Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 42.2017
2017.10.09 — 2017.10.15
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Brics co-operation ushers in new era (Сотрудничество стран БРИКС открывает новую эру) / South Africa, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion
South Africa
Author: Shannon Ebrahim

SHANNON Ebrahim: China recently hosted a very successful Brics Summit in Xiamen. What do you consider the most important outcomes? LS: The Brics Xiamen Summit has injected new momentum for the open world economy, global governance and international co-operation, further boosting the influence of the Brics. The main outcomes are three-fold.

First, Brics co-operation has ushered in another new golden decade. President Xi raised three important points for Brics partners, namely, treating each other as equals and seeking common ground while shelving differences, taking a results-oriented innovative approach to make our co-operation benefit all, and developing ourselves to help others while bearing in mind the well-being of the whole world. These ideas will chart the future course of Brics co-operation.

Second, Brics co-operation is driven forward by three wheels - political mutual trust, economic mutual benefit as well as people-to-people exchange and cultural mutual learning, and more than 60 tangible co-operation outcomes have been achieved. We have developed co-operation in areas such as trade in services, e-commerce, trade facilitation, IPO, economic and technological co-operation, innovation co-operation and public and private partnership.

Third, the Brics co-operation mechanism has become stronger, more solid and effective. We have held the first stand-alone Brics foreign ministers' meeting and instituted regular consultations among our permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna. The African Regional Centre of the New Development Bank was launched in South Africa, marking a new stride towards a global development agency.

SE: How will the border dispute between China and India affect relations between the two countries?

LS: As each other's important neighbour, China and India are the two largest developing countries and emerging markets in the world. A sound and stable China-India relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is the shared aspiration of this region and the international community at large.

In his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Brics Summit last month, President Xi Jinping pointed out that China and India should stay committed to the basic judgement that the two sides present development opportunities rather than a threat to each other. We hope the Indian side could put China's development in a correct and rational perspective. We shall show the world that peaceful co-existence and win-win co-operation are the only right choice for China and India. China and India should jointly uphold peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

SE: Will India's antagonism towards the One Belt One Road Initiative affect the project in any way?

LS: More than four years on after the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed, over 100 countries around the world and organisations have supported and participated in this initiative.

President Xi Jinping said we should build the Belt and Road into a road for peace, co-operation and prosperity. All countries should respect each other's sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns.

Regarding the issue of Kashmir which the Indian side is concerned about, it has long been our position that the Belt and Road is a co-operation initiative for the common development and prosperity of the region. As an important part of the Belt and Road, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not directed at any third parties, has nothing to do with territorial disputes, and does not affect China's position on the Kashmir issue. We have repeatedly stated that the Belt and Road is an open and inclusive initiative. We welcome the participation of all countries to share the development opportunities brought by the initiative.

SE: China advocates dialogue with North Korea, but how can the international community bring North Korea to the negotiating table when even the harshest sanctions have failed to do so?

LS: We believe that a nuclear-free, peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of the region and beyond. It also represents the common responsibility of all parties. China advocates for a peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation. Both sanctions and promoting peace talks are the requirements of the DPRK-related resolutions of the UN Security Council. Overemphasising one and overlooking the other is not consistent with the spirit of UN Security Council resolutions.

To break the deadlock on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, all parties need to work in good faith for the shared goal. The foreign ministries of China and Russia have issued a joint statement on the Korean Peninsula issue, which sets forth a joint initiative based on the "dual-track approach" and the "suspension for suspension" initiative proposed by China and the step-by-step concept by Russia.

We hope that all relevant parties can play a constructive role in jointly promoting the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

SE: How will China attempt to reduce tension between the US and North Korea?

LS: I think that the US and North Korea are the main parties to the tension on the Korean Peninsula. We maintain that relevant issues be settled through dialogue and consultation between the US and the DPRK and between the ROK and the DPRK. The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue bears on the vital interests of all relevant parties as well as regional peace and stability. It is China's consistent position to oppose war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula.

Recently, Susan Thornton, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the US State Department, told a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that the pressure campaign of the US was aimed at bringing the DPRK back to the negotiating table. Meanwhile, the US has been clear about its strategy towards the DPRK, namely, the US does not seek regime change or collapse of the DPRK; the US does not seek an accelerated reunification of Korea, nor an excuse to garrison troops north of the Armistice Agreement's Military Demarcation Line; the US has no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering DPRK people.

We hope that the US can translate these commitments into concrete actions and that the DPRK side can work for the shared goal.

SE: Now that THAAD has been operationalised in South Korea, will tension continue between the two countries?

LS: It has been China's clear-cut, consistent and firm position to oppose the THAAD deployment in the ROK by the US. The THAAD deployment in the ROK will in no way address the security concerns of the relevant countries and only severely undermine regional strategic balance and jeopardise the strategic security interests of China and other regional countries.
Anna M. Leenders / BRICS: Making the Peace (Анна М. Лендерс / БРИКС: Создавая мир) / Russia, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion
Author: Anna M. Leenders

"When you really want something,the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
Paolo Coehlo,

The BRICS has the promise of being a great story, and certainly an exciting one, for all the lands of BRICS have a colorful distinctiveness that has marked our imagination and sparked our passions. BRICS begins at the great heights of the gathering of civilizations at the summit of modern accomplishment at the opening of the third millennia. The historical struggle with expedited societal transformation spurs these unique powers to approach the global challenges they face from a people-conscious perspective, intended to achieve a maximally sustainable approach. Let's consider the criticism and skepticism that is vocalized towards BRICS, which some argue is a part of the information war. How can such a diverse set of nations, in terms of their historical, political, cultural and economic paths, converge and cooperate in a sustainable manner? It is the diversity that unites and empowers the BRICS. Each BRICS state is fully independent, self-sufficient, culturally unique, militarily entirely assertive, and adaptable, enforcing mutually constructive coexistence.

The objective of the BRICS is to create a tradition of cooperation, first and foremost. The objective of that cooperation is constantly shifting. Modulating in one direction or another, shifting forms and space to correspond to the ever altering landscape of conflicts and challenges manifesting in the world.

BRICS arises itself as one of the leading power nodes, potentially a pole, dynamically developing into the habits and procedures of global governance. A qualitatively new model for the polycentric order based not only on economic and military equivalence, but drawing upon the wealth of its sociopolitical diversity, symbolically and also concretely. Of course, the figures are in place. The amalgamation of their diplomatic efforts would secure and align nearly one half of the global employable population. BRICS stretches across nearly one third of the global landmass. The currencies are backed not only by resources, but also by mighty economies, growing at rates at time four times more rapidly than during the Industrial Revolution.

The economic indicators are relevant because initially the RIC project was discussed as a strictly economic approach to resolving the economic crisis faced not only by the RIC but by the world. The initial discourse arising from the core discussion of the G20, overcoming national inequality and global marginality, is transformed into an effort to provide an assertive stance of self-sufficiency and stability. The effect is that the BRICS are contributing to the maintenance of global regulation of economics. How close are these countries to converging to each other remains a question to be crafted through negotiated joint work and implementation. Forecasts expect BRICS to surpass the 2014 G7 figure by 2030.

The political indicators are equally significant due to the reasoned, wise manner these states comport themselves through their foreign policy. What kind of network of states are the BRICS forming and how strongly is this network reflected amongst the other international institutions and groups? The BRICS countries demonstrate a strong correlation in terms of the global and regional organizations they are participatory members of. Whereas each BRICS member is also a critical player in his respective regional governance infrastructures, with global reach and clout. The BRICS members not only act concertedly coordinating voting and resolutions through the existing international organizations, but their global influence is also extended regionally.

Russia as a viable center of world governance norms

"Change is one thing. Acceptance is another."
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things,

The intricate clarity of the Russian language gives an identical word for world and peace " мир". Respectively, the terms for peacemaking and world governance converge in one joint word "миростроение". Literally миростроение means world construction, whereas the Russians understand world construction as its literal and figurative synonym of construction of peace. The Russian diplomatic formula is all about constructing order and integrating partners through networked diplomacy. Whereas order in classical Greek philosophy is associated with the ideas of cosmos, the teleological progression through the Orthodox Christian, third Rome, which is Moscow, parallely teaches peaceful and evolutionary behavior. Interestingly, what has begun manifesting itself from these diplomatic overtures, in which the Russians demonstrate such foresight, is networking countries through horizontal interlinkages across various levels. The "comprehensive sovereignty" of each state is respected, whereas the state joins a networked horizontal international structure that transcends the expected conditions of anarchy. Global networking is how the block structures being transformed with the announcement of the rules of new membership for the BRICS++.

On one side of the Atlantic scholars at the turn of the century like G. John Ikenberry, discussed how a rights-based international system could through institutionalism prolong the order thus far maintained by the solitary superpower of the United States, after its projected relative decline in power vis à vis the rest of the world. Whereas practitioners like Robert Kaplan and Barnett by the foresaw a polycentric world destabilized at its core, a destabilization that is ever increasing in the Middle East. Subsequent events have put to question to what extent US policies are contributing to the resolution or the unintended widening instability at the core. By 2008, a polycentric world destabilized by rising medium powers seemed to predominate the possible scenarios to a multipolar counterbalance by emergent great powers. As the poles, which must give balance to this system are in a process of formation or reconfiguration, it's difficult to forecast in which direction the multiple rising centers could regionally associate themselves with. The BRICS founding states form a promising set of regional leaders, including due to their global reach and stabilizing force due to efforts to adapt to each other.

