Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 43.2017
2017.10.16 — 2017.10.22
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
[Abstract] Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at a panel discussion, Society and World Politics, at the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students, Sochi, October 16, 2017 ([Отрывок] Выступление Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В.Лаврова на панельной дискуссии «Общество и мировая политика» в рамках XIX Всемирного фестиваля молодежи и студентов, Сочи, 16 октября 2017 года) / Russia, October, 2017
Keywords: Sergey_Lavrov, speech

Question: The Americans want the Middle East to be divided, because a united Arab world is a powerful force. China has created a BRICS infrastructure investment bank. Here is what I mean: when a plane engine malfunctions, energy from the working engines is transferred to the non-working engine so as to balance the plane. The Middle East is on fire, which is why the BRICS bank has been created. What do you think about the BRICS bank contributing to the rebuilding of the Middle East after its devastation? What is Russia's position on uniting the Arab world in the BRICS format?

Leonid Drachevsky has said that we listen to CNN, which can be described as post-truth journalism with regard to Russia. Can we use the BRICS and SCO format and our allies to create a media centre similar to CNN so as to broadcast our post-truth to all continents?

Sergey Lavrov: The BRICS bank is called the New Development Bank. You have also mentioned the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is a separate structure in which we are involved. The BRICS New Development Bank has been established primarily to finance projects in the five BRICS countries and possibly also in other countries. For example, the African Regional Centre of the New Development Bank has been launched in South Africa to finance prospective projects with African countries. I don't think the BRICS bank should assume responsibility for rebuilding the Middle East and North Africa. It should be a much bigger scale initiative, as President Putin said yesterday. Many people are thinking now about organising the restoration of Syria and other regional countries. The key priorities at this stage are humanitarian deliveries and mine clearing. We urge the international community, primarily the UN, to stimulate international involvement in these processes as much as possible. Some forces, which want to slow these processes down, above all for political reasons, say they would deliver humanitarian aid to Syria but not to the government-controlled regions. This is trading on humanitarian values. They advance similar conditions regarding assistance to the economic rehabilitation of Syria. I believe this is amoral, and I hope that Christian values will prevail in the EU with regard to the initiative which Federica Mogherini advanced at a high-level event on Syria that was recently held in New York for potential contributors to the reconstruction of Syria.

As for the CNN and how to tackle it, first, it has made a rod for itself by exposing itself and demonstrating its bias and willingness to sacrifice professionalism to short-term political considerations. Second, Russian counter-efforts have produced good results. The efforts taken by the RT network have produced the desired effect, which explains the demand that RT register as a foreign agent in the US under the [Foreign Agents Registration Act]. RT has good lawyers, and I hope they will use every opportunity at their disposal to deal with this situation. However, if US justice imposes this absolutely unacceptable ruling on a media outlet, we will have to reciprocate with regard to US networks whose operation in Russia is financed by American taxpayers.

Regarding the BRICS possibilities, you are a sagacious person, because we are setting up a BRICS television network, which will be allocated the broadcasting frequencies soon. A relevant decision and the necessary administrative steps have been taken already.
Consul General Pan Xinchun Made a Speech at the Heriot-Watt University (Генеральный консул Пан Синьчунь выступил с речью в Университете Хериот-Ватт) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: speech, Pan_Xinchun

On 13 October, Consul General Pan Xinchun was invited to deliver a speech on BRICS and China's Foreign Policy to the teachers and students at Heriot-Watt University.

In his speech, Consul General Pan introduced the development of the BRICS and the significance of the BRICS countries cooperation, both from historical process of the development of the five countries along with the global development and evolving international landscape. He said it has been ten years since the establishment of the mechanism with a framework covering wide-ranging area and multiple level cooperation as well as a number of cooperation projects in line with development strategies of the BRICS and in accordance to the interests of the peoples. The BRICS have turned into a key power in advancing world economic growth, promoting reform of global order and safeguarding international peace and stability.

Mr. Pan indicated this year marks the beginning of the second "Golden Decade" for the BRICS. Last month saw a successful Summit in China. Since this year, fruitful results of cooperation have been achieved. The five countries decided to deepen practical cooperation in three pillars including economy, politics and people-to-people & cultural engagement and put forward "BRICS Plus" pattern for cooperation.

