Golden BRICS to steadily have bigger say

Por • 25 mar, 2013 • Sección: Economía

Xin Zhongchu

Durban, South Africa, once the scene of a major gold rush, is set to draw global attention again when the fifth BRICS Summit is held on March 26 to 27, after a breakthrough was delivered at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2011.

It is widely expected that this summit will show the power and strength of the cooperation mechanism among emerging economies. 

Such perceptions are not unusual recently, since the BRICS countries have enjoyed rapid growth and become a significant force in addressing the international financial crisis, driving global growth, promoting global economic restructuring and improving global governance.

Will the BRICS shine golden at this new event? The answer is yes, to some extent.

First of all, the five BRICS countries represent almost 3 billion people, with a combined nominal GDP of $14.9 trillion, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world’s total population and almost 20 percent of production. 

According to Goldman Sachs statistics, in 2013, the global economy will rise by 3.6 percent, while the BRICS economy will expand by 6.9 percent, almost double the global average. Economic growth will in turn give them more clout in world affairs.

BRICS countries share the same strategic goals and hold common or similar positions in international affairs. They are asking for a greater voice on the global political stage that matches their potential and capabilities.

The BRICS mechanism has become an important platform for dialogue and cooperation among emerging markets, and plays a more and more crucial role in exerting a positive effect on the global economy and world politics.

The BRICS dialogue and cooperation mechanism has developed very fast over the past four years, especially in politics and economics. The annual BRICS summit always brings new ideas and energy.

An outreach session with African leaders will be held during this year’s BRICS summit.

With the African setting and high expectations from the vast developing world, the BRICS will doubtlessly have a brighter future. 

China stands ready to work with other members on strengthening BRICS cooperation, ensuring the success of this summit and the group as a whole.

However, there are other factors that still restrain the power of the BRICS nations.

The concept of «BRIC» was coined by Jim O’Neill, chief economist of Goldman Sachs, several years ago. The first BRIC summit took place in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, before South Africa joined in to make the group a complete BRICS in 2010.

Compared with other major multilateral groups, BRICS is quite a young force in the international arena.

Since Western nations still hold the lifelines of the world’s politics and economy, the participation of emerging market economies in global affairs can only be a step-by-step process.

What’s more, the BRICS countries are all emerging economies, and their top priority is to develop, not to gain fame or control of the world.

Take China. Although it has achieved rapid economic growth in the past decades, the country is still lagging behind the developed world in terms of productivity, education, scientific research and innovation.

The economic development of BRICS members can lay an even more solid foundation for its future cooperation.

Rome was not built in one day, nor were the BRICS nations. Durban won’t see another gold rush at this summit, but the resources to be mined go deep.

The author is a political analyst based in Beijing.

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