In Russia, Tatiana Shakleina vocalized as early as the year 2000, that multipolarity was imminent, and further specified that Russia was not precisely emergent, like the other rising powers, but rather in the process of reconfiguring its great power status. Shakleina argues that the Russian approach to dealing with the widening gap has an evolutionary nature, based on complex and consensual diplomacy.

Russia had a head start to the United States in challenging process of redefining its identity and policies to answer to a rapidly evolving global political and economic environment. Both former super powers are seeking to preserve a peaceful order, domestically and internationally. The simultaneous rise of other centers modifies external constraints and possibilities. BRICS is an organic process creating order despite and within this new undulating field of centers.

It's as if two different worlds exist intermeshed with each other. The vision from Moscow is more elevated than that seen from Brussels. In Moscow one has the sentiment of sitting upon a dome. Scholars and policymakers see the world as if defined by the contours of international law, institutions, formal and informal gatherings and procedures are the ligaments of diplomatic thought and action. In this respect there has been and continues to be a degree of incredulity in Russia, as to why its country is being sidelined for so many decades since relaunched its free market and transitioned to democracy. There is what in French is called bon foitowards European integration with Russian academics and policymakers eager to modernize and assume their thought and practice. Substantively there isn't a trace of a single textbook or theory from a distant Soviet history. A lot of attention is consecrated to the process and procedure of international diplomacy and law.

The view of the BRICS from Moscow, Beijing, Sao Paolo, Pretoria and New Delhi is starkly contrary to the criticism heard in Western capitals. The effort of BRICS is to transcend the stark contrast of a world of anarchy, with a world of cooperative institutions or at least procedures and traditions of diplomatic debate and exchanges. The meaning of security as speech act is palpable on this side of the world governance efforts. The entire discourse is towards nonviolence, there is an overall atmosphere of safety in the daily lives of citizens and residents. Of course, this atmosphere is enabled by the existence of high moral and organization of the effective security forces, which matter much more to deterring external threat.

Whilst the Russian diplomacy influenced by the bipolar tandem and defense to the American one, each of the BRICS members has an exceptional diplomatic history, with formidable diplomatic feats that transformed our modern world for the better.

Yet, the theoretical origins of BRICS from the Russian foreign policy perspective come from the continued attempt to resolve the underlying conflictual situation that led to the Second World War. This is a war that is increasingly forgotten in the foreign policy approach of most states. What is also often neglected in the mainstream media and analysis is that the Second World War was global, respectively, the BRICS answers to the global peacekeeping challenge defined in the previous century as the unification of Europe which was the culmination of the Potsdam Yalta system. The stabilization of peaceful relations between and within the states on the European continent, was achieved with the active participation of the Soviet Union and then Russia. Following this peacemaking and peacekeeping mission, which lasted half a century, Russia is jointly leading, together with China and Brazil to the establishment of the stabilization of a large portion of the rest of the world. The US and EU, are currently free-riders of the organization of the BRICS grouping and the stability it begins to offer to the world. Furthermore, the approach is compatible with the US and European integration due to its educational and technological focus for advancement.

The BRICS attempt steps upon the foundations of the successful stabilization and peaceful liberalization domestically of the BRICS members towards democracy. The BRICS initiative is the extension of the Greater Europe concept, which the EU has decided to put on hold. Russia was a great supporter of the Greater Europe concept, not only throughout the previous decade. Russia's contribution to a peaceful Europe through the Second World War and the Cold War is immeasurably significant, and was the main thrust of its foreign policy. Belief in the success of this mission, of maintaining peace in Europe, is what gave the Russian people and their representative leaders the opportunity to liberalize their political and economic situation through perestroika and ultimately democratization and free market economy. Notably, totalitarian societal organization was very much a product of the need to survive in the total war of 1942 until 1945, the planned economy is the most effective organization in the time of war. Unfortunately, in the current international pressures liberalization efforts of the emerging democracies is being directly and unintentionally stifled. The international atmosphere that enables fostering democratic regimes is one of stability and continuity.

We can have confidence that if the monetary and economic union between France and Germany after the first and second world war has been able to succeed, then certainly a potential conflictual situation between Asian hegemons can be prevented by peaceful economic and diplomatic cooperation. BRICS is not against the EU, it is inspired by aspects of this peace seeking dialoguing format.

Since the end of the Cold War, the Russian society has been particularly democratized and capitalized, while the American society had been veering in the opposite direction due to the increased international insecurity and economic downturn. Altering roles in terms of taking the lead in making the global order great again. At this juncture, oddly instead of merging, the troubles stoked around the borders of Russia, and the failure of the NATO alliance system of rooting out the problem of terrorism or answering to the societal upheavals in the smaller and medium sized states, has climaxed with the Ukraine war in center stage of the Eurasian union with its Western counterparts. This is because the existing institutions are not equipped to answer to the asymetrical power struggles being mounted by terrorists and populists and extremists.

New lighter institutions are necessary instead of the block alliance model, with a horizontal orientation, and most of all a culturally sensitive socioeconomic approach that tunes the small to medium economies to fit into that of the major economies.

The BRICS is attempting to do what the G20 has eluded achieving. Notably, because of the isolation of Russia from its integration into the top leadership club, despite meeting all criteria in terms of debt payment. The challenge is that national identities, especially and including those of minorities, matter greatly. The Russian culture and language is still not free from the perceived communist stigma from its external perception, whereas domestically Russians have completely embraced the free market economy and their transition to democracy. Although Russia is a European power as well as an Asian one, Russia, being so aggressively isolated for so many decades, tends to distance itself from the more negative aspects of the European legacy such as colonialization, slavery, virulent capitalist exploitation, and the initiation of two world wars, in which Russia was provoked to sacrifice the lives of more than thirty million of its citizens. Russia's foreign policy is one based on a concept of justice, and international law. At each critical historical juncture where Russia was embroiled into a major war, leading to the death of or potential death of a majority of its population, Russia has completely transformed its natural characteristics and internal identity to improve and save the lives of its citizens and where possible and especially where necessary, such as, withdrawing from the first world war, freeing the Jewish people from concentration camps, or weeding out terrorists from the Middle East grey zones. The BRICS capacity is one of adaptation in foreign policy orientation, inspired by the members' inventive and peacefully implemented transformational foreign and modernization policy initiatives.

A Diplomatic Mosaic

"The way is arduous and long."
The Social Mode of Qi,

Whilst the Indian and Chinese states, each of continental size and might, yet sharing the same geographic space as Russia, developed separately due to the natural divide of the ever-rising Himalayas there is a similarity of their underlying assumptions. Notably, the concept of a respecting sovereignty and securitization, in postmodern terms, of a classical concept of concentric circles of alliances. These concentric circles of alliances can fit into and temper the post-modern conception of Kondratiev cycles of political and technological fluxes.

The thought of Kautilya, likened by Kissinger to a supremely machiavellian Machiavelli, is fundamental like the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu. The BRICS members stand together against injustice and inequality through their recent diplomatic history of peaceful transition, walking in the footsteps of Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev. Their most recent domestic socioeconomic transformations of revolutionary scale were implemented by reformers of grand bureaucratic skill in a rapidly compressed evolutionary form, in China and Brazil. The fastest projected economic growth risers, Brazil and South Africa, contribute an exemplary nonnuclear path to great power status.

We can already see that their positions within and vis a vis the various international forums and organizations are not conflictual, even if and when no conscious effort is made to act together as a voting group. On the fundamental declarations and resolutions addressing megatrends and challenges of global importance, their voting and ratification history coincide. There is a tremendous potential for mutual adaptation and accommodation at the state level. The work to be done is to acclimate and introduce their mutual populations to each other.

These principal regional players are distinct from the overall culture of the region they represent within the BRICS infrastructure. They have maintained and established within themselves a political and economic aspect that distinguishes them from their neighbors. They are representative of a culture and history, but have done things in their own way. The Lusophone Brazil, maintains a green energy foreign policy through the Amazon and Ethanol, in the context of the Spanish speaking, petroleum oriented Latin American continental dwellers. Russia, for much of its history through evidently a European power, has established itself in contrast to its Western neighbors, and has developed expertise in constructively dialoguing with its Asian and Middle Eastern neighbors and dealing with the insecurity in the Near East. China which self identified itself as a continent of its own right during centuries was at the center of a geopolitical tributary hierarchy. India, in opposition to its Islamic neighbors, has developed a cosmological vision that achieved, through peaceful means its independence from the British Empire, and continues to demonstrate its ability to mediate with the Anglo Saxon states, working closely with the United States, but also maintaining a significant trade and cooperation with the Middle East and China. South Africa's experience, is in and of itself, quite distinct in the History of Africa, due to apartheid and delayed decolonization from settler governance, and respectively an accelerated modernization process. In brief, these countries are unique in their regions, distinct but significant, and ultimately essential. Respectively, they have highly developed and adaptable diplomatic formulas to accommodate a diverse set of partners of any background. Economically, Brazil and South Africa are projected to demonstrated the fastest and greatest economic growth rates, whereas Russia, due to its over-dependence on the price of petroleum is subject to economic fluctuations.

