UK ambassadors: BRICS nations offer genuine economic partnership

brasilobserver - Aug 17 2015
Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ Agência Brasil

(Leia em Português)


The BRICS countries aim to enhance the global common space in pursuit of peace, security, stability, development and co-operation, “issues of common interest internationally”, wrote their ambassadors to the UK in an article published by the Daily Telegraph.

The article “BRICS nations offer the world a taste of genuine economic partnership” has analysis on the group’s seventh summit, held in July in Ufa, Russia. The authors are Brazilian ambassador Roberto Jaguaribe, Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, Indian High Commissioner Ranjan Mathai, Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko and South African High Commissioner Obed Mlaba.

Welcoming the Ufa summit as a “major milestone” for the group, the article highlights “two major economic projects” of BRICS agreed at the previous summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. They are the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserves Arrangement, which came to fruition after a year of discussions between governments.

“Among other things,” says the article, “the new bank will fund infrastructure in the developing world, as well as sustainable development projects.” For the ambassadors, the cooperation that has been practiced by BRICS “reflected an objective need for co-ordination between new emerging centres in a fast-changing world.”

Pointing G20 as the “premier forum of international financial and economic co-operation,” the article reveals concern of BRICS nations over the “lack of action on further reform of the Bretton-Woods institutions, despite decisions made five years ago to adapt them.”

“Given the experience of Europe, Africa, Latin America and other regions, we have been steadily enhancing our co-operation,” the article says. “These include finance, economy and innovation, science and technology, fiscal and social policies, statistics, agriculture, health, emergencies management, education and culture,” it adds.

Regarding speculation that the BRICS wants to create mechanisms that counter the financial institutions created by the developed countries such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the article points the “forum is not aimed against any parties, but rather stands for win-win co-operation through joint action.”

It continues: “Our co-operation is based on the principles of the United Nations, including sovereign equality. No one dictates to anyone or imposes their will, and decision-making is based on consensus. That is why we truly believe that our partnership, representing 43% of the world population and almost 30% of global GDP, provides a sustainable model of international co-operation.”

The article also mentions the importance of addressing new security challenges such as terrorism, drug trafficking, new diseases and climate change. “They are transnational and can be effectively dealt with only through genuine international efforts at global and regional levels. While co-operating between ourselves, we are open to engagement with other partners on issues of mutual concern”.

Despite the optimism of the ambassadors, international observers estimate that in spite of the New Development Bank advances, the BRICS is going through a period of weakness. Russia and Brazil may have recession this year. China is slowing down and the South African economy is expected to grow about 2%. The only one that still excites investors is India, with an expected growth of 8% in 2015.

Anyway, even in an unfavourable economic cycle, there is now less doubt about the strength of the group and the determination of the BRICS countries in building a multi-polar world that offers the emerging countries more affordable options for development.