Mr. Pan said against the backdrop of an era of global major development as well as profound transformation and change, China shoulders its responsibilities by building a community of shared future for mankind, making important contributions to the world peace and development. China will continue to pursue an opening-up strategy featuring mutual benefit and win-win and promote the development of The Belt and Road Initiative so as to share its development opportunities with other countries.

Mr. Pan also answered questions from the teachers and students regarding BRICS cultural cooperation, China's foreign policy of peace, China's policies on foreign aid and minorities as well as The Belt and Road Initiative.

Principal Professor Richard Williams and Assistant Principal Ruth Moir welcomed the Consul General before the speech and briefed him on the recent development of the University and its cooperation with China, saying the University looks forward to deepening educational exchanges with its Chinese counterparts.

BRICS: a new decision-maker in global governance? (БРИКС: новый ответственный за принятие решений в глобальном управлении?) / Switzerland, October, 2017
Keywords: global_governance, BRICS_world, emerging_economies, expert_opinion
Author: Selcuk Colakoglu

The 9th BRICS summit which took place from 3-5 September, in Xiamen, has once again stimulated a debate about whether the grouping has become a new dominant actor for global governance. Alongside the G7 (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States), which represents the most developed economies in the world, BRIC, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, is today able to have its name frequently mentioned as an alternative gathering of newly emerging and large-scale developing economies. BRIC transformed into BRICS with the admission of South Africa into the grouping in 2010, although the capacity of South Africa's economy falls far behind those of the others. Even in quantitative terms, it is clear that BRICS countries matter. Together, they cover 44% of the world's population and 25% of the global economy, with huge growth potential.

Increasing economic capacity of BRICS as a global player

BRICS countries have proved themselves a potent voice for developing countries with their successful developmental models. One of the big achievements of BRICS was to create an independent financial capacity to subsidise their sustainable development.

The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangements (CRA), with a USD$100 billion fund, became operational in 2015. The BRICS' New Development Bank (NDB) has already been launched with an initial capital of USD$100 billion. At the Xiamen summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping, promised USD$4 billion as aid to the NDB's business operation facility. Besides, there is a BRICS currency reserve fund with USD$100 billion. These financial institutions are necessary for the sustained growth of BRICS, and for developing its own approach to economic growth and development.

China, in particular, has certain advantages and experience to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in different manners. Together, the foundation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the NDB, provided new financial instruments for China to properly apply its international economic agenda. Besides, China is trying to make its yuan the reserve currency of BRICS. However, this attempt is considered a hegemonic tendency by other BRICS members.

Differences of BRICS in international politics

It could be said that a dual structure exists within the BRICS itself. On one side, is the Sino-Russian strategic alliance developed since the early 1990s. On the other, are the democratic trio of India, Brazil, and South Africa. This latter subgroup, which came to the fore with the creation of IBSA in 2003, also agreed to inclusion in the BRICS.

Moreover, BRICS has two opposing political blocs in Asia. Russia and China are aligned with Pakistan and Iran on one side, and India is aligned with the Unites States and Japan on the other. Russia has a rapprochement policy with Pakistan, in repose to its Cold War ally– India's – engagement with the United States. Border disputes between India and China constitute the biggest political challenge to BRICS. The military stand-off between India and China at Doklam in Bhutan, was settled just days prior to the Xiamen summit.

BRICS countries are also split regarding the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform. While Brazil, India, and South Africa support UNSC reform, China and Russia are opposing it for different reasons. Russia is reluctant to see the UNSC diluted. China is against the reform, because the G4 alliance (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) would probably become a member if the UNSC reform were to take place. Beijing still considers both Tokyo and New Delhi more as regional competitors than as partners.

All these political differences explain why BRICS still suffers from a lack of coherence to form a collective stance on major regional and global security issues. BRICS could not reach any consensus on the Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, and maritime disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

Potential enlargement of BRICS

BRICS considers reaching out to other emerging economies for either enlargement or engagement. In 2017, Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Kenya, and Tajikistan were invited for talks to the Xiamen summit. BRICS countries also consider Indonesia as a potential candidate for the membership in the South-east Asia region. Turkey has also a chance to be partial or full member of BRICS. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Mehmet Simsek, has indicated in April 2017 that Turkey might be a participant in the NDB to finance investment and infrastructure projects in Turkey.

At this juncture, there may be a problem for MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and Australia) at the G20. If there is an expansion of BRICS within the G20, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey will be potential candidates as developing countries. Other MIKTA countries, Australia and South Korea, are potentially close to G7 as developed and established middle powers. So, any enlargement of BRICS within the G20 might signify the end of the MIKTA grouping.

