BRICS puts on the annual show of unity – a global issue

Despite diplomatic tensions within the group, BRICS leaders attended the 13th Annual Summit (Image: Almi).
  • By Flavia Milhorns (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Inter Press Service

So what still holds the team of so-called emerging countries together?

At the virtual event, the heads of state of host countries India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa renewed the group’s pledge of cooperation for the thirteenth time, an event that took place in contrast to last year’s barbarism. It has failed to attract much public interest.

According to Google Trends, Internet searches for BRICS-related news dropped to the lowest point level in their group’s history during the summit. Online searches are usually at the peak of popularity during events but rarely aroused interest like the 2014 summit, when the block launched the New Development Bank (NDB).

Doubts spread about the progress of the block. It was hit by a financial crisis with the industrialized nations in 2009 – perhaps with great anticipation over the possibility of redefining global governance. Today, not even one of the most ardent supporters of the BRICS, economist Jim O’Neill, who created the group’s summary two decades ago, seems fascinated by recent events.

O’Neill wrote after the event, “The ongoing failure to develop key policies through the bloc’s annual summit has become increasingly brighter.”

The first decade of BRICS success

O’Neill’s frustration is reminiscent of the “roaring success” of four BRICS organizations in the first decade. South Africa joined the group in 2010.

In 2009, Russia hosted the first summit, seeking a more active voice on global economic issues in response to the devastating financial crisis.

At first, “countries pushed for reform of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and proposed an alternative to the international financial system by creating the NDB,” said Karin Costa Vazquez of the Center for Brix Studies at Fudan University.

At that time, and with the exception of Russia, the countries formed the BASIC group, “The Failure of Developed Countries to Set Climate Agenda” and provided an alternative voice to international climate talks after the fall of Copenhagen, Isabella Teixeira, who was Brazil’s environment minister from 2010 to 2016.

“The BRICS was an environment of important political dialogue,” Texas said Chinese dialogue. “It was a very interesting moment of confidence. There was an informality in the conversation between the ministers.” The group’s diplomatic role, Teixeira added, was “absolutely crucial” in talks that would later culminate in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Since then, however, experts have listed the BRICS vacancies as a group, as economic and political crises plague member states. It witnessed recessions in Russia, South Africa and Brazil, tensions between China and India, and the anti-China rhetoric of Zaire Bolsonaro, who became president in 2018 and began rebuilding environmental policies and beginning to isolate himself diplomatically.

“The country has gone against the world,” Teixeira said.

BRICS retains relevance

Although the day may be behind it, BRICS is still relevant today, according to Costa Vazquez. “BRICS is the only place where the world’s largest emerging economy needs to coordinate its position and propose five-member initiatives of common interest. This is no small matter when we are talking about more than 0% of world GDP.” Said.

Vazquez argues that in order to continue working, the multilateralism of the bloc has paved the way for more bilateral agreements. As such, it is more flexible, limits cooperation when interests are separated, and resumes and expands when they come together.

Since BRICS does not act as an economic bloc, it has no formal rules of conduct. According to Oliver Stuenkel from the Getulio Vargas Foundation, the cost of membership is low, and the diplomatic benefits are still significant.

Strong diplomatic relations can also reflect the growth of bilateral trade. For example, trade between Brazil and China should set a new record in 2021. Last year, bilateral trade topped 100 100 billion for the first time, and last month it already surpassed 93 93 billion.

Surprisingly, Bolsonaro adopted a soft tone towards China at the recent BRICS conference. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that no matter what the difficulties, the BRICS will maintain strong and continued cooperation.

The NDB raises hopes

Despite some new talk in the historic historical areas of cooperation such as climate, the main product of the BRICS, the NDB, is gaining momentum. Paolo Nogeira Batista Jr., and economist who was vice-president of the bank from 2015 to 2017, criticized the NDB’s slowness in producing results and fulfilling its aspirations to become a global development bank.

Today, however, Batista Jr. is seeing progress. “The bank has come a little further in the last two years and has achieved some results,” he said. For example, it has approved projects, including the Covid-1 combat counter-assistance program, continued staffing, created headquarters, technically improved, and opened up new members. “

In early September, the NDB announced the addition of Uruguay, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh to its membership. In its six years of operation, the bank has approved approximately 30 projects with a total investment of 30 300 billion. The bank has also provided ১০ 10 billion to BRICS member countries to deal with Covid-1 combat.

“The bank is already part of the landscape,” Batista Jr. said. Can the same be said about the BRICS block?

This article was originally published by China Dialogue

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal Source: Inter Press Service

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