China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said a free trade area would be "a significant form of cooperation" between BRICS nations.
By setting up a free trade area, BRICS countries would be able to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers, give play to their comparative advantages, and advance trade and investment liberalization between them, MOC spokesperson Shen Danyang said at a press briefing.
He noted that China has not formally raised the issue for an upcoming BRICS meeting, but many experts have proposed a free trade area.
A free trade area would help BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—achieve mutual benefit and development and promote South-South cooperation on a global scale, Shen said.
BRICS trade ministers will meet in New Delhi, India later this week to discuss world economic trends and their influence on BRICS trade and investment.
The meeting is expected to deepen cooperation in areas including intellectual property rights, trade promotion and small businesses, according to Shen.
(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2016)