BRICS expected to be new platform for South-South cooperation

By Enrique Dussel

 

A decade has passed since Foreign Ministers from China, Russia, India and Brazil held their first meeting during the UN General Assembly in September 2006. The event is of symbolic significance for the BRICS cooperation mechanism.

 

The whole world expects further cooperation among BRICS members. Developing countries, including Mexico in particular, have hailed the China-proposed modality known as “BRICS plus,” in hopes that it could turn into a new platform for South-South cooperation.

 

BRICS members such as Brazil and Russia have recently encountered economic and social challenges, given sluggish global economic growth and other difficulties. But China stood out with a satisfactory growth.

 

Under China’s guidance, the BRICS mechanism has already set an example for South-South cooperation.

 

Economic, social and cultural differences among developing countries pose as a major challenge to South-South cooperation, leading to a diversity of development paths.

 

BRICS cooperation, 10 years after its establishment, has presented a satisfactory report card. The economic aggregate of BRICS countries now accounts for 23% of the world’s total, up from 12% ten years ago. They also contribute 50% to world economic growth.

 

As leaders of developing nations, BRICS members enjoy huge development  potentials. Faced with the rising tide of isolationism and protectionism in the developed world, BRICS countries shoulder greater responsibilities.

 

Against such a backdrop, it is more urgent and important to find a way of injecting new impetus to world economic growth, how to make sustainable and long-term plans, how to reinforce international cooperation and how to further promote economic globalization.

 

Under China guidance, BRICS cooperation has expanded to multiple sectors, including economy, trade, finance, energy, health care, technology, culture, agriculture and education. The Belt and Road initiative put forward by China has taken hold.

 

Financial institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank have all driven regional and international economic cooperation.

 

China’s proposals have been widely recognized and accepted at a number of major international conferences, including the G20 summits, APEC Economic Leaders’ Meetings, Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and BRICS Leaders’ Informal Meetings. China’s plans have become global solutions.

 

China has not only shown willingness to share its advanced technologies and experiences with other countries, but has also made detailed plans on its short, medium and long-term agenda. It suggests China’s influence and leadership in global governance.

 

The BRICS cooperation mechanism is the best way for developing countries to collectively contribute to world economic governance, and as a major component of multilateral cooperation. It has significantly gained a voice for emerging markets and developing countries in global governance, breaking the monopoly of the developed countries.

 

China’s “BRICS plus” strategy provides an alternative to expanding and deepening cooperation among developing countries, which most developing countries are anticipating, including Mexico.

 

Its remarkable economic performance has heightened the world’s expectations on its leadership role as well. I expect fruitful results from the upcoming BRICS Summit in Xiamen. I also hope BRICS countries could enhance cooperation on poverty relief, connectivity and global economic stability.

 

(The author is the director of Institute for China-Mexico Studies under National Autonomous University of Mexico and the director of the Academic Network for Latin America and the Caribbean on China.)

 

(Source: People’s Daily)

 

 

 

 

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