At the pinnacle of their creativity, the BRICS begin by upper level interaction amongst the highest echelons of the respective nationally elected governments. By the time of the 2017 Xiamen conference, the expansive emotive declaration plans more than seventy projects of mutual cooperation across all sectors, and specifically aims to the convergence and mutual comprehension between the respective societies. Thereby, we find that across the levels of society, not only at the multi sectoral (business, economy, academic and governance) level of habitual international actors, the BRICS aim to overcome the Clash of Civilizations predicted by Samuel Huntington. It's a twist on Fukuyama, because the end of history that is the peaceful status of a world order is established by regimes of different kinds (though all shaped by the people's will), aligning in an economic cooperation in the capitalist market economy.

It is a pity that European and the North American states, have become skeptical and to distance themselves from BRICS as contributing to global governance structures. Opening the BRICS to new members and establishing a procedure for admission goes well beyond the originally discussed aim of including Indonesia, as the most populous yet distinct representative of the Muslim peoples and states. Indeed, theoretically and perhaps even foresightedly, the BRICS would and could consider applications from European and North American states, just as of others. There is time yet for mutual trust building and cooperation, especially upon the order established by the BRICS. Georgiy Toloraya, Executive director of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research at MGIMO, argues that the BRICS is a multilateral framework that seeks to open dialogue including with those that may have currently hostile stances towards Russia.

Concretely the BRICS declaration have a power to for example condemn the use of sanctions against any of its members or any state, as was officially declared two years ago. This year three concrete mechanisms for resolving disputes diplomatically have come to the forefront.

So what is BRICS? Is it a threat to the West? A brilliant political counterbalance? Or is BRICS establishing itself as a peaceful ordering of a vast expanse of the planet, which can be configured into the new global patchwork of governance?

At its core, RIC, comprised at the initiation of China, a core partnership extending to India and Russia. Unlike the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, whose primary task is to prevent and root out terrorism, especially from Central Asia, the core that touches the borders and bridges these three states, RIC has a broader scope that seeks to promote an understanding between the wealth of these three civilizations. These peacefully transitioning free market states are overcoming the threat of civilization discord. Subsequently joined by Brazil and South Africa as representatives of their continents, at the request of other states, BRICS is expanding to a BRICS ++ concept, which will not be limited to a core periphery approach but will have a networked interaction and horizontal leadership. Fluidity is also apparent from its conference format which stretches across several months and all aspects of the levels of the states.

BRICS is an intermediate step between regionalization and global level cooperation. Rather than simply extending to other state-members of the represented civilizational and continental groupings, the BRICS is constructing the value system and economic infrastructure that could enable global governance.

Taming the Economy

"Unimagined perhaps, but the unimaginable is there to be imagined."

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and benhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandela, South Africa

BRICS is a conscious effort to secure the effectiveness of the financial system on the basis of the BRICS members' own and mutual inward reform and reorganization. The demand for new financial and governance mechanisms will construct a viable global infrastructure.

At the conclusion of the 2017 Xiamen Summit the BRICS contribution to international economic infrastructure is ushered in with the establishment of the New Development Bank's regional HQ in South Africa (the Russian branch will only open in by 2019). The NDB has an equal share from each of the BRICS and amounts to a 2014 start capital of 100 billion USD. The Contingency Reserve Arrangement, the Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism and the Local Currency Bond Markets and Fund complete the range of economic mechanisms being put into effect. These inter BRICS supportive mechanisms also reach globally to contribute to the international financial system.

The Word Bank director in Moscow, Andras Horvai, indicates that the Bretton Woods institutions, already receive and expect to continue to receive contributions and support from the BRICS members. Thereby the BRICS shall not replace the existing order, nor exist in parallel to the Bretton Woods. The BRICS do not seek offensive conflict with the nonmembers. Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank, explians that "BRICS cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions is important. The R5 initiative is meant to raise the importance of the national currencies, something that in fact may be done in tandem with the IMF. The R5 is viable because it makes economic sense, there is scope and a need to forge ahead with de-dollarization. It may be the wrong kind of benefit that the US economy is getting from the US dollar being used everywhere instead of national currencies." Furthermore, this kind of currency initiatives and gold resource, may even alleviate the politically risky dyad that exists between the USD and the Renminbi.

This current stance of Russia for the intention of BRICS follows a progression that responds to how the international community is responsive or adaptive to the BRICS countries: In the inception period of 2005 to 2008, some experts questioned whether the BRICS could be the new wealth of the IMF. It was argued, following the limitation of the sale of gold to 403,3 MT, that Brazil, Russia, India and China, jointly hold more than 4300 Billions USD and could very well participate in the financing of the IMF. Subsequently following the increased security uncertainty unleashed by the founders of the Bretton Woods institutions for the BRICS members, the BRICS members have found it necessary in the period of 2015 to 2016 to create their own development bank. Today we have returned to a cooperative dialogue and vision that encompasses the whole world, as BRICS seeks new members including Western ones.

Of the Potsdam Yalta order, the United Nations and the Bretton Woods global infrastructure persist, but are challenged by the new realities. No one, least of all Russia in its currently restricted economical state, is seeking to overtake singlehandedly, or even jointly, the international responsibility that the United States has taken up during the previous four decades. The vision for how the BRICS states will facilitate UN reform is by jointly imagining and evolving towards the reform of the UN, and coordinating regional peaceful relations and global interaction.

From a geopolitical and humanitarian perspective, could BRICS replace the Security Council? Andrey Kortunov argues that the United Nations remains the most significant global decision making architecture, but that BRICS can act as regional peacemaking and peacekeeping dialogues. The 2017 Xiamen Summit provides the Zones of Peace and Cooperation System, which can manage conflicts of continental scale. Brazil has proposed an Intelligence Forum. The Summit itself was utilized to temper the Doklan brinkmanship, and discussions are underway to use the trilateral RIC to systematically address border disputes along the Himalayan geographic boundary, and to assuage the effective Indian separation from the Chinese Silk Road Initiative, the One Belt One Road continental pathway to Europe via Russia, the China Pakistan Trade Route and the Eurasian Union. Ultimately the maritime Silk Route would bring India into the economic infrastructure underpinning the new global governance coordination.

Cooperative associations and groupings like the BRICS are significant stepping stones to Security Council reform, which could be effected through a peaceful transition based on regional orders. Based on the mutually enforcing overlapping memberships of international organizations, the BRICS are posed as potential voting blocks on issues of mutual concern.

What is significant is that the BRICS are transcending the Modernization discourse. Colin Flint's geopolitical code is a means of positioning oneself within international society. There was a significant revolution in the geopolitical order at the peaceful de-federalization and regime transformation of the USSR. As a result of which BRICS is a domestically designed approach to correct the missed opportunity of a peaceful great power transition to a polycentric order of a multipolar world.

Furthermore, jointly with the peaceful international environment and economic support, they offer the necessary preconditions of democratic consolidation, especially now that the dialogue has shifted to empowering and connecting their vast civil societies in the cultural and educational spheres.

Managing the Fourth Revolution: Transcending to the Knowledge Economy

"I do not know Whether he is god or not But that day the stars change course Destiny is not pre-established Every moment, human decisions make or erase it". (Krishna speaking GV 3,372)

"Be the change, you want to see."Mahatma Gandi

The world is what we make of it, and so are the processes of mortaring the bricks together. The emerging BRICS leaders are guiding the transnational democratization process of global governance. Weaving the multicultural tapestry of colors, literary an ecosystem that will capitalize on the advances of some of the world's most ancient systems of knowledge. This historical plurality and wealth is transferred through to the contemporary structure of intellectual thought, from the think tanks and academic research institutes, to R&D departments in corporations to One could say that like the guilds of stonemasons of the middle ages, transmitting the essence their craft of construction, today there are guilds of diplomats and peacemakers, some adorned in spiritual garb, that have across generations developed methods of peace construction.

Although the BRICS was an attempt to create a more equivocal participation in the rule making of the international financial and economic regime, it is quickly transforming itself to answer to the challenges of the new knowledge economy. The shift of the BRICS gatherings is increasingly shifting away from crisis management and neutralizing shocks from international instability in the immediate term, to planning cooperative movements towards economic growth through mutually beneficial engagement, encouraging healthy competition in contrast to confrontation. This is why its main thrust, that is the content of its expansive series of meetings, gatherings and colloquia, stretching across several months, is a discussion for how to interweave these multicultural systems, which hold some of our world's most pronounced unique aspects.

