BRICS members should have bigger say

Updated: 2012-01-04 07:37

By Yu Zhixiao (China Daily)

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The world economy is likely to continue to face challenges and hobble forward in the year ahead.

As one antidote to the current global economic malaise, BRICS, a bloc of five major emerging economies, should have a bigger say and play a more important role in the world economic mechanism.

A bigger say for BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, in the world economic system, particularly in the heavyweight financial blocs such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), would be a proper reflection and confirmation of BRICS' rising economic clout and contribution to world economic growth.

There is no denying that the current world economic order is dominated by Western powers. For example, although China's share of voting power in the World Bank was increased from 2.77 percent to 4.42 percent and that of India was raised from 2.77 percent to 2.91 percent in April 2010, the US' share is still 15.85 percent, which effectively gives the country the power of veto.

According to the IMF, BRICS, with roughly one third of the world's total population and more than a quarter of the world's land area, is estimated to have a combined nominal GDP of $13.6 trillion in 2011, accounting for 19.5 percent of the world's total.

Some analysts predict that BRICS could become as big as the G7 (the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy) by 2027.

BRICS countries have made tremendous contributions to the world economy by increasing employment, cutting poverty, investing capital, and exporting and importing.

Their contributions should be reflected in BRICS having a bigger voice in the world economic system.

A bigger say for BRICS will also help transform the current Western-dominated world economic order into a more reasonable, balanced and equitable system that better represents the interests of developing economies, which is essential for sustained world economic growth.

Developed countries, which are confronted with poor economic prospects and slow recoveries, should cooperate more closely with emerging economies, particularly the BRICS countries, to overcome their differences and achieve win-win results.

But that cooperation should not merely mean persuading the dynamic emerging economies to unilaterally shoulder more responsibilities, such as purchasing more European and US sovereign debt bonds.

To tide over the current crises and more effectively boost the world economy, the US and European countries should scrap their protectionist measures, open their arms to investment from BRICS and other developing countries, and export more advanced technologies to them.

Closer coordination and cooperation are urged between BRICS members and developed economies, as well as between developing and developed countries.

The author is with Xinhua News Agency.