Experts: BRICS must show it can lead

Updated: 2011-04-16 09:24

By Chen Weihua (China Daily)

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Prasad believes that BRICS economies have a lot at stake as the reform process of the international system gets under way, citing their concern over the macroeconomic instability and exchange rate volatility among major advanced economies.

He also pointed out that the BRICS economies have conflicting interests in many areas, and they constitute an unstable coalition. He was referring to the temporary coalitions with other countries in the G20 process, such as the opposition to quantitative easing policies led by Germany and China during the Seoul G20 summit.

Prasad also noted the differing agenda that the BRICS countries have with advanced economies.

While the short-term policy focus of BRICS is to fight inflation, many of the advanced economies are still trying to secure decent growth. "This creates a fundamental tension between the policy needs of these two groups of economies," he said.

"The BRICS (countries) are at least united in pushing back against advanced economies' loose macroeconomic policies, including rising debt levels and expansionary monetary policy in many of those economies such as the US," he said.

Rothkopf believes that Western countries must accept the rise of the BRICS.

The five BRICS countries now account for 40 percent of the world's population, 18 percent of global GDP and about 45 percent of current growth. Their combined economic clout is set to increase as their rapid growth continues.

"We need to find ways to work with them where our interests coincide and to manage conflicts where they will arise as they inevitably will," he said.

"In some cases we will be able to use ties with the BRICS to find shorter paths (than G20) to solutions on key issues, and on others we will find that divisions within the BRICS make it easier to manage situations and we will try to exploit them," he said.

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