The group's early discussions, dubbed BRIC by a Goldman Sachs executive, focused on how to stabilize itself in view of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Though some indicate China as the main initiator, mainly the formation, which foresees equality amongst its members, is perceived as a Russian venture. Others argue that the origins of the BRICS concept arise from the BASIC grouping of non aligned states that formulated at the heart of the Copenhagen meeting in 1956. Each of the members of BRICS, as diverse as their socio-economic and political landscapes are, share a common objective of transitioning peacefully through the turbulent international economic and political environment. This is why the keynote gatherings of the heads of state and ministerial level meetings is bolstered by cooperative discussions across the economic and humanitarian scope of Russia. For economically less developed members, the BRICS is a development strategy. BRICS could also provide humanitarian assistance. Russia's predominant initiative within the BRICS is business cooperation.

From a realist's perspective, BRICS is now also a way of exiting economic isolation policies, and hence maintaining peace and wellbeing including of its own population. It's also a real chance to demonstrate its global governance construction potential. Though one questions whether the isolationist policies are reactions to Russian efforts to cooperate with other global regions.

The 2017 Global Innovation Index prepared by Cornell, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates that the BRICS employs a relatively greater proportion of its workforce in the knowledge intensive services, more than 77% with the Russian Federation. A threshold of a knowledge enabled and intensive labor force, could be a criterion or objective of future membership.

There is great excitement about meeting this objective. For those states that have travelling the difficult postcolonial route of lifting their citizens out of extreme poverty, the innovation threshold is bound the sustainability and equitability goals of economic and social development. It's not an economic war, but it's an education war. The battle for access to knowledge, as well as, its use and implementation determines which state can reach across to great power status. Finally, education enables the transformation of economic and technical potential to military defense systems.

The Brics Think Tank Council

Brics Academic Forum

Brics Network University NU

Brics University League UL

are only a few of the initiatives launched to empower knowledge communities. That these educational efforts are being done jointly is of exceptional significance, not only due to the symbolism and the potential of durable cooperation, but also because only cooperation can optimize the results in the sphere of: macro-data, knowhow, ICT, best practices, high tech innovations, and academic mobility. The focused for innovation and cooperation include:


IT and Cybersecurity

Ecology and Climate Preservation

Water Resources and Waste Management


The current ideological challenge, facing the US, EU and BRICS is not the political regime, but how to composite the states of variable degrees and methods of democratization to deal with the challenges arising from the free market. Hence, at the initiative of Brazil, South Africa, India, Russia and China, the BRICS think tanks anticipate the shape of a new economy. Like the EU digital and cultural diplomacy programs, the BRICS are digitizing their cooperation in the academic, innovation and cultural spheres. One can expect a convergence based on this compatibility in the decades to come.

It is also a mutual forecasting opportunity with studies being conducted on the longterm trends of the BRICS members. Mutual projects would also enable a more tailored solution to transcending economic challenges. The main thrust of the Russian efforts is joint business ventures. These cultures, in their plurality, are comparative economically, but they are also comparative culturally, each system has a way to ascend to the next level of knowledge, and consecutively the fourth industrial revolution.

Doubts about the possibility of a successful BRICS group arise from an under-appreciation of the relative might of the BRICS economies and the universal cultural plurality that the rainbow that BRICS members form. BRICS, like the EU, is a conscious attempt to assuage the differences of a Huntingtonian clash of civilization.

Diverse cultures are merely different reasons and symbols and ways to understand life and to order life. Within a system of symbols people can rise to higher levels of wellbeing and overall consciousness. At present the BRICS countries are establishing organic conditions of compatibility. For societies to be able to cooperate their populations must be raised to the same level of enlightenment and erudition, i.e. to be one the same wavelength. This is a matter of education as per UNESCO's motto that peace arises, and is cultivated in the minds of men, but also as a preparation for the knowledge economy. The central objective is to stabilize a situation of peace.

For a more realist interpretation of the implications of BRICS, one might consider how the West might benefit from the continued discord between these states. The pre-BRICS scenario of Indo-Chinese rivalry or Russian discord with Asian states, led to a reverse alienation of and from the East, whereas now these conflictual positioning are transformed into economic and at times strategic partnerships. This rapprochement could be fitted into a global mosaic with the EU and US as continental powers.

A predominant aim of the BRICS is that each state has the ability to shape and express its identity within the structural arrangements. The strategic vision is of a poly-centric and multi-civilizational international system, a type of transnational consociationalism. The structural impact refers to the ability to shape one's identity or future configuration, and address matters of domestic and international inequality. In a nutshell, BRICS is tuning domestic politics and economics to peace. BRICS is an effort to jointly construct an international knowledge regime, by enforcing the development of national knowledge regime. This enforcement is an enabling process by creating international environment of peace. The symbolic nature of the gatherings has transforming into substantive discussions, inventive policy implementation, and effective action plans at the 9th BRICS summit hosted in China.

BRICS is a just network of empowered states

These states are all trying to reach the same destination. All of them, for brief or prolonged periods reached a pinnacle of elevation that have been beneficial for the people and exemplary for the world. Which path to follow? No one has the certain answers, especially when there is so much resistance not only due to competition between them, but due to many threats, including terrorism. Only one answer is certain, that cooperation is necessary between the responsible powers. Those powers that refuse to cooperate within and with even the ad hoc dialoguing format of the BRICS, declare themselves threats to peaceful, pluralistic, democratic global order. To date and without provocation, we can say that none of the R5 members wish to pursue any form of domestic or international violence. The battle is for knowledge and economic development.

"The strongest of all warriors are these two Time and Patience."
Leo Tolstoy,

BRICS lawmakers eye closer parliamentary cooperation (Законодатели БРИКС пристально следят за парламентским сотрудничеством) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: parliamentary_cooperation, concluded_agreements, high_level_meeting

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Senior lawmakers of BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, agreed to strengthen parliamentary cooperation among them.

The agreement was reached during a BRICS parliamentary forum held here on Saturday, which was presided over by Zhang Ping, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress -- the national legislature.

The forum was held to implement the outcome of the ninth summit of BRICS leaders in southeast China's coastal city of Xiamen last month.

Zhang said legislatures from the five countries should push for reform of international governance and improve exchanges of governance experience to create a sound legal environment for broader BRICS cooperation.

Participants in the forum expressed support for closer cooperation among their countries' legislatures.
Igor Morgulov's remarks at the conference "Russia and India: Strategic vision of bilateral relations and the changing world order" ,Moscow, October 12, 2017 (Выступление заместителя Министра иностранных дел России И.В.Моргулова на конференции «Россия и Индия: стратегическое видение двусторонних отношений и меняющегося миропорядка», Москва, 12 октября 2017 года) / Russia, October, 2017
Keywords: speech, Russia_India, Igor_Morgulov

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Thank you for the invitation to attend the conference dedicated to Russian-Indian relations and timed to coincide with the 70thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Russia and India that is being observed this year. I am pleased to meet my colleagues here, as well as experts on international relations who I know very well.

The special privileged partnership between Russia and India is based on a high degree of mutual trust, the coincidence of key geopolitical interests, shared approaches toward topical issues and the similarity of our economic and social development goals. And of course, the mutual sympathy and draw of our nations, which have a centuries-old history, to each other.

At present, international relations are going through a difficult and conflicting period of transformation. We see India, which is committed to democratic ideals, as a reliable ally in building a polycentric and fair world order based on the rule of law. New Delhi's independent and responsible foreign policy is making a substantial contribution to building a more secure world and to adapting global multilateral structures to new realities. Through joint efforts, we are promoting a positive, unifying agenda in international affairs and working to meet the challenges and threats of the 21st century.

Our countries cooperate productively within the framework of the UN,

G-20, BRICS and RIC, as well as other formats. We welcome India's status as a full member of the SCO and its active involvement in the organisation's activity in its new capacity.

Russia and India coordinate their positions on challenging issues, such as the settlement process in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa, including Syria, and building an inclusive and open security architecture in the Asia Pacific Region.

Political dialogue between our countries is characterised by both intensity and substance. Annual summits allow us to synchronise our positions on key issues on the bilateral and international agenda. The most recent summit took place in June in St Petersburg in the wake of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. In-depth top-level talks took place on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen (September 4).

For Russia, India is not only a long-standing friend but also an attractive business partner, being one of the world's largest economies with impressive growth rates and tremendous potential.

The current level of Russian-Indian trade and economic cooperation certainly does not measure up to the high level of our political contacts (in 2016, trade was $7.7 billion). Our main tasks include increasing the volume and improving the structure of bilateral trade (the target: $30 billion by 2025), primarily with supplies of high-tech goods and by stimulating reciprocal investment.

A special working group on priority investment projects was created within the framework of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation with a view to increasing the mutual inflow of capital. These include the construction of a butyl rubber production plant by the Sibur company in the state of Gujarat and setting up lighting equipment production in the state of Karnataka by the Russian company Svetovye Tekhnologii. AFK Sistema is developing a smart city model in India.

Cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear power is a key component of our bilateral partnership. In 2013, the first power unit at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was put into operation. It has now attained its maximum capacity. In October 2016, the second unit was handed over to India and construction began on the third and fourth units. Work on the third stage of the Kudankulam NPP (Units 5 and 6) got under way. There are plans to build at least 12 more reactors in various parts of India, which will help to a very large extent meet the [energy] needs of India's steadily growing economy.