Other rapidly developing countries such as Vietnam, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, and the Philippines may be potential candidates for BRICS. However, all these newly emerging countries are not in the G20 and the decision to accept them to the membership would mean a strategic step for BRICS to expand its role at the global scale.

Concluding remarks

Initially, BRICS had an ambition to promote the emerging economies' influence on global governance, and to challenge the post-WWII global order. However, there is a long way to go if BRICS is to establish itself as an alternative source of power by challenging the G7-dominated global economy.

The leaders of BRICS underlined at the Xiamen summit that the G20 continues in its role as the primary forum for international economic co-operation. BRICS leaders have also reiterated their commitments to the implementation of the outcomes of G20 summits. Brazil, South Africa, and Russia are facing serious economic difficulties, while China has endured a slowing of growth for several years in a row. Only India continues the trend of accelerated growth. All in all, it seems that BRICS aims to improve the role of emerging economies within the existing global order.

Dr Selcuk Colakoglu ( is a professor of International Relations and Director of The Turkish Center for Asia-Pacific Studies in Ankara, Turkey.

Managing China's Rise Within Brics: An Indian Dilemma (Управление возрастающей ролью Китая в БРИКС: дилемма Индии) / USA, October, 2017
Keywords: India_China, expert_opinion, overview
Author: Monish Tourangbam

BRICS, an international grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, was conceived with the purpose of seeking democratization of international decisionmaking and an inclusive global governance structure. However, BRICS membership also has the second, equally important purpose of elevating each of the five member state's respective position in the international system. As a result, BRICS faces a conundrum —how can it balance common interests with competition or power politics within the group? Antagonism within the BRICS is exemplified by the adversarial relationship between two prominent pillars: India and China. Questions on the nature of the India-China relationship and its impact on BRICS have been hotly debated in the wake of the Doklam standoff and the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China. Although the Xiamen Summithas been credited with deescalating the crisis, dark cloudsof mistrust and suspicion still loom large over the relationship.

China has managed to strike a common chord with other BRICS members in demanding democratization of the global financial structure, which has traditionally been spearheaded by developed countries. However, being the largest economy within BRICS, China is able to wield the kind of influence that is of concern to India. For instance, Beijing was able to maneuver its way to get the headquarters of the New Development Bank (NDB) in Shanghai, leaving New Delhi to settle with having an Indian as the first president of the bank. Further, given China's aspirations to shape a new world order, it intends to use multilateral institutions such as BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to advance its own geopolitical and geoeconomic interests such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, the Belt Road Forum(BRF) earlier this year, China's diplomatic initiative to mobilize consensus among a host of countries, was boycotted by India. India's opposition to the BRI, a project currently paramount in Chinese strategic thinking, is being seen as an impediment to Beijing's effort to sell the project as a win-win.

Moreover, despite the rhetoric of cooperating to counter terrorism, India's efforts to call out Pakistan's support for anti-India terrorist entities in international fora has often encountered the Chinese wall. Despite China's submission to the Xiamen Declaration, which singled out some terrorist organizations based in Pakistan, any belief that China will begin to hamstring Pakistan for fomenting anti-India extremist groups would be naïve. Beijing is too invested in Pakistan to allow any downturn in the relationship. At the most, the declaration signals that China intends to nudge Pakistan to ensure stability for Chinese investments in Afghanistan, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Moreover, China follows a selective policy when it comes to the democratization of global governance. While China wants to revise the global financial structure, it is against revising the UN Security Council (UNSC), a posture that is plainly targeted against any possibility of India becoming a veto-wielding member of the UNSC. Further, the India-China trade imbalanceand issues of market access for value-added Indian products in China still remain a matter of concern.

There are many soft issue areas like educational cooperation and people-to-people ties where the BRICS countries can and will find convergence, but sensing the nature of India-China relations, Delhi must find ways to navigate the power politics embedded in BRICS. This will only magnify as Beijing continues to generate political consensus among BRICS countries that are favorable to China and to extend it by means of implementing the BRICS Plus mechanism. There is a precedent for member states inviting guest countries to the summits and likewise, China invited five non-BRICS countries Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico, and Thailand to the Xiamen summit. However, China's efforts to formalize this practice through the BRICS Plus mechanism has not been appreciated by other members. It has been seen as a way to advance China's dominance within BRICS by pulling in countries that are beholden to Chinese investments and hence will be more willing to align their interests with that of China's. Moreover, there is a concern that such an approach might sow seeds for a possible expansion of BRICS membership at a time when the BRICS members need to solidify their convergences and focus on achieving primary goals.

