Big­ger global role

ChinAfrica - - Cover Story -

33-per­cent year-on-year in­crease. In the next five years, China is ex­pected to im­port more than $8 tril­lion worth of goods. China will also launch a new an­nual in­ter­na­tional im­ports expo in 2018 to en­able more for­eign goods to en­ter.

Brazil is a good ex­am­ple of how be­ing part of BRICS con­trib­utes to its eco­nomic mo­men­tum. Zhou Zhi­wei, a re­searcher on Brazil­ian stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, pointed out how, de­spite eco­nomic fluc­tu­a­tions, Brazil’s econ­omy has been grow­ing. In 2016, it was among the top 10 share­hold­ers in the IMF. Zhou said Brazil’s eco­nomic per­for­mance and in­ter­na­tional sta­tus un­der­went re­mark­able up­grad­ing in the past decade partly be­cause it is part of BRICS.

In the past 10 years, Brazil’s trade growth with its BRICS peers has been much higher than with any other coun­try. Even dur­ing the re­cent re­ces­sion, Brazil’s trade with them did not do badly at all, prop­ping up the South Amer­i­can na­tion’s for­eign trade. In April, the IMF re­vised its 2018 GDP growth fore­cast for Brazil, in­creas­ing it to 1.7 per­cent from 1.5 per­cent.

Be­sides trade and the econ­omy, BRICS is im­por­tant for en­hanc­ing its mem­bers’ in­ter­na­tional sta­tus. As Wang Lei, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the BRICS Co­op­er­a­tion Cen­ter at Bei­jing Nor­mal Univer­sity, sees it, in­di­vid­u­ally, “it is some­what dif­fi­cult for each BRICS coun­try to make its voice heard in the West-dom­i­nated dis­course. Their sta­tus will grow as their com­mon in­ter­ests co­in­cide.” Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi sug­gests a greater global role for BRICS. “BRICS coun­tries rep­re­sent emerg­ing economies,” he said. “Over the years, their for­tunes may have risen or fallen, and each faces chal­lenges.”

“As Pres­i­dent Xi put it, BRICS coun­tries are like five fin­gers, each with their own strength, but when we come to­gether, we are a fist that can punch. When we stay united, we won’t lose lus­ter but will shine more brightly,” Wang added.

At a sem­i­nar on BRICS in Bei­jing ear­lier this year, Ge­orgy Zi­noviev, Min­is­ter Coun­selor of the Rus­sian Em­bassy in Bei­jing, said BRICS coun­tries take con­certed ac­tion on many im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic is­sues. “No coun­try in the world can ig­nore our voice and our com­mon will,” he added.

Ram Mad­hav, Na­tional Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of In­dia’s rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party, voiced the thoughts of many of the par­tic­i­pants at the BRICS Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties, Think Tanks and Civil So­ci­ety Or­ga­ni­za­tions’ Fo­rum that met in south­east China’s Fuzhou in June. With­out a doubt, he said, BRICS coun­tries, as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, should play a larger role in global gov­er­nance in the 21st cen­tury.

In the na­ture of things, chal­lenges will have to be dealt with as they arise. For ex­am­ple, the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and In­dia, the two fastest

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