We are increasing our hydrocarbon exports to India. The total volume of oil deliveries in the first half of the year (1.1 million tonnes) increased almost eight-fold year on year. Incidentally, Rosneft's acquisition of the Indian company Essar Oil Ltd has become the largest foreign capital investment in India's economy on record – almost $13 billion.

There are large-scale projects in machine manufacturing, the chemical and mining industry, the pharmaceutical industry, health care, and nano- and bio-technology. Such well-known Russian economic operators as Silovye Mashiny, Gazprom, StroyTransGaz, UralmashZavod, Sibur, Mechel and others, have a presence on the Indian market.

We welcome the December 2016 decision to open talks on signing an agreement on creating a free trade area between the EAEU and India. Prospects for building effective infrastructure for the North-South international transit corridor are under consideration. All of this opens up additional opportunities for fostering cooperation on both the bilateral and regional track.

The Make in India national programme launched by Narendra Modi's Government provides an extra incentive to establishing joint ventures on Indian territory in spheres that are traditional to us in both the civilian and military-industrial sectors.

Despite the serious competition on India's arms market, Russia has retained its unique position in terms of direct supplies and co-production, with India, of arms and military equipment. Russia is sharing the most advanced military technology [with India], thus helping strengthen India's defence industry.

Military cooperation is also growing stronger. Russian-Indian exercises with all branches and services of the armed forces are conducted every year. In October and November 2017, the first joint inter-branch exercise, INDRA 2017, will take place.

Our countries' cultural traditions invariably generate mutual interest. The ongoing Indian culture festival, Namaste Russia, is a great success. Such festivals are held annually, by turns in Russia and in India.

Tourism exchanges are expanding. In 2016, 35 per cent more Russians visited India than in 2015. The number of Indian tourists to Russia was up by approximately 20 per cent in the same period.

In short, we have approached the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with something to show for ourselves. We are proud of what we have been able to achieve and have every reason to confidently look to a prosperous future.

In conclusion, I would like to say that contacts between our countries' experts, like this meeting today, make a significant contribution to further strengthening the Russian-Indian strategic partnership, deepen mutual understanding and allow us to clarify our long-term goals.

From the bottom of my heart I wish all conference participants success in your work.

Thank you.

BRICS parliaments must advance developmental programmes (Парламенты БРИКС должны продвигать программы развития) / South Africa, October, 2017
Keywords: parliamentary_cooperation, concluded_agreements, BRICS_SA, high_level_meeting
South Africa

Parliament, Sunday 15 October 2017 – Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Ms Thandi Modise has told a Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Parliamentary Forum meeting that legislatures are key in monitoring implementation of policies to ensure that accountability, transparency and good governance become the order of the day.

Ms Modise, who is leading a delegation of the South African Parliament to the 137th Inter-Parliamentary (IPU) Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia, addressed the meeting of the Forum, which met on the sidelines of the 137th IPU Assembly. The meeting of the Forum, attended by Presiding Officers of BRICS Parliaments and currently chaired by China, discussed issues such as international relations and exchange visits, parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation, common approaches on major international matters as well as international trade and partnerships.

Chairperson Modise said it was important that Parliaments in the BRICS countries paid attention to the outcomes of the 9th BRICS Summit, held recently under the theme "Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future".

"The outcomes of the Summit were practical economic cooperation, global economic governance, international peace and security and people-to-people exchanges. We must consolidate and strengthen our capacity as Parliaments to monitor the implementation of BRICS programme without necessarily creating bureaucratic layers that could become obstacles in the future. The fact that the BRICS structure is slim and small should be seen as an advantage to effectively drive our programs, including using ICT to communicate effectively," said Ms Modise.

The Forum meeting, she noted, provided an opportune time for BRICS legislatures to renew their confidence in the transformative path they have chosen of providing progressive alternative global governance that cannot be faulted.

"We must advocate to and educate the masses about what BRICS stand for. As representatives of the electorates, we must make sure that citizens' voices are heard. We must ensure implementation of developmental programs."

Ms Modise congratulated China on successfully chairing the BRICS Parliamentary Forum, which, she said, provided valuable lessons for South Africa when it takes over this BRICS role. The Forum is chaired on a rotational basis by Parliaments of member countries.

On Saturday, women MPs of the South African delegation participated in the 26th Session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians on the sidelines of the 137th IPU Assembly. Discussions centered on women's contribution – from a gender perspective - to the Assembly's discussions. South Africa's representatives took part in a commission on the subject: How technology can be of service of democracy and gender equality". In this discussion, the South Africa representatives argued, amongst others, that improved access to technology unlocked enormous opportunities for women, helping them to overcome illiteracy, mobility constraints and boosted access to information.

However, it has also exposed women to serious threats, about which necessary and appropriate information is needed. For instance, research conducted by the Yale School of Medicine revealed that cell phone radiation exposure during pregnancy impacts on foetal brain development and may also cause hyperactivity. When it comes to online harassment, research shows that women, particularly young women, are exposed to sexual harassment, stalking, and abusive language mainly on social media platforms.

Therefore, South Africa proposes the following resolutions for adoption at the next Session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, scheduled for March 2018:

· Calls on Parliaments and governments to strengthen measures, including through legislation, to control exposure of citizens, particularly pregnant women and children to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by wireless technologies such as mobile phones, computer tablets and Wi-Fi;

· Encourages Parliaments and governments to adopt progressive measures aimed at addressing threats that technology can pose, such as cyber-related violence, harassment, and online security, which has negatively impacted on women's right to privacy and freedom of expression;

· Calls on all stakeholders to improve access to technology for women and girls, particularly in remote and marginalised areas;

· Encourages governments, in partnership with the private sector, to promote higher representation of women in science and technology. Also for governments to integrate gender mainstreaming in their strategic documents related to science and technology.

The South African Parliamentary delegation to the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, led by Ms Modise, includes Ms Mmatlala Boroto, Ms Doris Dlakude, Mr Pumzile Justice Mnguni, Mr Eddie Makue, Mr Mike Waters and Mr Lehlohonolo Goodwill Mokoena. The five-day Assembly ends on Wednesday.

Chairperson Ms Thandi Modise holds successful talks with presiding officers of Russia's legislature at Inter-Parliamentary Union 137th Assembly (Председатель Санди Модиз проводит успешные переговоры с председателями законодательных органов России на 137-ой ассамблее Межпарламентского Союза) / South Africa, October, 2017
Keywords: parliamentary_cooperation, high_level_meeting, Valentina_Matviyenko, Thandi_Modise
South Africa

Parliament, Saturday 14 October 2017 - Ahead of the opening of the five-day 137thInter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in the Russian Federation city of St Petersburg, leader of the seven-member South African parliamentary delegation to the Assembly, National Council of Provinces Chairperson Ms Thandi Modise, held successful engagements with Presiding Officers of Russia's legislature.

One of these was a bilateral meeting with her Russian counterpart, Chairperson of the Federal Council of the Russian Federation Ms Valentina Matviyenko.

South Africa and Russia enjoy rich historical and diplomatic ties forged over many years. The Soviet Union supported and fought together with oppressed South Africans in the liberation struggle against apartheid. The relations have continued to grow post 1994, through official strategic partnerships and cooperation.

Chairperson Modise, accompanied by South African Ambassador to Russia Ms Nomasonto Sibanda Thusi, told Ms Matviyenko that she was pleased with the strong relations between the two countries and their Parliaments, which have continued to deepen since 1994.

"As we celebrate the centenary of one of the fathers of our liberation struggle in South Africa, Comrade OR Tambo, we are reminded of his key role, together with other struggle heroes like Moses Kotane, in building friendship between the South African and Russian people.

"A few days ago, Freedom Park in Pretoria conducted a ceremony to honour and pay tribute to the heroes of Soviet Russia who contributed to the South African liberation struggle," said Ms Modise.

Ms Modise said South Africa valued Russia as its strategic ally and, thus, appreciated that the governments of these nations were continuing to foster strong diplomatic, political and trade relations.

"We are happy about various exchange programmes and agreements in areas such as education, arts and culture, transport, science, energy and fisheries. But we are also mindful that it is through our Parliaments, by means of parliamentary diplomacy, that we ensure people-to-people relationship. The role of forums such as the BRICS Parliamentary Forum and the IPU – whose Assembly Russia is currently hosting – are key in advancing the necessary parliamentary diplomacy".

Ms Modise said she was particularly pleased that the IPU Assembly was hosting the BRICS Women's Forum. The forum serves to ensure that issues such as gender equality and racial integration continue to receive the necessary attention at platforms of world legislatures.

The strong diplomatic, trade and people-to-people relations between South Africa and Russia was further demonstrated recently with the scrapping of visa requirements between the two countries. Ms Modise commended this development.

She congratulated and wished Russia well as the host of the 137th IPU Summit.

In her response, Ms Matviyenko said Russia valued the relationship between the two nations and their Parliaments. The Russian Federation was committed to continue to strengthen diplomatic relations with South Africa, including through BRICS and the BRICS New Development Bank. She noted that South Africa will be hosting the 2018 BRICS Summit and assured South Africa of her country's support.

