Editor's note: The Ninth BRICS Summit was held in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, on September 4, 2017. At the plenary session, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech titled Stronger BRICS Partnership for a Brighter Future. An edited excerpt follows:
BRICS cooperation has traversed a glorious journey in one decade. Despite being separated by mountains and oceans, the five countries involved have been closely bound by a shared commitment to develop as a team.
According to the ancient Chinese proverb, "A partnership formed with the right approach defies geographical distance; it is thicker than glue and stronger than metal and stone." We owe the rapid development of BRICS cooperation to our adoption of a right approach that transcends geographical boundaries. Guided by this idea, we have respected and supported each other in following the path of development suited to our respective national conditions. We have pushed forward economic, political and people-to-people cooperation in an open and inclusive spirit. We have also worked in unison with other emerging markets and developing countries to uphold international justice and equity, with the aim of fostering a sound external environment.
As the world undergoes profound and complex changes, BRICS cooperation has become more important. Our peoples expect us to jointly boost development and improve their well-being in the light of such political and economic shifts. The international community expects us to contribute to world peace and common development. Consequently, we must redouble our efforts to comprehensively deepen BRICS partnership and usher in the second "golden decade" of BRICS cooperation.
In response to international changes, we aim to seek practical results in our economic cooperation. Results-oriented collaboration is the foundation of the BRICS initiative, and significant progress has been made in this regard. However, we have yet to fully tap the potential of BRICS cooperation. Statistics show that of the $197-billion outbound investment we made in 2016, only 5.7 percent took place among our five countries. This means BRICS cooperation still has broad space. We need to stay focused on promoting results-oriented economic cooperation by expanding converging interests in trade and investment, currency and finance, connectivity, sustainable development, innovation and industrial cooperation.
Moreover, we have to strengthen the complementarity of our development strategies. Despite our differences in national conditions, the five countries involved in the BRICS group are in a similar stage of development, and we share the same development goals. We all face an arduous task in growing the economy, especially in the current climate. Strengthening the accessibility and flexibility of our development strategies will in turn help make the most of our comparative advantages in resources, markets and labor force and release the growth potential of the five countries and the creativity of our 3 billion people. As a result, the expansion of our strategies should open up huge space for development.
Furthermore, we need to make the international order more just and equitable. Our ever-closer ties with the rest of the world require that the BRICS community plays a more active part in global governance. Without our participation, many pressing global challenges cannot be effectively resolved. We should speak with one voice and jointly present our solutions to issues concerning international peace and development. By taking on a more active international role, we will meet the expectation of the international community and will help safeguard our common interests.
Lastly, it is imperative that we promote people-to-people exchanges. Amity between the peoples holds the key to sound state-to-state relations. It is only with intensive care that the roots of cross-country friendship and cooperation can grow luxuriant. Enhancing the exchanges among our peoples and seeing the spirit of partnership embraced by all are a worthy cause that deserves our enduring commitment. It is our duty to live up to these principles that I have set out to keep BRICS cooperation vibrant.