The answer to managing China's rise within BRICS may lie as much outside the BRICS as inside it. China's approach to BRICS will be determined by how Beijing sees its place in the international system, and how it intends to spearhead such institutions to serve its interest to effect a favorable balance of power in the emerging global order. As such, Delhi needs to mobilize other like-minded countries outside the BRICS that are concerned about an unchecked rise of China, countries like the United States, Japan, Australia, and Vietnam. If India singularly lacks the ability to change Chinese ways, it can hope to increase the cost for China's unilateral moves through coordinated bilateral and multilateral strategies. New Delhi's ability or inability to constrain China's rise outside BRICS will have implications for China's behavior within BRICS. However, Delhi needs to navigate some complex geopolitics in the face of Beijing's ability to cut deals with other countries as a quid pro quo for supporting China's ambitions, as seen during the BRF. Even the United States gave lukewarm recognition to BRI while signing the trade deal with China in May this year and sent a representative to BRF. India has a delicate balancing act to perform. It has to manage its role within the BRICS group to be part of countries striving to expand the leadership of the global financial structure. But at the same time, it has convergent interests with developed countries like the United States and Japan when it comes to counteracting the rise of an aggressive China.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
New Development Bank and Russia Sign Project Preparation Fund Contribution Agreement (Новый банк развития и Россия подписывают соглашение о подготовке проекта) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: PPF, concluded_agreements, NDB_Russia

On 15 October 2017, the New Development Bank and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation signed Project Preparation Fund (PPF) contribution agreement. The Agreement was signed by Mr. Xian Zhu, NDB Vice President, Chief Operations Officer and Mr. Sergei Storchak, Director of NDB, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia in Washington D.C. on the sidelines of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings.
The Project Preparation Fund will create an enabling environment for project preparation and facilitate the undertaking of feasibility studies. The fund will also leverage local expertise in the member countries of the NDB and optimize resource utilization.

Background Information
The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.
The first PPF contribution agreement was signed by the NDB and China in the city of Xiamen on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit on 4 September 2017.
BRICS: Towards Creating New Space for Global Peace Development Potentialities (БРИКС: К созданию нового пространства для глобальных возможностей развития мира) / Greece, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion, overview, NDB, trade_relations
Author: Dr. Nafees Ahmad

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has emerged as the new destination for the global peace and development (GPDP) and bound to create a new space wedded to the idea of global sovereign equality (GSE) enshrined in Article 4 of the UN Charter.

BRICS constitutes the 50% of the worldwide population and nearly takes 1/3 of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Products) that makes it a catalyst to transform and propel the present world economy to higher growth in an unprecedented fashion. BRICS has the propensity to make it independent from the clutches of Bretton Woods's institutions of 1944 and establish itself a viable alternative away from US Dollars propelled monetary system. Presently, this optimism remains shrouded in a theoretical construct owing to the existing political architecture of the BRICS that lacks politico-eco-geostrategic cohesion for Brazil, India and South Africa but makes the stay of Russia and China economically comfortable in the grouping. Though, BRICS got its identity and nomenclature from its antagonist in the western world called Goldman Sachs.

Historically, South Africa was not the part of this alliance initially but in 2001 immediately in the post-9/11 world scenario, Jim O'Neill (The Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs) coined the term "BRIC" (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) founded on his economic prognosis of the new emerging economies ready to dominate the financial canvass of the entire world by 2041 against the economic supremacy of the western countries. Subsequently, this prognosis has been revised and recast all the way to 2032, but in the present circumstances, it could materialize by 2025 or even before as the new Oil-For-Yuan and Gold Exchange markets are likely to be inaugurated in Shanghai soon. Predictably, these developments are being perceived as an end of Petro-Dollar and Dollar monopoly in the international market. Thus, the four BRIC nations realized their economic potentialities and power to shift the financial dynamics of the world and took over the reins of their control. Even Jim O'Neill did not have an inkling that BRIC would emerge as an economic adversary to the Bretton Woods institutions. The first formal BRIC Conference was organized in Russia in June 2009 to establish the BRICS as a new economic entity. In 2011, four countries; Brazil, Russia, India, and China along with the fifth one South Africa were recognized as the internationally fastest growing economies, and in 2013 South Africa was included in the grouping, and it has formally become BRICS.

