Consolidating BRICS

Updated: 2013-03-27 07:15

(China Daily)

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Much of the world's attention is focused on the fifth BRICS summit, which began in the South African city of Durban on Tuesday. Given BRICS' clout in the world economy, there is a great deal of interest in the BRICS leaders' plan to boost inter-BRICS cooperation and their views on major international and regional issues.

Since its founding in 2009, the bloc, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has thrived to be an indispensable force propelling the global economic recovery. In the wake of the financial crisis their total contribution to global economic growth has risen to about 50 percent.

With the organization becoming increasingly articulate in international affairs in recent years, it is also being looked upon as an important force defending the rights and interests of developing countries and working to deliver a fairer and more just world order. Together the BRICS members account for 42 percent of the world's population.

This is the first BRICS summit to be held in Africa, and after the conclusion of the summit the BRICS leaders will meet with African leaders to discuss cooperation on infrastructure to unlock Africa's potential, which is a good opportunity for them to discuss how they can advance their mutually beneficial relations.

BRICS countries' commitment to forging stronger ties with Africa epitomizes that the bloc now serves as a bridge between South-South cooperation and South-North cooperation.

BRICS leaders are also expected to discuss a BRICS Development Bank, international security, global governance, reform of the international financial system and ways of deepening inter-grouping cooperation at the summit.

Any consensus reached by the BRICS' leaders on these issues will have a far-reaching influence on inter-BRICS cooperation as well as the grouping's interaction with other countries.

More effective coordination in regional and international platforms will make the bloc better positioned to meet mutual challenges and contribute to improving global economic governance and promoting democracy in international relations.

For decades, the existing international institutions - the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization - have been dragging their feet on substantial reforms. BRICS countries should assume a greater role in pushing for the reforms and usher in a more rational global economic governance so that it reflects the reality of the world's economic landscape and guarantees the interests of the developing world.

(China Daily 03/27/2013 page8)