BRICS Ex­perts on Gover­nance

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Zhou Xin Pho­to­graphs by Dong Ning/china.org.cn

In mid-au­gust of this year, over 160 guests from BRICS and other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries gath­ered in Quanzhou, a coastal city in south­east­ern China, for the BRICS Sem­i­nar on Gover­nance. Quanzhou is about an hour’s drive away from Xi­a­men, the host city of the 9th BRICS Sum­mit.

As an im­por­tant event lead­ing up to the BRICS sum­mit in early Septem­ber, the sem­i­nar was spon­sored by the Pub­lic­ity De­part­ment of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and co-or­ga­nized by the Chi­nese Acad­emy of Gover­nance and China In­ter­na­tional Pub­lish­ing Group (CIPG). As a novel and re­ward­ing pro­gram un­der the co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms of BRICS, the sem­i­nar in­cluded three panel meet­ings re­spec­tively themed “en­hanc­ing re­form for com­mon de­vel­op­ment,” “in­creas­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion for cul­tural pros­per­ity,” and “strength­en­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion in global gover­nance.” It aimed to pro­mote an­other decade of suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS coun­tries by invit­ing guests to con­duct in-depth ex­change on gover­nance and ex­plore pos­si­bil­i­ties for wider co­op­er­a­tion.

China’s Mode: A Ref­er­ence for the World

In 2003, Gold­man Sachs coined the con­cept of BRIC in a re­port on global eco­nomics: Dream­ing with BRICS—THE Path to 2050. In Septem­ber 2006, the for­eign min­is­ters of China, Rus­sia, In­dia and Brazil met for the first time dur­ing a ses­sion of the United Nations Gen­eral As­sem­bly. In 2009, the first sum­mit meet­ing of BRIC lead­ers was held in Rus­sia. At the end of 2010, South Africa joined the bloc, adding its “S.” Ten years have passed since co­op­er­a­tion among these large de­vel­op­ing coun­tries was first or­ga­nized. From an in­for­mal meet­ing be­tween for­eign min­is­ters to a multi-faceted co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism cov­er­ing pol­i­tics, econ­omy, agri­cul­ture, en­ergy and cul­ture, these coun­tries have reaped re­mark­able re­sults by pro­mot­ing ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion.

China’s gover­nance has achieved con­sid­er­able suc­cess since the 18th CPC Na­tional Congress. Dur­ing the sem­i­nar, guests from all par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries praised Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s phi­los­o­phy on gover­nance. Ron­nie Lins, CEO of Cen­ter Chi­naBrazil: Re­search and Busi­ness, re­marked that Pres­i­dent Xi’s gover­nance model is a source of in­spi­ra­tion. It can serve as a plat­form from which we can make the nec­es­sary adap­ta­tions in global gover­nance. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has de­vel­oped an ad­min­is­tra­tion model with well-de­fined ob­jec­tives, solid premises and fore­see­able re­sults. The Chi­nese model can serve as a bench­mark for al­most any de­vel­op­ing coun­try.

Es­sop Goolam Pa­had, a for­mer min­is­ter of South Africa and edi­tor-in-chief of the monthly jour­nal The Thinker, re­marked that poverty is a ma­jor con­cern af­fect­ing the de­vel­op­ment in Africa, and that crit­i­cal lessons for Africa can be drawn from Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s book Up and Out of Poverty. Ningde Pre­fec­ture in Fu­jian Prov­ince once suf­fered from sim­i­lar prob­lems re­lated to de­vel­op­ment and poverty, and Xi ef­fec­tively al­le­vi­ated poverty there. This book man­i­fests how lead­er­ship brought dra­matic changes to the poor dur­ing the time of trans­for­ma­tion.

This sem­i­nar also pro­vided a plat­form for sug­ges­tions on con­crete is­sues concerning gover­nance. Vladimir Eremin, the First Deputy Di­rec­tor of the Grad­u­ate School of Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion (GSPA) of Lomonosov Moscow State Univer­sity, ar­gued that civil ser­vants are re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing le­gal sup­port to eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties, or­ga­niz­ing mon­e­tary cir­cu­la­tion, and en­sur­ing an op­ti­mal en­vi­ron­ment for em­ploy­ment. One of the cen­tral and most ur­gent tasks of a civil ser­vice in­sti­tu­tion is more ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of eco­nomic and so­cial func­tions—reg­u­la­tion of the econ­omy. Train­ing of civil ser­vants is a very im­por­tant is­sue for all coun­tries, in­clud­ing BRICS nations.

For­mer Ethiopian Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Gen­net Zewide Birru hopes that more women will be in­cluded in global gover­nance. Women play a crit­i­cal role in im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hood. In

de­vel­op­ing con­ti­nents like Africa, about 90 per­cent of the fe­male la­bor force is en­gaged in agri­cul­tural work. Women are also re­spon­si­ble for the prepa­ra­tion of food for fam­i­lies. When women are given the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in lead­er­ship, they can im­prove and tackle im­por­tant is­sues that will re­sult in real progress for the peo­ple.

