Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday discussed with her BRICS counterparts the key areas of cooperation that would be crucial in supporting the recovery of the grouping's economies and maintaining macroeconomic stability, while protecting against future uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She highlighted that BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has been playing and will continue to play a crucial role in dealing with crises such as the pandemic.

Sitharaman virtually chaired the second meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das under the Indian BRICS Chairship, a finance ministry statement said.

During the meeting, the FMCBGs endorsed the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Statement on Global Economic Outlook and Responding to COVID-19 Crisis with an annexure on snapshot of policy experiences of member countries in dealing with the economic impact of the pandemic, it said.

Sitharaman, as the chair, remarked that India attaches great significance to presenting this statement before the global community since it unanimously voices the view of BRICS countries on the critical aspects underpinning current international policy conversations on post pandemic recovery.

A 'Technical Report on Social Infrastructure: Financing and Use of Digital Technologies' was also endorsed, it said.

This report is an exercise towards collaborative knowledge sharing between BRICS economies on social infrastructure, including on how the governments have leveraged digital technologies to enhance access and improve service delivery, especially in the health and education sectors.

The BRICS finance ministers also welcomed the conclusion of negotiations on the text of Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance (CMAA) in customs matters, along with deliberating progress made on other customs related issues.

The RBI Governor chaired the discussions on central bank issues and their outcomes, including financial inclusion, Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and Information Security Cooperation.

Both Sitharaman and Das appreciated the BRICS members for their cooperation and support to the Indian Chair in preparation as well as finalisation of the significant and relevant deliverables of BRICS Finance, it added.