A bigger role for BRICS

Updated: 2012-03-29 08:06

(China Daily)

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The leaders of the five most dynamic emerging economies are meeting in New Delhi for the fourth annual summit of the BRICS countries.

They are discussing issues concerning economics, finance and sustainable development on Wednesday and Thursday, and are expected to exchange views on how to improve global governance and international issues of mutual concern.

Initiated less than six years ago, the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa has impressed the world with its vitality and growing influence, which has helped promote global development and the building of a multi-polar world.

With the accession of South Africa in April 2011, the bloc now boasts about 42 percent of the world's total population and more than a quarter of the world's landmass. According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund it had a combined nominal GDP of $13.6 trillion in 2011, about 19.5 percent of the world's total.

China maintains a strategic partnership with the other member states. Developing a sound relationship with these countries is a priority in its foreign policy. In a written interview before leaving for the summit, President Hu Jintao said China is committed to enhancing cooperation with BRICS countries and expanding mutual benefits.

To strive for common prosperity, BRICS countries should deepen cooperation among themselves in financing for infrastructure, trade credit and mutual investment. Setting up a much-discussed BRICS investment bank could make funding of infrastructure and development much easier among themselves.

They also need to shore up personnel and cultural exchanges to deepen mutual understanding and facilitate communication as their countries have different cultural backgrounds.

With the global economic order gradually shifting in favor of successful emerging economies, BRICS has assumed the role of both a defender and a promoter of the interests of the developing world. It should play a bigger role on the world stage and have a greater say in global governance.

To better protect their own interests and those of other developing countries, the bloc should have more say in the IMF and other financial institutions. Their voting share should be increased so as to pave the way for more participation in managing these structures.

For their voice to be taken into account the bloc should build more cohesion and actively challenge the dominance of Western powers in global governance.

(China Daily 03/29/2012 page8)