual trade and investment, saying intra-BRICS trade accounts for just 15 per cent of the world trade, while its combined population is over 40 per cent of the world's population.

"Now we need to discuss the direction of BRICS, and how to mutually cooperate more effective in the next 10 years. Despite success in many areas, there is considerable scope to increase efforts in some areas.

"The theme of this summit - 'Economic growth for an innovative future', is very apt. Innovation has become the basis of our development. Therefore, it is necessary that we strengthen cooperation for innovation under BRICS," the Prime Minister said.

Modi said that with the mutual recognition of visas, social security agreement and qualifications, "we will give people of five countries a more conducive environment for mutual travel and work".

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on Thursday opened the 11th BRICS Summit where deliberations are took place on key areas such as trade, investment and counter-terrorism.

Ahead of the summit, BRICS leaders -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Prime Minister Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa -- posed for a group photo.

Brazil is the current chair of the grouping which represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world population and they have a combined nominal GDP of USD 16.6 trillion.

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