BRICS & Bretton Woods Economy

Presently, BRICS is confronted with many challenges including establishing itself as an alternative to the Bretton Woods's economy or western economy. BRICS has to evolve itself as an integrated politico-diplomatic force having a global voice and vision that would drive the Asian century. Thus, BRICS must subscribe to a combined economic development approach (CEDA) that distinguishes the BRICS from the Bretton Woods Economy based on the nexus of Dollar and Euro convergence. Therefore, CEDA must be a reality in near future if it is not possible now. Currently, Indian and Brazilian economies are being controlled by the Bretton Woods institutions which are the traditional system for monetary and exchange rate management established in 1944 to help reconstruct the devastated Post World War-II economy and to promote international economic cooperation. The Bretton Woods Institutions are the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Bretton Woods Agreement at a meeting of 43 countries organized by the UN Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the USA on July 01-22, 1944. In the last fall, India had witnessed disastrous economic debacle in the wake of demonetization that put 80% of the cash currency in circulation out of legal use and got it replaced with new bills with the twin objective of flushing out black money and digitizing the economy. But it is still unclear how many poor perished due to this reckless exercise. People without bank accounts suffered a lot as they were able to make digital or online payments as an alternative to cash currency. Indian economy sustained another jolt that failed a myriad of small businesses leaving the Indian economy in adversity of crisis ramifications.

There is a neo-liberal political leadership in Brazil confronted with corruption allegations which have been succumbing to the hawks of Wall Street and maneuvers of Bretton Woods's systems. The BRICS 9th Conference at Xiamen on September 04-05, 2017 presented itself "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future" but the partnership was not stronger, and future did not seem brighter rather it behaved like a private club where every member state was with a different agenda. Therefore, BRICS has to prove itself true to its name regarding economic accomplishments positively and constructively. Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the BRICS Xiamen Conference rightly opined that "it is important that our group's (BRICS) activities are based on the principles of (sovereign) equality, respect for one another's thoughts and consensus. Within BRICS, nothing is ever imposed on anyone, and the approaches of its members do not coincide, we work patiently and cautiously to coordinate them. This open and trust-based atmosphere is conducive to the successful implementation of our tasks." Therefore, these high averments jell well with the purposes and principles of the BRICS and UN Charter.

BRICS Bank & Development Twigging

The BRICS Bank that is presently known as New Development Bank (NDB) has oozed out of an idea mooted at BRICS Summit in Durban in March 2013 that formally created the BRICS Bank in 2014 that was formalized into a treaty signed in July 2015. The treaty envisaged a BRICS Development Bank and establishes a "Reserve Currency Pool (RCP)" of US $ 100 Billion which was to be allocated to the five member states with an equal share of the US $ 50 Billion start-up investment to be expanded later to the tune of US $ 100 Billion. Brazil, Russia, and India were to contribute the US $ 18 Billion each while China and South Africa were to provide US $ 41 Billion and the US $ 5 Billion to the NDB respectively. However, instant fiscal arrangement posed a problem regarding setting-up of initial capital and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) in the US Dollars that was pegged at the US $ 100 Billion. Therefore, it would be immensely problematic for the BRICS to maintain its distinct and discreet identity if it does not secede from the Dollar based fiscal arrangements in the long run. While Brazil and South Africa are heavily indebtedness that too in US Dollars and South Africa has a current debt of US $ 153 Billion that is above 50% of its GDP which prevails just below the US $ 300 Billion. Therefore, Brazil and South Africa would have to borrow from Bretton Woods institutions or Wall Street to contribute to the Dollar-denomination propelled CRA. Such a situation is bound to create a Dollar thralldom for these countries, and their strings might be in claws of Bretton Woods's institutions and the US FED contrary to the independent Asian Economic Order based on CEDA.

