BRICS nations seek new paths to develop global cooperation
Updated: 2014-07-14 06:49
By WU JIAO in Rhodes, Greece, and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing (China Daily Latin America)
Economic future 'still promising' despite slowdown
President Xi Jinping is preparing to attend the BRICS summit as the group is generating new initiatives amid slowing economic growth, observers said.
Xi is scheduled to attend the sixth BRICS Summit — grouping leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fan Yongming, a researcher at the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the annual gathering of the five emerging economies will occur this year amid "mounting pressures, both politically and economically".
Leading economic agencies including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have warned that obvious signs of a slowdown have been seen in the five-nation group and they have been experiencing a widespread slump in exports.
But the economic future is "still promising", Fan said.
Over the past 10 years, the five countries have accounted for 21 percent of global economic output and have contributed more than 50 percent to world economic growth.
Li Jianmin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, suggested that it is very important for BRICS nations to "sketch an outline of the development framework of BRICS".
China "supports an early launch of the BRICS Development Bank and Contingency Reserve Arrangement to build a financial security network of BRICS in its own right", said Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong.
Xi stopped off in Greece on his way to South America on Sunday, and he met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
On the sidelines of the BRICS summit, the Chinese leader is expected to have his first meeting with newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Following the summit, Xi will visit Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba, and attend the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit from July 17 to 23.
Zhang Haibing, an economic studies expert at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Xi's second trip within two years to Latin America is sending a "promising signal", behind which is the shared pursuit for boosting economic growth and global governance.
"In the post-crisis era, Latin American countries are facing issues including economic restructuring and the sustainability of good momentum," and China and Latin America will learn more from each other by sharing experiences, Zhang said.
Experts said China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States — known by the Spanish abbreviation CELAC — are likely to see a China-CELAC forum ushered in during Xi's visit.
Since last year, leaders from both sides have been having in-depth discussions on the establishment of such a forum.
The first meeting is expected to be held this year.
Wang Yusheng, executive director of the Strategy Research Center of China International Studies Research Fund and a former senior APEC official, said the upcoming visit is a trust-building trip that transcends geography.
"In the past, because of the huge distance, there have been a range of inconveniences for economic trade and cultural exchanges. ... The China-Latin America forum is another diplomatic highlight that will help unleash China's dividends (of economic growth) to the region," Wang said.
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