Ms Modise also met the First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Mr Alexander Zhukov. The two Presiding Officers had fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues relating to diplomatic and trade relations, including strengthening friendly bilateral relations and cooperation between the South African and Russian legislatures.

Ms Modise will later today address the BRICS Parliamentary Forum meeting before attending the official opening of the IPU Assembly and Related Meetings. The BRICS Parliamentary Forum is comprised of legislatures of BRICS member countries. It is currently chaired by China.

Members of Parliament in the multiparty delegation from the Parliament of South Africa attending the IPU 137th Assembly, which Ms Modise is leading, are Ms MG Boroto, Ms DE Dlakude, Mr PJ Mnguni, Mr ER Makue, Mr M Waters and Mr LG Mokoena. Acting Secretary to Parliament Ms PN Tyawa is also part of the delegation.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
BRIC Manufacturing PMIs Q3 2017: Lagging Global Growth (Производственный индекс деловой активности в БРИКС на 3 квартал 2017: Отставание от глобального роста) / USA, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion, manufacturing_pmi
Author: Constantin Gurdgiev

With Markit Economics finally releasing China data for Services and Composite PMIs, it is time to update 3Q figures for Manufacturing and Services sectors PMI indicators for BRIC economies.

As shown above, Manufacturing PMIs across the BRIC economies trended lower over 3Q 2017 in Brazil and India, when compared to 2Q 2017, while trending higher in Russia and China.

  • Brazil posted the second-lowest performance for the sector in the BRIC group, barely managing to stay above the nominal 50.0 mark that defines the boundary between growth and contraction in the sector activity. Statistically, the 50.6 reading posted in 3Q 2017 was not different from 50.0 zero growth. And it represents a weakening in the sector recovery, compared to the 50.9 reading in 2Q 2017. Brazil's Manufacturing sector has now been statistically at zero or negative growth for 18 quarters in a row.
  • Meanwhile, Russian Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.2 in 2Q 2017 to 52.1 in 3Q 2017, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of expansion in the sector (nominally) and the fourth consecutive quarter of above 50.0 (statistically). With this, Russia is now back at the top of the Manufacturing sector growth league amongst the BRIC economies. However, the 3Q 2017 reading was weaker than those in 4Q 2016 and 1Q 2017, suggesting that the post-recession recovery is not gaining speed.
  • China Manufacturing PMI rose in 3Q 2017 to 51.2 from zero growth of 50.1 in 2Q 2017. The dynamics are weaker than in Russia, but similar in pattern, with 3Q growth being anaemic. In general, since moving above 50.0 mark in 3Q 2016, China Manufacturing PMIs never once rose above 51.3 marker, indicating very weak growth conditions in the sector.
  • India's Manufacturing PMI tanked again in 3Q 2017, falling to 50.1 (statistically, zero growth) from 51.7 in 2Q 2017. Most recent peak in Manufacturing activity in India was back in 3Q 2016 and 4Q 2016 at 52.2 and 52.1, and these highs have not been regained since then. India's economy continues to suffer from extremely poor macroeconomic policies adopted by the country in recent years, including botched tax reforms and horrendous experimentation with "cashless society" ideas.

Overall, BRIC Manufacturing Index (computed using my methodology on the basis of Markit data) has risen to 51.0 in 3Q 2017 on the foot of improved performance in Russia and China, up from 50.6 in 2Q 2017 and virtually matching the 51.1 reading in 1Q 2017. At 51.0, the index barely exceeded the statistical significance bound of 50.9. This runs against the Global Manufacturing PMI of 52.9 in 3Q 2017, 52.6 in 2Q 2017 and 52.9 in 1Q 2017. In simple terms, the last quarter was yet another (the 18th consecutive) of BRIC Manufacturing PMI falling below Global Manufacturing PMI, highlighting the simple fact that world's largest emerging and middle income economies are no longer serving as an engine for global growth.

Stay tuned for Services PMI analysis.
BRICS represents united free trade front as others abandon it – Russian economy minister (БРИКС представляет собой единый фронт свободной торговли, в то время как другие отказываются от него - министр экономики России) / Russia, October, 2017
Keywords: WTO, Maksim_Oreshkin, trade_relations

The BRICS bloc of developing countries is pushing for free trade and the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russian Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin told RT.

"We see the WTO is now experiencing not the best of times. This is due to the position of individual countries, which were originally large supporters of this organization, supporters of free trade, and now we see a change in their position," Oreshkin told RT.

BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are playing a huge role in saving the WTO, as they push for free trade, he said.

"As I see it, BRICS countries here are acting as a united front, a front that stands for freedom of world trade, stands for progress. That is why such a common position of the BRICS countries is very important for the WTO as an organization. Not only does it help the WTO to stay alive, but also become stronger and allow the world economy to move forward more actively," Oreshkin said.

While Russia has been urging other countries to stick to WTO rules, President Donald Trump has pledged to protect the US economy. The Trump administration has hinted it would ignore any WTO rulings it sees as anti-American.

Trump threatened to exit the WTO during his run for office but has not said so since being elected. President Trump has repeatedly complained that China and Germany profit too much at the expense of the United States.

The WTO started in 1995 to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). With 167 member countries, it is the largest international economic organization in the world.
Freedom, cross-border ethics, central government advantage: China gets serious about the sharing economy (Свобода, международная этика, преимущество центрального правительства: Китай серьезно относится к экономике совместного потребления) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: rental_economy, Sharing_Economy_Forum
Author: Frank Hersey

The sharing economy1 is the only business model for the future, the sharing economy solves the woes of urbanization, its big data can build trust at home and across borders, it is the new civilization, a way to export ethics—and so far only China is in any position to exploit it. The Chinese government is already helping companies such as ofo to take its sharing platform global. These were some of the opinions expressed at a high-level meeting held on the sharing economy in Beijing last month.

Following on from the BRICS Forum in Xiamen, the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) held the BRICS Forum on the Sharing Economy where academics, officials and the founders of Didi, Ofo, Xiaozhu, Taxify, and Ola shared their views on the future of the shared economy and China's role in it, in some cases via the Belt and Road Initiative that China has launched to drive development through revitalized Silk Road trade routes.

Xu Yu, deputy director for Information Development at the Cyberspace Administration of China, started the event with some statistics on how mass entrepreneurship will expand employment: The sharing economy is now worth RMB 345.2 billion ($52.33 billion), up 103% year on year. There are over 1,000 companies in the sector and has created 60 million jobs, a situation that is expected to increase further as Liang Hong, deputy director of International Trade & Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce, reiterated the RMB 500 million e-commerce agreement announced by Xi Jinping in Xiamen (the Economic and Technical Cooperation Plan for BRICS Countries).

Sharing economy founders

Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi, got off to an emotional start: "Witnessing this great change in history, really makes us feel proud, but also brings a great sense of humility". He mentioned how three of the world's top 10 unicorns are sharing economy companies before focusing on the impact of transport:

"The automotive industry had defined our urban economy indeed our modern civilization for the past 100 years but we've reached the point where the physical urban space cannot allow us to continue that model of heavy asset, heavy resource model. Look at Tokyo. The city is surrounded by vehicles and parking lots"

He believes AI and big data tech can help Chinese firms pursue a reversal of this trend. Cheng also believes that Didi's global growth and use of the sharing economy as a way to find economic growth is a duty to Xi Jinping.

Zhang Peng, chief strategy officer for URwork, echoed the global duty by saying Chinese shared working spaces abroad will help Chinese companies go global by getting into local market as quickly as possible. Another angle on sharing economy as a global economic (and possibly diplomatic) push came from Dai Wei, founder and CEO of ofo: "In terms of overseas markets, the strongest support we've received is from Belt & Road countries… The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade helped us in local markets." Though he acknowledged that ofo did not have any actual services in any Belt & Road Initiative countries, Russia, India and Brazil are all keen to cooperate.

"Other countries talk about change, but China is doing it," said James Li, chief development officer at Didi. He said China is the representative country pursuing change in the sharing economy, making huge investments in internet infrastructure. "Even in areas without high-speed trains or highways, they still have internet infrastructure which allows development. The future is bright—we have all the conditions ready." He believes Xi Jinping is committed to the sharing economy.

"The internet will become a light asset," said Li, "We don't need to purchase a car, we can have an invisible car on an internet platform… We will lead the reform and transformation of the car industry. In the future, if we're not owning cars, we'll need to design cars differently." To sum up, Li said simply that, "the sharing economy is the new civilization".

Representatives of sharing economy businesses from other BRICS countries agreed that for developing countries, China's sharing economy is a far more relevant model than those originating in the US.

The academic angle

Perhaps the most farsighted and wide-ranging opinions ventured at the forum came from the academics invited to speak.

Yang Weiguo, Dean of the School of Labor and Human Resources at the Renmin University of China, spoke about the two identities we have and how they will be affected and possibly even merged by the sharing economy. We are all both workers and consumers. At the moment the sharing economy is seen as more beneficial to consumers, but this will change. "We know that there are limited resources in society so we need to optimize the allocation of resources and that is a definite trend. Labour providers need to find their own positions. This will change the model of employment in future. In the sharing economy era, everyone can join the production process." Yang described as a "megatrend" the changes to society that will be brought about by the flexibility to supplement salaries by dipping into sharing economy gigs and the "freedom to choose what we like and choose what we're capable of".