In 2016, South Africa's interest on its foreign debt US $ 153 Billion got increased up to the US $ 5 Billion that is almost 52% of its GDP proximate to the US $ 300 Billion. The US $ 5 Billion foreign debt payments are higher than the South Africa's expenditures on tertiary education budget gauged at R60 Billion equivalent to the US $ 4.6 Billion. Therefore, it is justifiable for BRICS to detach from a debt-centered monetary architecture. As an alternative, BRICS must strive to emplace its own financial and international payment system modeled on the existing Chinese International Payment System (CIPS) introduced to the world. The establishment of NDB would render industrialization to attain unprecedented heights in the BRICS member states and beyond the grouping in tandem with the proximal growth of trade and development. Presently, the NDB has sanctioned as many as seven investment projects in the BRICS Nations of US $ 1.5 Billion and 2017 NDB has to endorse the second slot of investment projects worth the US $ 2.5 - US $ 3.0 Billion. Nonetheless, these plans do not precisely provide the objective of the investment, but NDB was contemplated to fund energy and infrastructure projects in the BRICS countries as these countries, presently, grappling with the problem of lack of infrastructure and free energy production that would accelerate the pace of industrial growth and trade in years ahead.

Economic Expansion beyond BRICS

The NDB is pivotal to BRICS collaboration, and it might exert a pull on new investments by invoking NDB influence. It was an understanding reached in Xiamen Conference. However, its contours remain shrouded, but India made a prognosis of anticipated 40% expansion in the next few years. In case of India or other member states of BRICS receives foreign investments, it would be challenging for them to distinguish between foreign direct investments (FDI) based on the new BRICS fortitude and ordinary unilateral or bilateral FDI as articulated at Xiamen summit. The economic expansion beyond the BRICS and investment branching out with connected trade has become more critical than ever before. There are many more countries desperate to become the members of the BRICS such as Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey and two countries from the OECD such as Mexico and South Korea and their membership is under active consideration. Presently, there is incremental trade bonhomie in the emerging developing economies and developing countries' markets in addition to global average trade regulated under the WTO regime. Therefore, economic expansion and diversification among the BRICS Nations and beyond must be facilitated so that business could get an impetus in consonance with the idea of human rights and peace-oriented economy similar to the globalization with free from all trade barriers. The BRICS economy must visualize an Economic Governance Model based on the well-being of the people away from western war industry, and US Dollar drove elite model of economic governance.

In this context, the BRICS Nations must ponder over to have their currency consistent with the deliberations at Xiamen Conference. There was an understanding among five BRICS member states to "enhance and develop BRICS Local Currency Bond Markets and together institute a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, as a means of contributing to the capital sustainability of investing in BRICS countries, boosting the development of BRICS domestic and regional bond markets." It is likely to be similar to Euro before its present incarnation as European Currency Unit (ECU) that was subsequently converted into full-fledged virtual Euro in January 2002 and then becoming US Dollar like fiat money in the world market. It is now evident that the US pushed the establishment of Euro as its subservient currency that made the Euro unsustainable and put it on shaky ground as a single currency among the countries devoid of common political interests and the constitution except one common military alliance called NATO that perpetuates permanent war-mongering contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Therefore, the BRICS has to guide itself with a strong vision based on economic, political and defense objectives for creating a congenial atmosphere for a common currency away from the occidental priorities. However, the BRICS countries at Xiamen also adopted the CEDA policy for "BRICS Economic Partnership and initiatives related to its priority areas like financial integration, trade and investment, infrastructure connectivity, manufacturing and minerals processing, science and technology, innovation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) cooperation, among others" for achieving balanced, sustainable, and growth-oriented global order.

BRICS & SCO Trade Integration

Now, there is an emerging tendency in the BRICS and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) Nations to have their integration as few countries are common in both the organizations. China and Russia are in SCO, and recently India has also joined the SCO, and it has many countries from central Asia, the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) led by Russia, and new member states like Pakistan and Iran. Moreover, the SCO has devised a geostrategic defense vision in advance based on common long-term objectives of CEDA orientation. Recently, Presidents Putin and Xi advocated the idea of BRICS and SCO integration at the EEF (Eastern Economic Forum) Meeting on September 06-07, 2017 at Vladivostok. They were of the view that fusion between EUAU (Eurasian Economic Union) and the new Silk Road popularly known as OBOR or OBI (One Belt, One Road or One Belt Initiative respectively) must be translated into action with immediate effect. Primarily, the China drives OBOR and Russia propels the SCO and EEU countries are part of the SCO, therefore, if these nations take an economically well-integrated and politically united stand, Western hegemony destined to be decimated and buried in the ground for once and all.

