Saturday, 22 February 2020

Resurging India Brick By “BRICS”

Updated: April 21, 2012 4:58 pm

I think the title of this week’s column is quite appropriate as the “Rising India” is strengthening its position brick by brick on the global arena. This was witnessed when leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in New Delhi last week for the fourth BRICS summit. The analysts maintain that ham-handedness of western countries under the leadership of the USA will soon witness a gauntlet being thrown by BRICS to them. The reasons for this are quite obvious. These five countries together account for 43 per cent of the world’s population, a quarter of the global output, 25 per cent of the land mass, attract 53 per cent of global financial capital and 18 per cent of global trade. These countries are also experiencing a huge growth and it is expected that, by the year 2050, the combined economies of the BRICS nations could become among the five most dominant economies of the world. Further, they are being the engines of today’s world economy. Against this backdrop, analysts also think that this prediction of the BRICS becoming the major economic force has been moved closer to year 2025. For, there are significant complementaries among these countries which, if exploited, can expand trade much further. Brazil and Russia have great potential for export of raw materials while China and India have the potential to export manufactures and services. Hence, a change in trade routes can keep growth in BRICS going. For, BRICS countries are the fastest growing and largest emerging countries of the world and they are the future. What is more, since trade happens globally, the share of the BRICS nations in this world trade has increased over the years: in 2001 the BRICs accounted for just 7 per cent of the world trade, but by 2008 their share had increased to almost 13 per cent. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are today bigger than ever before and they play an essential role in the current world. It is, therefore, of vital importance to start hearing their voices and start taking coordinated and global measures between all countries of the world, in order to create a more sustainable, sociable and human world. The BRICS are emerging superpowers and they will become global superpowers. There is no doubt that they have become more important today than before.

It is noteworthy that expectations were high from the fourth BRICS summit. With economic crisis ablaze in the Eurozone, anticipation was mounting for how the BRICS countries would address the world economic slowdown. Yet with the global spotlight on the summit, a promising and tangible development agenda could materialise at the summit. The BRICS countries repeated their criticism of the slow pace of reform in the International Monetary Fund and called for modified international financial institutions, which could better reflect today’s global pattern of economic power. It is worth mentioning here that BRIC is an acronym stated by Jim O’Neill in 2001. This happened when a 2001 Goldman Sachs paper entitled “Building Better Global Economic BRICs” signalled the forthcoming shift of global power away from the G7-led developed world to the emerging, fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, with the acronym BRIC. Never before had a new global grouping emerged from the research of an American Investment Banking and Securities Company. And BRIC became BRICS with the participation of South Africa at the April 14 Sanya Summit in the year 2011. So in the contemporary world, BRICS refers to the five most important emerging countries of the world, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The importance of emerging market economies is internationally recognised. In 2008, when the US was faced with the financial crisis, the then US President Bush invited the emerging market economies to evolve and adopt a recovery plan. BRICS counts and can be a good pressure group in G20. It is reassuring to note that BRICS countries have maintained a sturdy and relatively fast growth of their respective economies. With BRICS regarded as the powerhouse of the world economy, the international community places high hopes on them to help realise an early recovery for the world economy. `BRICS can be a more powerful world body if it plays a more proactive role like NATO. Although BRICS is not a military alliance, it is an economic alliance. It is high time nations like Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa came closer with an iron hand to oppose the unfair decisions of the USA and West in Central Asia and other developing countries. This can be done through increasing the economic cooperation and developing an international exchange mechanism to devaluate the importance of the dollar in decision making. Now in the midst of the global economic slowdown is the time for India to use its history of cooperation and political goodwill to address developing countries’ needs and market gaps, as per its strength, by boosting joint innovation. Only then will India’s most important—yet disconcertingly dormant—geopolitical partnership with other countries receive a much-needed lift.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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