Next Break­through for BRICS Co­op­er­a­tion

In the past decade, BRICS coun­tries grew from some promis­ing emerg­ing economies scat­tered across four con­ti­nents into a group of de­vel­op­ing nations that co­op­er­ate in many ar­eas. What will fu­ture co­op­er­a­tion be like? What are the ar­eas to ex­plore for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion?

Dur­ing this sem­i­nar, ex­perts of­fered fea­si­ble sug­ges­tions ac­cord­ing to their pro­fes­sion and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ma­hen­dra Prasad Lama, a pro­fes­sor from Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity, be­lieves that ed­u­ca­tion could be a crit­i­cal realm of co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS mem­bers. It could be­come a gamechanger for the five-coun­try in­te­gra­tion ma­trix. BRICS mem­bers have al­ready iden­ti­fied ar­eas like shar­ing of macro-data, pop­u­lar­iza­tion of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, and tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion on a much deeper and larger scale, with the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of stu­dent and teacher mo­bil­ity be­ing a core area of co­op­er­a­tion. How­ever, given their dif­fer­ent ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tions, de­vel­op­ment lev­els, gover­nance struc­tures and in­sti­tu­tional vari­a­tions, BRICS coun­tries must in­creas­ingly adopt non-con­ven­tional tech­niques and prac­tices to kin­dle and deepen co­op­er­a­tion.

Hu Huaibang, chair­man of China De­vel­op­ment Bank (CDB), vows that to keep with the BRICS spirit of open­ness, in­clu­sive­ness and win-win co­op­er­a­tion, the CDB will con­tinue to pro­mote and deepen BRICS co­op­er­a­tion to­wards the goal of build­ing a big mar­ket for trade and in­vest­ment, wider cir­cu­la­tion of fi­nan­cial ser­vices and cur­ren­cies, well-con­nected in­fra­struc­ture and more fre­quent peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­change. By play­ing the role of a think-tank as well as a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, the CDB can fur­ther pro­mote ex­changes among BRICS coun­tries on gover­nance, de­vel­op­ment of ma­jor projects and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties.

Think-tank Co­op­er­a­tion on Cul­tural Ex­change

Dur­ing the sem­i­nar, CIPG signed mem­o­randa of un­der­stand­ing on aca­demic re­search and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with four in­sti­tutes and agen­cies: the In­sti­tute of Europe of the Rus­sian Acad­emy of Sciences, the Cen­ter China-brazil: Re­search and Busi­ness (CCB), the In­sti­tute of Chi­nese Stud­ies in Delhi, In­dia, and South Africa’s The Thinker magazine.

Ac­cord­ing to the agree­ments, both sides will work closely on in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, staff ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion in aca­demic re­search, as well as con­duct­ing rou­tine dis­cus­sions and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“The fu­ture of BRICS co­op­er­a­tion re­quires both top-level de­sign and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­change, es­pe­cially co­op­er­a­tion and joint wis­dom be­tween think-tanks of dif­fer­ent BRICS nations,” de­clared Vice Pres­i­dent of CIPG Wang Gangyi in an in­ter­view. As the BRICS mech­a­nism steps into its sec­ond decade, plenty of room has emerged for bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion be­tween BRICS nations, ac­cord­ing to Wang. BRICS think-tanks are ex­pected to lever­age their strengths, com­ple­ment each other and pro­vide solutions for BRICS nations, serv­ing as driv­ers of BRICS co­op­er­a­tion for bet­ter so­cial de­vel­op­ment. “Think-tanks in these coun­tries should be­come prac­ti­tion­ers of new glob­al­iza­tion, ad­vo­cates of new global gover­nance and pi­o­neers of new South-south co­op­er­a­tion,” he added.

Au­gust 17, 2017: Huang Kun­ming, ex­ec­u­tive deputy head of the Pub­lic­ity De­part­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, stresses the im­por­tance of en­hanc­ing ex­change on gover­nance ex­pe­ri­ence and en­sur­ing con­sen­sus among lead­ers of BRICS nations in a key­note speech at the BRICS Sem­i­nar on Gover­nance in Quanzhou, Fu­jian Prov­ince.

Au­gust 18, 2017: Dur­ing the two- day BRICS Sem­i­nar on Gover­nance in Quanzhou City, Fu­jian Prov­ince, China In­ter­na­tional Pub­lish­ing Group (CIPG) re­spec­tively signed mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing on aca­demic re­search and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with four for­eign in­sti­tutes and agen­cies.

Au­gust 17, 2017: Jiang Jian­guo, deputy head of the Pub­lic­ity De­part­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and min­is­ter of the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice, pre­sides over the open­ing cer­e­mony of the BRICS Sem­i­nar on Gover­nance.

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