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​BRICS: Growing in Strength and Stature

来源:www.financialexpress.com;发表于:2024-02-19;人气指数:115

Monday, February 19, 2024

 


BRICS: Growing in Strength and Stature

By Farooq Wani

BRICS brings five of the world’s largest developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) together on one platform to review and assess ongoing global developments that could have an impact on 41 percent of the world population, 24 percent of global GDP and 16 percent of global trade.

Seen as emerging markets, the BRICS member states have sought to act as a counterbalance to traditional Western influence by establishing deeper ties between themselves and through cooperation on economic expansion, including trade.

2024 has started off with a bang with five more countries – Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -joining this grouping as full members from January 1. Argentina was also approached to join, but hasn’t done so thus far. However, 34 other countries have expressed their desire in principle to join.

As it convenes for a summit-level meeting in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in Russia in October, all eyes will be focused on Moscow’s leadership credentials when it assumes the BRICS chairmanship. It is a well-known fact that Russia has been a proactive force behind the alliance since its inception in June 2009.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an agenda statement on assuming the BRICS chairmanship. He said Russia’s focus would be to ensure “positive and constructive cooperation” between all members.

Russia would continue to promote all aspects of the BRICS partnership in three key areas (1)Politics and security, (2) Economy and finance, and (3) Cultural and humanitarian contact. Other priorities would include promoting cooperation in science, high technology, healthcare, environmental protection, sports, youth exchanges and civil society engagement.

Putin stressed on the need for ensuring sovereign equality, choice of path of development, mutual consideration of interests, aspiration for a multi-polar international order and a fair global financial and trade system.

Putin said that in order to deal with the challenges, Russia would be hosting over 200 events of different levels and types during its BRICS chairmanship to address international and regional issues. These will include:

• Security and stability related issues.

• Practical implementation of BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 strategies

• Preparing the action plan for the BRICS Innovation Cooperation 2021-2024 to ensure energy and food security.

• Enhancing the role of BRICS in the international monetary system.

• Expanding interbank cooperation and use of national currencies in mutual trade would be other focus areas.

In the context of the above listed aspirational goals, the enduring friendship between India and Russia is expected to take centre stage at this year’s BRICS Summit, and therefore, merits explanation.

The strong bilateral ties between Russia and India have been the cornerstone in the development of BRICS. It is a partnership that has contributed significantly to the group’s mission of fostering and enhancing economic cooperation, trade relations, ensuring financial stability, and promoting scientific exchanges and joint projects.

This collaborative effort has positioned BRICS as a driving force in the global economy, contributing significantly to global GDP and trade. Expanding and extending beyond its economic aims, the BRICS has also played a crucial role in elevating the role play of developing countries on the world stage, especially on issues such as global financial system reform, climate change and the need for gradually moving away from selfish protectionist policies.

India uses the BRICS platform as an opportunity to balance the Russia-China axis, and by extension the international order. With the West putting up challenges on issues ranging from WTO to climate change, the BRICS has emerged as the voice of developing countries, or the Global South, fighting for the collective protection of its rights.

BRICS also provides a platform for India to galvanise its efforts against terrorism. Delhi has convinced the grouping to take a strong stand against terrorism and brought about focused consultations on specific aspects of terrorism. India is also using the BRICS platform to demand UN reform, especially with regard to its and other countries’ membership of the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) and the Vienna-based Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

From India’s perspective, the BRICS also provides it with an opportunity to engage with China and resolve the mutual disputes. It also helps Delhi to garner support of other partner countries.

Another notable achievement is the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB). In the last decade, this bank has emerged as an alternative financing mechanism for projects in participating and other developing countries, and poses a credible challenge to traditional international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank.

Additionally, the alliance actively contributes to resolving global conflicts through diplomatic and other peaceful means. The spirit of cooperation within BRICS extends to knowledge and technology sharing in science, education, medicine, space, and IT, besides innovation and joint research.

Russia and India have both been longstanding and time-tested partners. The development of ties has been a key pillar of India’s foreign policy. Since the signing of the “Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000, when President Vladimir Putin visited India, India-Russia ties have seen enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship, including political, security, trade and economy, defence, science and technology and culture.

As the BRICS global summit approaches, the alliance remains committed to shaping the global economic landscape and addressing worldwide challenges. Preceding this event will be the “Spiritual Leadership and Creative Economy” session organised by the BCMF- BRICS Cultural Media Forum in Grozny in March 2024, setting the stage for strengthening of alliances within BRICS.

The author is Editor Brighter Kashmir, Author, TV commentator, political analyst and columnist.

Financial Express

Source: www.financialexpress.com

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