Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 44.2017
2017.10.23 — 2017.10.29
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
No great razzmatazz - just effective leadership (Никакого большого беспорядка - просто эффективное руководство) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_China, BRICS+
Author: Robert Kagiri

The world's eyes were trained on China during the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress. Of significance for Africa is that this congress endorsed General Secretary Xi Jinping with a fresh mandate for another five years. For nearly three-and-a-half hours, Xi captivated his nation, and the world at large, with a detailed description of the achievements of the Party and the way forward. China "will not close its door to the world, and we will only become more open", he told Party luminaries at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 18 - and, by extension, his Chinese compatriots, as well as a worldwide audience that is becoming increasingly astonished by his capacious mind.

The congress is devoid of the hysteria and the public displays of political partisanship that Africans have become accustomed to seeing in the Western democracies. It is, however, instructive and noteworthy to observe that the rigid avoidance of fanfare and open displays of razzmatazz during the pivotal twice-a-decade political transitions in China has not affected the development of policies that have led to real economic transformation within the country. In fact, Xi referred to this period as "a decisive stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and a critical moment as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era", thereby underscoring the meaningful recent strides the nation has undertaken toward becoming an enviable, undisputed global leader in the foreseeable near future. This is a compound idea based on a comprehensive model that is increasingly garnering interest and currency in Africa and the rest of the world.

For instance, the vision outlined by Xi at his report to the National Congress builds on the progress that has been made in lifting more than 600 million Chinese citizens out of poverty over the past two decades, with the expectation that those remaining will be free of poverty over the coming years.

How this has been achieved is of particular significance to Africa, which is combating the same scourge with less-than-satisfactory outcomes. In addition, the disruptions we encounter during African transitional politics - in the form of conflict, exorbitant government spending, loss of limb and life in election-related violence and economic upheaval at the expense of development - could probably be avoided by borrowing from the Chinese visionary model. As outlined during the 19th National Congress, this strategic vision in the "new era" calls for finishing the building of "a moderately prosperous society in all respects" and proceeding to "basically realize modernization, and then move on to turn China into a great modern socialist country in every dimension".

Outside of China, and of great import to Africa, is that following this congress, many of the initiatives that have come to fruition under Xi's watch, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the BRICS Plus initiative, will be sustained and upscaled over the next five years. This is good news for Africa particularly, due to the fact that all of these initiatives have, by and large, had a positive effect on the socioeconomic development of Africa.

FOCAC has been instrumental in forging a sustainable China-Africa cooperation agenda in a relationship that is also supportive of Africa's homegrown development plan as set out in the African Union's Agenda 2063. Furthermore, China's commitment to Africa is best epitomized by the fact that the African Union headquarters was built and donated by the Chinese as a place to bring together the continent's 54 member countries to deliberate on development. There are also clear synergies with the Belt and Road Initiative that support the greater part of the AU's agenda on connectivity, and a number of countries, such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Egypt, are for all intents and purposes part of the initiative. Other African countries, such as Mozambique, have overtly expressed interest in being part of this plan and China has responded, at least rhetorically, in favor of their inclusion.

Of notable significance is the fact that two African heads of state, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, were among 28 world leaders invited to the 2017 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May in Beijing, whose theme was "strengthening international cooperation and co-building the Belt and Road for win-win development". Egypt and Kenya were also invited by Xi in September to Beijing among the five countries that constitute his BRICS Plus understudies to accelerate their socioeconomic development.

BRICS Plus is poised to create a useful new platform for communication among developing countries and establish good bridges of interaction on various mutually beneficial opportunities. These initiatives constitute the kind of "win-win" cooperation we expect from the world's indisputable leader of globalization and developmental peace in Xi's "new era" that includes Africa as a key a close friend and development partner.

The author is the director of the Africa Policy Institute. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

How the BRICS Exert Influence in the Global Politics of Development (Как БРИКС влияет на глобальную политику развития) / United Kingdom, October, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_World, expert_opinion
United Kingdom
Author: Matthias Vom Hau

One of the key drivers of the recent transformation of international politics and the transition towards multipolarity is the emergence of so-called BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. And indeed, 20 years ago it would have been difficult to imagine Brazil as the main regional leader in Latin America, South Africa as a major player in the World Trade Organization (WTO), or China as the second largest economy in the world. Much of the scholarly discussion has focused on whether the BRICS are powerful and here to stay (e.g., Stuenkel 2015), or whether their power is ultimately overrated and the BRICS constitute a largely transient phenomenon (e.g., Korzeniewicz, 2012; Milanovic, 2010). Debates have also centered on what the rise of the BRICS means for areas as diverse as global governance, democratization, trade policy and social provision (e.g., Friedburg, 2005; Macfarlane, 2006; Ramo, 2004; Segal, 1999; Soares de Lima and Hirst, 2006; Stuenkel, 2015).

