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October 13, 2022

BRICS+: Potential for Technology Partnerships

Key conclusions

Russia must address the issue of technological sovereignty

“We are highly dependent, but the task of achieving technological sovereignty and import substitution must be achieved. Solving this problem will be the foundation from which we can develop our relations in the future,” Yury Stankevich, Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

Interest in BRICS membership is set to grow

“BRICS is one of the promising venues, based on the economic opportunities we can provide to each other. One of the main challenges is to ensure a reliable and affordable energy supply for all people on the planet. The symbiosis of basic fuels with the technologies that we need to jointly develop, implement, and make them green. Renewables that give us zero emissions, is what we need to strive for,” Sergey Mochalnikov, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

“Iran is actively entering the engagement market. Iran has expressed a desire to join the BRICS countries. Together we will actively develop on the platform of BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Commission,” Elena Sherysheva Deputy Director of the Department, Eurasian Economic Commission

“There is an interest in expanding the conglomerate. Other countries want to join BRICS,” Oleg Zhdaneev, Deputy General Director – Head of Import Substitution in Oil and Energy Complex Competence Center, Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Cooperation with Russia on the energy market boosts confidence in a bright future 

“When it comes to energy development, we cannot be in the position of slaves, we have to set the tone,” Yury Stankevich, Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

“Energy cooperation is an important part of economic cooperation between China and Russia. It has great potential and a bright future. China has a large consumption, and the external dependence is close to 45%. In 2021, China’s gas production was 200 billion cubic metres and consumption was 370 billion cubic metres. We are confident in the prospects for energy cooperation between China and Russia,” Jian Jiao, Deputy General Director for Foreign Economic Cooperation, Xuan Yuan Industrial Development. 

Problems

Limited access to resources 

“We have an acute problem of access to energy. It is critical for us to create opportunities to share technology. Over the pandemic, we have seen that a lot of countries in Africa have not got the technology. Nobody is sharing vaccines with us, for example. That is why we see great prospects in the BRICS partnership. It is very important to support the financing of energy projects, because technology will be very necessary for the development of systems, and we need to promote the industrialization of African countries,” NJ Ayuk, Chairman, African Energy Chamber.

Lack of negotiation experience

 

“We are very interdependent with China today. Unfortunately, not many people in the country have experience in dealing with Chinese comrades. Our institute exists to provide educational courses for our officials and businessmen, so that we can have an idea of how we should interact with them. China needs as much from Russia as we need from them, if not more,” Kirill Babaev, Acting Director, Institute of China and Modern Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Solutions

Russia must develop technologies that enhance energy capabilities

“There is a need to develop technologies that reinforce our traditional established capabilities, which would allow us to strengthen the gas industry, oil, coal, and the promising areas of renewable alternative energy. This is what dialogue with partners should be based on,” Yury Stankevich, Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

“Technology is very important. The potential of coal has not been fully unlocked. Hydrogen still seems promising to many. We have to decide whether it is our [near future, – Ed.],” Sergey Mochalnikov, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

“We see a great demand for the transition to low-carbon technologies, carbon capture technologies. These are the priority areas. We need to support high-tech industrialization in our countries and find the right balance between green technologies. Technologies should be cheap, affordable and ensure security of supply. BRICS countries have a lot of gas resources, Africa can fit into such a global energy system that will work for the benefit of everyone,” NJ Ayuk, Chairman, African Energy Chamber.

BRICS countries need to create joint high-tech zones 

“In terms of increasing engagement, a good example is the BRICS platform, which is doing research [BRICS Energy Research Platform, – Ed.]. These studies are very relevant. They should be used. They reflect the joint position within the framework of our interaction on the issues of technological development. And today the assurance of our countries’ energy security depends, among other things, on the access to advanced energy technologies. We see a prospect of introducing technologies for carbon dioxide capture, burial, and use. Implementation of this mechanism will reduce the carbon footprint of conventional energy. The potential of coal has not been fully exploited in this part. Also, hydrogen is still relevant, but we need to determine how far into the future it is,” Sergey Mochalnikov, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

“Now it makes sense for us to learn from China. If we talk about high-tech development zones, about one-tenth of one percent of Chinese territory is high-tech development zones, 15% of the country’s GDP. It is a great tool for both technological personnel and commercialization of scientific discoveries. This is something we can follow and learn from. Many people go to BRICS with applications for this kind of technological partnership and assistance. These areas could well be collaborative,” Kirill Babaev, Acting Director, Institute of China and Modern Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“Agreements need to be converted into concrete actions. Russian entrepreneurs need to take the courage to work on the African continent. The continent has a real hunger for these technologies. We must also create a platform for young people to act,” NJ Ayuk, Chairman, African Energy Chamber. 

Mainstreaming the BRICS economic partnership strategy is important

 

“The BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy 2025 has not been updated since 2020. It has a section on sustainable development. It has several provisions defining cooperation in the energy sector. This document should be radically updated in terms of cooperation,” Yury Stankevich, Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System roscongress.org and the official Forum website rusenergyweek.com.