Ties among BRICS countries fuel growth

Updated: 2012-03-29 04:29

(China Daily)

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The robust trade and economic ties within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have not only acted as an engine for global economic growth, but also become increasingly important among the five emerging countries, diplomats and economists said on Wednesday.

Deeper trade and economic ties among the countries will help them better deal with the effects of the global financial crisis and economic downturn, according to the BRICS Development's annual report, released on Wednesday.

Major emerging countries have largely benefited from their export-oriented path for growth, and a strengthened internal cooperation would help these countries reduce their reliance on sluggish external markets.

Braz Baracuhy, a diplomat with the Brazilian embassy to China, said the BRICS is a dynamic bloc and its diversity will allow for deeper cooperation.

China's trade volume with the other four BRICS countries surpassed $280 billion in 2011, up 40 percent year-on-year, indicating closer trade relations and more vitality for cooperation among the countries.

Yang Zhi, an economist at Renmin University, said the diversity among the five countries provides mutual markets, while their similarities boost common interests.

China's trade is strongly complementary with Russia and South Africa and shares more similarities with Brazil and India, the report said.

China has the weakest advantage in primary products and the strongest advantage in capital- and technology-intensive products among the five emerging countries, according to the report.

Together with South Africa, China has shown an increasing comparative advantage in capital- and technology-intensive products in recent years, while India, Brazil and Russia are gradually losing their competitive edge in this area.

Brazil and Russia have great advantages in primary products thanks to their rich reserves of oil, natural gas and related energy diplomatic policies, it said.

China's inferior position in primary products was attributed to the country's rising demand for natural resources, and resources have been wasted in its extensive growth in some areas, it said.

The study, conducted by Chen Wanling, a professor at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, used the revealed comparative advantage, an index used in international economics for calculating the relative advantage or disadvantage of a certain country in a certain class of goods or services.

China will continue to be the main engine for global economic growth, said Zhang Jianping, director of the international economic cooperation department under the National Development and Reform Commission.

"Cooperation among the BRICS countries is gaining momentum, which will help them gain a greater say in global affairs management," Zhang said.

The BRICS countries continued to lead in global growth in 2011. The economic growth rates of India and Russia were higher than the average growth rate of the global economy. Brazil and South Africa grew at a rate slightly lower than the global average but much higher than the average growth rate of developed countries, according to the World Economic Outlook issued by the International Monetary Foundation earlier this year.