This would usher the world in new global trade environment free from Dollar domination, Bretton Woods Organizations, and occidental economic blockade of countries who do not subscribe to outrageous western oppressions, preposterous predilections, and illegal economic sanctions in violation of sovereign equality as enunciated in the UN Charter and international law. Now, there is a multitude of global scholarship well-grounded on unity, unanimity, and ubiquity of economic thought that 21stcentury belongs to Asia. It is, unfortunate that Eastern countries always paid Western countries' avarice, greed, and domination and subjugation of Asian people to the hilt. Therefore, Western world must realize the fact that they are no more in a position to dictate the developing world and if they stick to their archaic and obsolete policies, they are destined to doom in the quagmire of ill-conceived nostalgia of a reflected glory. They must engage themselves with the Asian world on equal terms while abdicating their supremacist tendencies and exploitative agenda.


It is axiomatic from the ongoing discussion that the BRICS NDB has the propensity to match with the Bretton Woods Organizations. There is a requirement to have a delicate balance between economic austerity measures and neo-liberal economic policies that demand fiscal discipline for economic development and people-oriented development directed at equitable wealth distribution and just income. The fundamental problem has been the initial capital and the CRA installation in US Dollars. The BRICS member states' debts as adumbrated hereinabove are another irritant that must also be repaid and removed within a well-stipulated time frame before switching over to new BRICS arrangements on its potential currency. On the other hand, Chinese AIIB (Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank) establishment with an initial capital of US $ 100 was also set-up in a Western hegemonic currency called Dollars. Therefore, NDB and AIIB would have to work collectively to dismantle the well-entrenched Bretton Woods financial wherewithal in the world that has been designed to usurp the Asian economies. Although, the BRICS and AIIB have already taken a step ahead in this direction with enacting the Chinese Petrol Exchange in Shanghai at which trading would be in gold-convertible Yuan and discarded the trading in US Dollars. Thus, the BRICS and SCO fusion is the potential solution that may be analogous to the IMF's SDR (Special Drawing Rights). The SDR presently comprises five world currencies such as US Dollars, British Pound, Euro, Yen, and since 2016 Chinese Yuan and same must be commenced and pressed into international trade as a viable alternative while maintaining the sanctity of their national monetary systems for a bidding and enterprising future.

BRICS takes the lead in technological innovation rage (БРИКС лидирует во всеобщем увлечении технологическими инновациями) / India, October, 2017
Keywords: expert_opinion, technological_innovation, renewable_energy
Author: Sanjay Kumar Kar

Ongoing collective efforts from the government to business community would enable India to achieve a competitive & comparative advantage by 2025

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) brings together five major emerging economies with a combined GDP of over $16.8 trillion, which is nearly 22.3 per cent of the global GDP valued at $75.54 trillion in 2016. The World Bank statistics show that BRICS contributed over 18 per cent of total global trade in 2015. As China and India continue to grow faster than the rest of the world, BRICS's share of global trade is bound to rise in the future too. Further, recovery of Russia and Brazil is poised to boost BRICS's trade growth. In addition, BRICS's population, 43 per cent of the global population, remains a major driver of demand for goods and services; shaping BRICS-centric global trade.

BRICS emerged as an important multi-country trading group. From the first BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) Summit on June 16, 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to 9th BRICS Summit (2017) in Xiamen, China, the partnering countries have travelled a long distance. BRICS's progress and partnership are founded upon sources of strength like "mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation". Over the years, BRICS deliberated on a host of issues bothering global citizens. BRICS's leaders have been collectively developing, implementing, and monitoring innovative solutions to address emerging and contemporary challenges. Besides, the BRICS think-tank puts enormous efforts to tackle challenges to sustainable development, energy access, and energy security.

It is heartening to see that energy remains a critical area for cooperation, collaboration, and mutual support from 1st BRIC Summit to the 9th BRICS Summit. More importantly, emphasis on renewable energy with continued focus on fundamental research on technology development, easy and faster technology transfer and investments would immensely benefit BRICS and the world in the long run.

Focus on new and renewable sources of energy with decentralised generation and distribution through micro-grids could help millions of people to move out of economic impoverishment and energy poverty.

The decision to strengthen BRICS-led research in the emerging fields of ICT, Big Data, Data Analytics, Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence and 5G and their innovative applications is bound to benefit global communities at a large.

BRICS is committed to promoting peace and harmony within the group and beyond. In pursuance of this objective, BRICS has started taking a tougher stand on terrorism and is working on developing a mechanism to combat terror funding and counter-terrorism. In this area, BRICS needs to move beyond just declaring 'terror groups' and work towards eliminating terror-breeding epicentres. China's support is much needed to ensure successful implementation of counter-terror strategies within BRICS.

