Experts laud BRICS contribution to world

By MAO LI / 09-07-2017 / (Chinese Social Sciences Today)


The leaders of the BRICS countries pose for a group photo before the Ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Southeast China's Fujian province, on Sept 4, 2017. (PHOTO: CHINADAILY)

Weighing in on the recent BRICS Xiamen Summit, scholars praised the contributions the bloc has made to world development and global economic governance.

The ninth BRICS Summit was held from Sept. 3 to 5 in Xiamen, a coastal city in Southeast China’s Fujian Province. It marks the beginning of the second decade of BRICS cooperation.


“The countries have transformed a purely economic concept of the BRIC into a new global governance institution,” the BRICS Research Group wrote in a newly released 2016 BRICS Goa Summit Final Compliance Report. Co-founded by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and the University of Toronto, the BRICS Research Group has been assessing progress the BRICS members have made toward implementing the commitments of their leaders at each summit since the 2011 Sanya meeting.

According to the report, the average score for compliance with commitments of all five summits assessed reached 75 percent. And the average compliance score for the Goa Summit was the highest in history, at 89 percent. Moreover, in such fields as macroeconomic policies, trade, and information and communications technology, the score is 100 percent.

The data is compelling evidence that the BRICS countries do not indulge in empty talk. Instead, they constitute an action team that is consistent in word and deed.

In the last decade, the economic aggregate of the five members grew 179 percent. The total trade volume grew 94 percent while the urbanization rate rose 28 percent. They have made remarkable contributions to the stabilization and recovery of the world economy.

The New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement represent useful attempts to improve global economic governance and build an international financial security network.

Also, the BRICS nations have taken the initiative to carry out the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, enhancing cooperation with the majority of developing countries to unite for self-development.

Chen Wenling, chief economist of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that BRICS cooperation has grown out of nothing—from small to large, from virtual to real, from loose to tight. What started as a provisional arrangement has developed into an institutionalized mechanism, achieving convergence, scale and demonstrative effects.

“BRICS cooperation has exceeded the expectations of the international community, even those of the countries themselves,” Chen said.

BRICS cooperation develops so fast because the members have found the suitable way to cooperate, said Wang Linggui, vice-executive chairman and secretary-general of the National Institute for Global Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The countries have deepened cooperation step by step in the past decade, Wang said, adding they have prioritized developing the global economy and improving living standards. At the same time, they have committed to building an all-dimensional, multi-level cooperative framework and mechanism, and they speak with one voice on major international and regional issues.

The development of the BRICS mechanism indicates the rising status of emerging markets and developing countries in global governance. Wang said that the countries have become the backbone of the global governance system.

BRICS cooperation is entering a new stage when isolationism, populism, terrorism and trade protectionism are gaining ground. BRICS nations should be more active in global governance and work together to address global challenges.

To promote a fairer, more reasonable international order, BRICS also need to enlarge its “circle of friends.” The Xiamen Summit, which extended the dialogue to a worldwide scale, is a breakthrough relative to previous meetings. It invited leaders of countries like Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand to hammer out plans for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries and build consensus on a variety of topics, such as implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthening South-South Cooperation, constructing development partnerships and improving global economic governance.

Wang Lei, director of the BRICS Cooperation Center at Beijing Normal University, hailed the “BRICS Plus” model as an important creative contribution to the BRICS mechanism by China, the host state.
“The ‘BRICS Plus’ model is an exploration of the second round of enlargement at a proper time in the future, showcasing the vigor and vitality of BRICS cooperation,” Wang Lei said.

Lu Jing, director of the BRICS Research Center at China Foreign Affairs University, said that the “BRICS Plus” model can expand the scope of BRICS cooperation, connect the five countries to the larger external market and help unleash greater cooperation potential.

In addition, the model can enable more emerging markets and developing countries to share the fruits of the BRICS nations’ growth and facilitate the construction of a globally influential platform for South-South Cooperation and international development collaboration, Lu said.


MAO LI  is a reporter at the Chinese Social Sciences Today.