Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: BRICS

Collective of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICS)

  • The current international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes characterised by the turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa, and the lingering negative impact of the financial crisis on world economy. The international community is facing both challenges as well as opportunities.

  • Against such backdrop, the leaders of China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa gathered in Sanya, Hainan Province of China on April 14, 2011 for the Third BRICS Leaders Meeting.

  • The BRICS is a unique cooperative mechanism of the 21st century. It came into being in the wake of the emergence of a group of developing countries.

  • The accession of South Africa and its participation for the first time at the Leaders Meeting signify an important development of BRICS, which made BRICS a mechanism covering the area of Asia, Africa, Europe and America and further enhanced its representation and influence.

  • At present, the five BRICS countries account for nearly 30 per cent of the world's land area, 42 per cent of the global population, make up 18 per cent of the world GDP and 15 per cent of the world total trade volume. The trade among these five countries experienced a rapid growth at 28 per cent annually from the year 2001 to 2010 and reached the amount of $230 billion.

  • BRICS countries are amongst the fastest growing economies in the world with tremendous potential. The cooperation among BRICS members reflects the development of international situation as well as the desire and choice of emerging economies.

  • The members of BRICS share a lot in common in many senses.

  • They are in the similar stage of development and face the same historical task of developing their economies and improving the well-being of their people. At present, the five countries are also facing similar challenges or problems in restructuring the economy, maintaining a healthy and sustainable growth and in achieving an inclusive, equitable and green development. The BRICS countries enjoy highly complementary advantages and solid foundation for extensive cooperation to promote common development based on equality and mutual benefit.

  • BRICS countries also share the same concerns and views in reforming and improving global economic governance and relevant institutions. They make joint efforts in meeting the global challenges together to serve the common interest of their own as well as the international community at large. BRICS countries are working closely in forums such as the United Nations and G20, and on issues like food and energy security, the Doha Round of trade talks, climate change, Millennium Development Goals and the reform of international financial institutions, and striving to increase the voice and representation of emerging economies and developing countries.

  • The cooperation of BRICS is different from many other international and regional mechanisms, such as the G8. It is neither another new grouping of big powers nor a political alliance. The countries are partners in development. The cooperation of BRICS countries diversified the growth of the world economy and became a driving force for the democratisation of international economic relations. The BRICS mechanism is not in competition with other mechanisms. It is open, transparent and inclusive and will always follow the principle of consensus building. It also serves as a bridge of communications and exchanges between the developed and the developing countries.

  • The Sanya Declaration by the heads of state and government of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) marks a strengthening of this emerging country partnership on the world stage in at least two significant respects.

  • First, BRIC has become BRICS with South Africa a rainbow nation of 50 million people, abundant natural resources, a middle income economy, and tremendous potential joining the forum as a full member.

  • Secondly, the grouping has gained coherence as well as confidence in articulating forward-looking positions on global economic and, to an extent, political issues. The formulation of an Action Plan at Sanya to enhance existing cooperation programmes, engage in new areas, and explore new proposals for working together indicates increased commitment.

  • However, the reality is that each of the five countries regards its ties with the United States as its most important bilateral relationship and is excessively wary of displeasing Washington.

  • The BRICS stance, formulated in the Sanya declaration, is disapproval of external military intervention in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and West African region.

  • BRICS has made real progress since Brazil, Russia, India, and China held the grouping's first summit in June 2009 at Yekaterinburg in Russia and issued a declaration calling for the establishment of an equitable, democratic, and multi-polar world order. Now they need to put more sincerity and substance into this very worthwhile coming together.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India