Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)

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  • Saideswara Rao asked: Is E-BRICS proposal viable at present?

    Jagannath P. Panda replies: ‘E-BRICS’ was proposed by the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during his recent trip to India. The Egyptian president expressed his country’s desire to join the multilateral grouping, comprising Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS), in order to streamline the Egyptian economy. Egypt is currently undergoing a massive economic and political transition, and is looking for international support and assistance from a range of countries to help revive its economy and sustain the ongoing democratisation process.

    With the conclusion of the recent Durban summit, BRICS has just finished holding the first cycle of leadership summits in each of the member countries. BRICS still is in the early stages of institutionalisation, and lacks formal rules and norms for induction of new members to further expand the grouping. Entry of Egypt into BRICS at this point of time may not be a viable idea as the Egyptian economy too is in the initial stages of transition and is not in the same league as other BRICS economies are. Besides, Egyptian entry would also compel BRICS to consider inclusion of other countries, like Indonesia, Mexico, etc. as well. Notably, none of the BRICS declarations so far have discussed in concrete terms the inclusion of any new member. BRICS needs to consolidate its current agenda, action plans and internal processes, before accepting or inducting new members.

    BRICS and Stepping Stones: A New Global Pattern

    A global vision based on sustainable resource use for global prosperity can also overcome trust deficit within the BRICS grouping.

    April 12, 2013

    BRICS comes of age at Durban

    BRICS is not challenging the existing world order. It is seeking a place in the sun for developing countries. It is looking at alternative approaches but there is no desire to seek confrontation with the West.

    April 01, 2013

    BRICS Baby Steps: The Challenges Ahead

    Now that NAM is defunct and very little wealth is left in the Commonwealth, and given that the G-20 has a set parameter and doesn’t encompass the aggregate of the hopes and aspirations of the developing world, India should use the BRICS forum to project its global profile.

    March 22, 2013

    BRICS Development Bank: Figuring out the Durban Bid

    If the BRICS Development Bank comes up, it will not only be a big moment for BRICS itself, but also for the global financial structure where the role, stake and space of the developing world will grow massively.

    March 08, 2013

    Vinit asked: Given the different political systems, sizes of economy or stages of economic development, do the BRICS nations have any prospective areas of cooperation?

    Jagannath P. Panda replies: Within the BRICS, its constituent members collectively wish to gain a number of objectives at the broader global level, which they are unable to achieve at the individual level. For instance, one of the main objectives of the BRICS is to advance the “reform of international financial institutions, so as to reflect changes in the world economy.” In fact, BRICS has rapidly evolved into a multilateral grouping to exert pressure on the developed economies on issues of global governance, social justice, accountability and legitimacy. There is a greater call for “better representation of the Southern values and interests” on these issues. One of the main targets of the BRICS is to check the US and Western dominance in the global financial institutions, and to demand for better voting rights for the emerging economies in those institutions. There is also a determined attempt to take a strong position and stance on various sensitive global security and political issues.

    Politically, BRICS members may find it hard to build consensus on certain issues, given their different political systems, distinct global objectives and social diversities. Yet, the previous BRICS summits, mainly the ones held at Sanya and New Delhi did indicate that the systemic differences or difference of opinion is not always a result of differences in perception on key global political and governance issues.

    Issues like Iran, Syria and Libya are of immense strategic importance, and BRICS views them as matters of serious concern in global politics. The common BRICS perspective on Iran is an example of this. For instance, at New Delhi summit, BRICS made its stance clear that the US pressure should not be a factor in formulating their relationship with Iran. Within a broader spectrum, India’s perspective on Iran could be different from that of China and Russia, but their common stance on the Iranian nuclear crisis within the stratagem of the BRICS seems to indicate a change in global power politics. In short, BRICS is currently acting more as a “pressure group” in order to maximize the claim and share of the developing world. The very existence and the rapid rise of BRICS remains a constant reminder of the declining supremacy of the US, indicating that a power shift is underway currently at the broader global level.

    Shubhda Chaudhary: Has IBSA become redundant now that South Africa has acceded to the BRICS group?

    Ruchita Beri replies: IBSA will continue to be relevant despite South Africa’s accession to the BRICS group. We must remember that the IBSA dialogue forum brings together three large democratic countries from different continents - Asia, Africa and South America. In comparison to BRICS, the IBSA has managed to develop a framework of multi-sectoral cooperation. Various working groups set up under the rubric of the IBSA dialogue forum has taken diverse initiatives towards South-South cooperation.

    Further, IBSA countries have been successful in coordinating positions at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on issues of global concern. This was quite evident by the visit of IBSA representatives to Syria and the coordination of positions in this context by the three countries at the UNSC. In the case of BRICS, the fact that it is a more diverse grouping composed of democracies as well as autocracies with differing geopolitical interests, limits the possibilities of synchronizing positions.

    BRICS Now Matter In The Changing Global World Order

    With economic growth and the political centre of gravity continuing to shift, BRICS already have a major role in dealing with transnational challenges, with power sharing institutionalised in the international architecture through the G20.

    April 16, 2012

    BRICS: In Search of Unity?

    While their growing economic clout has brought Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa together, translating the hand holding gestures at the end of each summit into real unity is likely to remain a daunting task.

    April 03, 2012

    New Delhi BRICS Summit: New Prospects, But More Challenges?

    The real challenges for the New Delhi summit are issues that are linked not only with the future of BRICS but also with the conduct and approach of its members towards each other.

    March 19, 2012