BRICS acknowledges that trade plays a crucial role in the global economic growth and prosperity. Therefore, the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism continues playing an important role in supporting BRICS economic and trade cooperation. Recent agreement within BRICS to augment currency cooperation, including currency swap, local currency settlement and local currency direct investment, will propel trade growth and strengthen local currency. Possibly, this would multiply India's exports with BRICS.

India's export to Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa (BRCS) came down from $27 billion in 2012-13 to $18 billion in 2016-17. During 2012-2017, India's import from BRCS increased from $70 billion to $77 billion. India's widening trade deficits with BRCS indicates that India serves as a good market for them. Especially, China is the biggest beneficiary of India's expanding market, it enjoys a trade surplus of over $51 billion with India. Does BRICS offer any trade advantage to India?

Current situations demonstrate that on the trade front India offers a plenty to BRCS. In 2016-17, trade statistics point out that India runs trade deficits with BRCS, which means India's market supports domestic manufacturing and services sectors of BRCS; on the contrary its own domestic manufacturing especially the small scale industries are gasping for breath. Possibly, due to lack of emphasis on promoting domestic manufacturing and pushing cost competitiveness in the previous decades, India's domestic manufacturing has been adversely impacted. India can capitalize on trade opportunities with BRCS only if the initiatives on domestic manufacturing succeed.

India must take pride in their scientists, innovators, engineers, and entrepreneurs. I am sure, these stakeholders will push India to the next level and the business leaders will provide enough to cheer about "Made in India" identity. Ongoing collective efforts from the government to business community would enable India to achieve a competitive & comparative advantage by 2025.

The author is the Head of Department of Management Studies at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology

World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
Movie collaboration by BRICS directors to be released in China (Фильм, совместно снятый режиссерами из стран БРИКС, выйдет в Китае) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_movie

An anthology of short films, jointly made by directors from each of the BRICS countries, will be released nationwide in China Thursday.

The feature, named Where Has Time Gone, consists of five parts, each by a different director, said the Chinese director Jia Zhangke in Beijing Monday.

The four directors working alongside Jia were Walter Salles from Brazil, Aleksey Fedorchenko from Russia, Madhur Bhandarkar from India, and Jahmil X.T. Qubeka from South Africa.

In the anthology, Jia's story is about a couple who want to have a second child. Salles shows the aftermath of a dam collapse. Bhandarkar tells the friendship between an old man and an orphan. Fedorchenko depicts a couple living in a valley. Qubeka sets his part in the future.

"The emotions from all five stories can be shared by anyone in any country," said Jia, adding that the film would be a successful demonstration of the deep communication and cooperation in the film industry among BRICS countries.
How BRICS Members Could Profit From the Latest Digital Trends (Как страны БРИКС могут выиграть от последних трендов в диджитал) / Russia, October, 2017
Keywords: Expert_opinion, e_learning, education
Author: Denis Bolotsky

As eLearning technologies take the world by storm, BRICS members such as Brazil are taking full advantage of the trend, and are prepared to share their experience with the other bloc members – Russia, China, South Africa and India.

As five of the world's fastest-growing economies were hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, there was one "safe haven", which remained untouched. Brazil found that one particular area of its economy not only remained stable, but has also continued showing strong growth from year to year.

According to President of the United Center for Business cooperation of BRICS states Vicente Barrientos, e-learning technologies should also be used more actively by other bloc members.

Brazil has a well-developed online education system, which represents mostly micro, small and medium businesses. And that is something, which, in my opinion, Mother-Russia is lacking at the moment.

According to Coursify's blog, in 2014 Brazil's 226 educational providers offered more than 25 thousand online courses with 3.8 million new users registering to attend these classes. The industry has been showing constant growth and great investment potential for companies, teachers and students.

Developing a common approach to education and professional training standards were on the agenda at this year's Forum on Small Business hosted by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS in the region's capital Ufa.

Vicente Barrientos took part in one of the discussions on barrier-free cooperation in the SCO and BRICS. He says that BRICS member states are on the right path when it comes to building the digital economy.

Brazil, Russia, India and China are giants in the field of digital business and that field definitely has a lot of potential, especially when it comes to education and exchange of technologies.

The association of five of the world's growing economies, known as BRICS, was created in the late 2000s and is comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Leaders of the member states take part in annual summits. Next year's BRICS summit will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Made on