"The sharing economy is the only business model in the future. The sharing economy lies in the essence of humanity," said Yang. In the future, the sharing economy will have diverse business models which will also impact on our worker/consumer identities: "The sharing economy will change the relationship between workers and consumers. Some will try to blend work and life together. Maybe we'll work less and have more vacation or maybe the two will merge into a whole different lifestyle."

Yang sees the density of the availability of small jobs as the crux to the success of the sharing economy, but this comes down to the government as it will need to make changes to support a changing society as people continue to lose support from their workplaces:

"The sharing economy is booming because of central government support promoting its penetration. The density is what we need to explore. Plus skills and individuals' abilities—we need to be responsible for ourselves. Social structure will change as the sharing economy in essence is a market orientated situation. A group of people will be frustrated if there aren't enough job opportunities so the government will have to think about welfare structure. Social insurance is currently covered by employers, but local governments might have to step in in the future"

These remarks were met with a round of applause from the audience. "We need to embrace the risk-based sharing economy," concluded Yang.

Xue Zhaofeng, professor at the China Center for Economic Research and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics at Peking University sees China's strength as a world promoter of the sharing economy in the platforms it has built.

"The sharing economy enables the trend of urbanization and solves many of its major problems," said Xue, "For example, Didi isn't like a product that's been developed in a lab and produced in a factory, then put onto the market. This is a product that needs to grow and be fed by data. It's a living map."

It's the platform rather than the individual services that are the key to the sharing economy and offer an "important foundation for international cooperation".

According to Xue, these platforms take a lot of setting up but then are easy to roll out. Chinese companies have already invested tens of billions of dollars in them, he said, and now they are ready to take them worldwide. The platforms have flourished in China due to the regulatory framework.

"Since 2012, the Chinese government has stuck to a basic policy that rules the platform, and the platform rules individuals. The government cannot manage each and every vehicle," said Xue talking about car hailing, "Therefore we need to have a management system that works at different levels.

"Who should be in charge of it? Not the department of traffic or transport, not the association of taxis, not the passengers—nobody is in charge, but the successful experience we have in China is that someone is in control of the whole situation," said Xue.

This overarching regulation is possible due to the nature of government in China:

"China has a flexible management and regulation system, whereas some rigid management systems like those in Western society—parliamentary systems—even though politicians have the ambition to do the reform, they cannot implement it. Whereas here it is totally feasible and we can get the bigger picture of the internal and external situation."

Xue later spoke on the protection of property offered by the sharing economy and the positive effect this will have for society. "Property is fully protected in the sharing economy, and because of the use of a platform and big data, the mismatch of information is also solved, leading to greater trust, meaning more people will share their property… When there isn't sharing, such as the renting of houses, then society splits into two groups, those who don't own houses and cars versus those who do, but the sharing economy reduces this divide," said Xue who mentioned his own difficulties with house and car ownership in Beijing without a Beijing residence permit (户口, hukou).

Jiang Qiping, chief secretary general of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Information Technology also believes in the core importance of the platform: "So far the sharing economy has been about products, but in the future we will have to share the engine of production: capital. The platform will be shared as capital. In BRICS countries we can do this—in Europe we can't."

Also on the cross-border element of the sharing economy, Zhang Xiaofeng, founder of Internet Plus Committee of 100 (互联网+百人会), believes the "sharing economy 2.0" will be more personalized, more humane and lead to convergence, blurred borders and countries learning from each other on issues such as regulation and even moral ethics:

"China is the first country that has legalized online ride hailing services and this year stated guidelines for the sharing economy—the first large country to do so. We need to share experiences to avoid repeating each others' mistakes… In terms of trust, trust can go beyond national borders, for example through Ofo, Didi—those companies focus on trust. The sharing economy introduces moral ethics into society and so we can think about how we connect moral ethics systems beyond our borders."

1. Editor's note: TechNode typically refers to this as the rental economy. However, "sharing economy" is the term used throughout the conference so that is the term we use in this article. Back

Will BRICS Allow Trading of Bitcoins in their Countries? (Будет ли БРИКС разрешать торговлю биткойнами в своих странах?) / India, October, 2017
Keywords: bitcoin_trade, BRICScoin

Is a new cryptocurrency in the making?

The BRICS Summit was held in Xiamen, from 3rd to 5th of September where every country(India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) of the association participated. A major agenda that was discussed by the five countries was to create a cryptocurrency of their own. The committee has discussed having a joint digital currency which will be utilized for the process of settlements and as an alternative payment tool amongst the countries. If BRICS create a cryptocurrency of their own, it could possibly discard the despotism of the local currencies. Also, the settlements and payments which will be carried via cryptocurrencies will give a transparent and decentralized factor.

Its potential to give USD a blow

While a mutual and virtual cryptocurrency is in the making, people have already started speculating about the competition that will be seen amongst the USD and the upcoming virtual currency. If a BRICS cryptocurrency comes into existence, it might probably possess the adaptability of the present cryptocurrencies with the extra advantages of being supported by the leaders of a big economic trading union which would offer traders conviction in a cryptocurrency that many of the currencies, presently, are lacking. Since it will be a currency formed by the five nations of the BRICS, it would be an amalgamation of the features of their native currencies in accordance with the jurisdictions of the respective countries. This mutual currency could make a constructive hybrid currency that can easily be traded as well as it could make the exchange rates between BRICS states and amongst their partnership more fair and impartial.

Will BRICS allow trading of bitcoins in their countries?

While BRICS, must be in the talks to form a new cryptocurrency of their own the organization is also discussing to firmly restrict the utilization of bitcoins in their countries, which could possibly replace bitcoins. Every country has their own issues over bitcoins, some say that has the criminality factor which facilitates illegal and terrorist-related activities, while some of the countries believe that they are capable to make their own version of bitcoins, which will be much secure and less volatile. Taking the concept of bitcoins, BRICS is making their mind for their own virtual currency but will possibly also discard the reigning cryptocurrencies from their economies. The BRICS consists of the fastest growing and developing countries of the world, and if these countries prohibit bitcoin, then it will possibly lead to a fall in the bitcoin prices and market cap. But, again this will put bitcoin in testing time, where it has to prove its resilience and unfazed characteristics to the world. BRICS allow trading of bitcoins in their countries
Shaping new global architecture (Формирование новой глобальной архитектуры) / India, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion
Author: Joseph Chinyong Liow

By all accounts, Asia's stock of economic power has been expanding in the last two decades. This has occurred on the back of the rapid and sustained growth of regional economies, not least of which are China and India, whose shares of global trade and GDP have increased considerably during this time.

If anything, the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 that crippled the economies of the United States and Europe and the anti-globalisation sentiments it inadvertently precipitated rendered the shift of geoeconomic power to Asia even more stark. This shift has begun to have a potentially profound effect on the global financial architecture.

The US led Bretton Woods institutions – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank – have been credited with providing a firm foundation for the post-World War II global financial and economic orders from which Asia and the world have benefited greatly.

The IMF was designed to promote macroeconomic stability, particularly the exchange rate system, while the World Bank and its subcomponents provided developmental assistance. By the 1990s, however, economic powers such as Germany and Japan – which by dint of having lost the war failed to acquire preferential decisionmaking rights in these institutions when they were formed – began agitating for a greater say in the two bodies commensurate with demands for an increase in their respective contributions. These efforts were consistently thwarted by the US, which sought to maintain its veto rights on all IMF decisions.

While Germany did see its position enhanced, albeit obliquely via the tradition of having a European head of the IMF, Japan's frustrations led it to create the Asian Development Bank as its major channel of development funding.

By the turn of the century, China and India had emerged as potential Asian economic powerhouses and were casting suspicious eyes on American and European dominance of the Bretton Woods institutions. Mindful of Japan's failure to increase its influence in these institutions, the discourse on global financial architecture and governance began gradually to move beyond the matter of internal reform (of the Bretton Woods institutions) towards the creation of new institutions. This shift in discourse would soon bear fruit. These efforts first found expression with the Japanese proposal for an Asian monetary fund in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, an initiative that proved stillborn as a consequence of American opposition.

It nevertheless paved the way for what would come later in spirit if not in form: the idea of a Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) development bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Unnerved by the IMF's role during the Asian financial crisis, Asean also proceeded to create its own crisis response mechanism – the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation – to perform functions similar to those of the IMF yet with a regional flavour and in coordination with Asean's "Plus Three" partners: China, Japan and South Korea. What accounted for the emergence of these alternative institutions? First, while the Bretton Woods institutions may underpin the global economic order, they have proven notoriously hard to reform to reflect more accurately the global shift in economic influence.

Until recently, Asia's share of global GDP and its share of the IMF quota – which affords member countries a say in the governance of the international financial institution and, by extension, the global financial architecture – had been acutely misaligned. In 2010, the IMF executive board had already agreed to proposals for institutional reform to redistribute quotas away from the traditional economies to the emerging economies.

Even so, because the US holds the largest share of voting rights (16.5 per cent), effectively affording it a veto power, it took five more years before US congressional approval could be secured; and even then, only after extensive lobbying of reticent Republicans by the Obama administration. As a result of these reforms, China received the largest quota share increase – more than 2 per cent – moving it from sixth to third largest contributor.

Then, in October last year, the IMF moved to include the Chinese currency, the renminbi, in its basket of Special Drawing Rights currencies. Yet, at the same time, influence on the executive board remains largely in American and European hands. Second, because of this misalignment between the Bretton Woods governance structure and geo-economic realities, emerging economies are growing reluctant to privilege mechanisms controlled by the US or Europe should a new crisis erupt.

Not to put too fine a point on it, when the IMF coerced the Suharto administration in Indonesia into adopting structural adjustment policies at the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998, it essentially sent an already desperate situation into a tailspin. In the event, it was precisely regional reservations towards the IMF's role during the crisis that prompted the creation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation.

Third, the emergence of an alternative global financial architecture expressed in the form of Brics financial institutions or the AIIB is to some extent also an inevitable consequence of structural forces generated by the accumulation of reserves by China, India and other emerging economies, whose growth rates in the past two decades have outstripped those of the developed economies.

As reserves exceed domestic demand for loans in these key emerging economies, they are recycled to other parts of the world. Of course, the downside of relying on excess domestic reserves is that the efficacy of these nascent institutions will be dependent on continued sound performance of the economies where the reserves are invested.

By that logic, these institutions might be rendered vulnerable should key members be afflicted by recession, which would necessitate the shift of attention and resources to address more pressing domestic imperatives. Fourth, there is one common, unmistakable thread running through all these institutions: the role of China.

By virtue of being the main financier of the Brics development bank and the AIIB, China's role in this new financial architecture has been paramount. Alongside these institutions stands President Xi Jinping's flagship project, the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, envisioned to enhance connectivity and infrastructure development across Eurasia while also addressing the need for development in China's western regions.

Indeed, if there was any doubt that China harbours aspirations to play a leading role in geo-economics as a provider of international "public goods", these would surely have been put to rest by Xi's speech in Davos earlier this year. Finally, the Bretton Woods institutions have themselves come under heavy scrutiny in the Western societies from which they originate. Their controversial policies on austerity in Europe have elicited a visceral response from both the left and right, contributing in no small part to conditions that have given rise to antiglobalist populism in their own backyards.

While Asian societies would be well advised not to consider themselves immune to populism, it is nevertheless its present manifestations in the West that has generated internal pressures on these institutions and hastened concern that they should be addressed with urgency. All this is not to say however, that these Bretton Woods alternatives are risk-free, or that they are bound to succeed. Brics as an arrangement has faltered over the mixed economic performance of some of its members in recent times.

Moreover, many of these alternative institutions are, as yet, untested, given that most emerged after the global financial crisis. Indeed, they may yet prove ill-equipped in times of future crisis, or no less effective than the Bretton Woods institutions. In any case, it is more likely that these alternative institutions would work in tandem with the IMF and World Bank instead of replacing them.

Yet despite these uncertainties, the establishment of these institutions does mean that it is unlikely the World Bank or IMF will remain the primary ports of call in future storms, internal reforms of these institutions notwithstanding. With this diffusion of economic power and the emergence of these new institutions, the shape of the global financial architecture has changed. Correspondingly, the clout of the Bretton Woods institutions – and by extension America's soft power reach – will diminish.

In fact, the historical coincidence of the rise of these new configurations of economic power, together with America's inward turn and Europe's continued malaise, suggests the emergence of a new multipolar order and a decentralised global architecture where the Bretton Woods institutions and regional institutions would complement each other in providing global "public goods".

(The writer is dean and professor of compara tive and international politics at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. The Straits Times/ANN)

Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
Zuma does an about-turn on Brics poison claims (Зума внезапно изменил мнение об отравлении в сторону БРИКС) / South Africa, October, 2017
Keywords: Jacob_Zuma, BRICS_SA
South Africa

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma is not aware of any threats on his life from poisoning due to his stance on radical economic transformation or because of South Africa's decision to join Brics, after telling supporters that he was.

The president revealed this in a Parliamentary written response on Monday.

Cope MP William Madisha had asked Zuma whether, with reference to his advocacy of the radical economic transformation policy as well as his role in leading the country into the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) economic partnership, he has at any stage found his life to be under threat as a result of poisoning attempts.

"I am not aware of a conspiracy to poison me because of the decision of South Africa to join Brics or because of the radical economic transformation policy of government," Zuma replied.

This is in contradiction to what he told African National Congress (ANC) supporters in KwaZulu-Natal on August 17. "I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined Brics under my leadership," Mail & Guardian quoted him saying. He offered no proof for the startling claim.

Asked if radical economic transformation is government policy, Zuma responded that it was.

"The policy of our government is informed by the policy of the governing party, the ANC," he said.

"The ANC at its National Conference in Mangaung in December 2012, declared that we had begun a second decisive phase of our long transition from Colonialism of a Special Type to a National Democratic Society, and that this second phase would be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to effect socio-economic change and continued democratic transformation.

"When I was inaugurated as President of the Republic for the second time on 24 May 2014, I began to give effect to the resolution in my inauguration address, when outlining the focus of the fifth democratic administration for the years 2014-2019. I said: 'Today marks the beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society. This second phase will involve the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes over the next five years'.

"The ANC January 8 statement this year further outlined the governing party's focus on radical socio-economic transformation, and also specifically radical economic transformation with a focus on the economy.

"Radical socio-economic transformation was declared a priority for 2017/18 for government in the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA). In the SONA government sets out a Policy Framework and an Action Plan within which we will prioritise the allocation of resources and actions for a particular year. We defined radical economic transformation referring to fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.

"We are already busy with the implementation of many aspects of the policy through our Nine Point Plan, ensuring that work done in the priority sectors that we have targeted for attention in order to reignite growth, include the meaningful participation of black people who were excluded in the past.

"These sectors include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, tourism, ICT, water and sanitation, industrialisation and others. We are working hard to enhance the compacts between business, labour and government as one part of effective transformation.

"Together we need to broaden the ownership, management and control of the economy so that we build a more sustainable future, with an economy in which the majority plays a meaningful role and in which they benefit, as it must happen in any country.

"The current situation where the income of white households remains at least six times higher than that of black households as per the last census cannot be left unchallenged and must be corrected by all of us, especially business, government and labour working together," Zuma said.
World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
Movie by directors from BRICS countries' previewed in China (В Китае представлен фильм от режиссеров из стран БРИКС) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_movie, cultural_exchange

The film, titled "Where Has Time Gone", will be screened nationwide in China next Thursday, Jia Zhangke, its Chinese director said.

A movie jointly made by five directors from BRICS countries had a preview in north China's Shanxi Province. The film, titled "Where Has Time Gone", will be screened nationwide in China next Thursday, Jia Zhangke, its Chinese director said.

It was previewed for film critics and mass media in Taiyuan, Shanxi's capital, state run Xinhua news agency reported.

The other directors are Walter Salles from Brazil, Aleksey Fedorchenko from Russia, Madhur Bhandarkar from India and Jahmil X T Qubeka from South Africa.

Jia, a native of Shanxi, told the press that the movie is in five parts.

The Brazilian part shows the aftermath of a dam collapse. The Indian part tells the friendship between an old man and an orphan. The Russian part depicts a couple living in a valley. The one from South African director is set in the future. Jia's story is about a couple who wants a second child.

According to the Chinese director, the five BRICS countries are all rapidly developing and the lives of people have similarities, "but different cultural backgrounds and history result in different ways of thinking."
Comprehensive reports, BRICS research materials
A Decade of BRICS: Indian Perspectives for the Future (Десятилетие БРИКС: индийские перспективы на будущее) / India, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion, report

As the BRICS grouping nears a decade of existence, this GP-ORF volume offers commentary from pre-eminent scholars and emerging next-generation researchers on measures that can separate and insulate the group from the vagaries of international discord. It provides area-specific insights and recommendations to promote a greater focus on key issues important to each BRICS nation and the continued institutionalisation of the grouping. The chapters cover the following themes: governance, development, energy, health, gender, security, smart cities, and the cyber sphere.

  • Editor's Note | Samir Saran
  • BRIC's Role in Global Governance Processes | H.H.S. Viswanathan and Shubh Soni
  • The Case for the New Development Bank Institute | Samir Saran and Aparajit Pandey
  • Rebuilding BRICS through Energy | Aparajit Pandey
  • Scripting a New Development Paradigm: India and the BRICS Partnership | Pulin B. Nayak
  • BRICS & SDGs: Prospects of Minilateral Action on a Multilateral Agenda? | Vikrom Mathur
  • Common Health Challenges and Prospects for Cooperation in BRICS | T.C. James
  • BRICS Vision for Smart Cities | Rumi Aijaz
  • Gendering the BRICS Agenda | Urvashi Aneja and Vidisha Mishra
  • The BRICS Security Agenda: Challenges Galore | Harsh V. Pant
  • China's Cyber Sovereignty Vision: Can BRICS Concur? | Madhulika Srikumar
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