What has received less attention is how the BRICS project power. In response this essay distinguishes four broad strategies of exerting international influence (see vom Hau, Scott, and Hulme, 2012). More specifically, and shown in Table 1, I contrast between strategies that seek to exercise power through agenda-setting within international organizations, with strategies that focus on individual or small groups of countries and work primarily through agreements, treaties or mediation. I also distinguish the geographical scope of international policy making by pinpointing whether a strategy of influence is regionally bounded or global in scope and ambition. It bears emphasis that the different modes of international engagement are not mutually exclusive, individual countries might pursue several strategies at the same time.

Four Strategies of International Power Projection

Issue leading is centered on policy making in global governance institutions such as the WTO or the United Nations (UN) and involves coalition building and group formation. Issue leadership often entails a multilateralist approach and the provision of intellectual leadership, technical support and political convening facilities. For example, within the WTO South Africa played a crucial role in forging consensus around the 2003 Decision on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health, both in coordinating a common position among developing countries and then creating consensus around this position with the developed countries (Jordaan, 2012).

Similar to issue leadership, opportunity seeking also unfolds on a global scale. Yet, the main focus of engagement are countries, not organizations. Opportunity seeking involves the establishment of close bilateral relations with developing countries perceived as being of economic or strategic importance. These relations may take the form of free trade agreements, bilateral treaties or development partnerships, and are often coupled with strategic investments. China exemplifies this mode of engagement. During the last decade, the Chinese government has pursued an aggressive bilateral free trade agreement strategy that reflects its export-oriented development model. This has been accompanied by a dramatic increase of ODA to developing countries around the world, especially in the form of loans that are linked to promoting exports and securing access to natural resources.

These global modes of international policymaking contrast with more regionally-focused strategies of engagement. Region organizing involves leadership in organizations that represent a geographically defined area. This kind of organization provides a forum for the multilateral negotiation of security and economic concerns, and it also constitutes a venue for the ideological construction of a distinct regional identity. Within these organizational contexts, regional organizers often act as agenda-setters and mediators. South Africa is a case in point. The creation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has given the country a vehicle for extending its influence within sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa is recognized by member states as a leader on security and development goals, in exchange for maintaining a "soft-soft" diplomacy towards authoritarian African leaders, such as Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe (Carmody, 2012).

The fourth mode of international engagement is also regional in orientation. Region mobilizingfocuses on the cultivation of strategic and economic ties with neighboring countries, whether through multilateral or bilateral trade agreements, infrastructural investments, or migration policy. Region mobilizes are usually economically, politically and ideologically well-integrated within a particular region, and often act as mediators for great powers and/or regional entry points for capital and trade. Brazil exemplifies this strategy. The country has recently fostered bilateral relations to shape development within Latin America. Channels of influence include the systematic increase of FDI, government support for the expansion of companies into neighboring markets, and the construction of port and road facilities.

Taken together, the distinction between issue leadership, opportunity seeking, region organizing and region mobilizing introduces a more dynamic and political perspective that allows moving beyond equating the extent of a BRICS country's influence with geographic location, demographic size, and/or its standing within the global income hierarchy.

Explaining the Adoption of (a) Particular Strategy(ies)

The next question is: How to account for variations in the particular route of international engagement (or combination thereof) taken by each of the BRICS countries? The argument developed in the remainder of this essay certainly does not pretend to be a parsimonious theory, but rather provide a number of initial pointers for future research.

My starting point is that substantial changes in the world economic order and the international state system over the last 20 years have created new opportunities and pressures for BRICS countries to become involved in the global politics of development. The end of the Cold War, together with the push towards trade openness, financial liberalization and the resulting intensification of global economic competitiveness constitute the backdrop against which these countries have developed new forms of international political engagement. Of particular importance has been the partial decoupling of the Global South from the OECD economies. Though the markets of the US and the EU continue to be of immense importance, the emerging markets in the BRICS are the sites of significant new demand. These shifting power relations have opened up new spaces for international political engagement.

Furthermore, globalization has put new pressures on the BRICS. During the last three decades most states around the world adopted a liberal economic model and opened up their national economies to global market forces. Trade barriers have been reduced, markets have been liberalized, with the result that goods and capital move around the globe in unprecedented volumes with unprecedented speed (Castells, 1997; Held et al., 1999). Recently industrializing countries implemented an export-oriented development model, which entailed the searching for and promotion of new markets. Their dependence on international trade and investment made it imperative for the BRICS to take on a more active role within the global governance of development to facilitate trade, investment and capital flows abroad.

Yet, the new opportunities and pressures confronted by the BRICS alone cannot account for the distinct modes of international policy making found among these countries. It is therefore crucial to unpack how these global changes interacted with specific economic and political contexts at the national level. The intent to build a new regional power base, take on an intermediary role in international organizations, provide ODA, or systematically invest in the infrastructure of other developing countries needs to be understood within the context of domestic politics and the political economy of a particular BRICS country. Of particular importance in prompting particular modes of engagement are therefore natural resource access, state-business elite relations, the nature of civil society networks, and within-nation inequalities.

More specifically, the need to have available natural resources for sustaining economic growth greatly affects the international political projects of states (e.g., Cotula et al, 2009). Economic risers such as the BRICS are concerned about their access to oil, gas and other critical commodities and often seek to expand their influence in potential supplier countries, whether those countries are located in their direct geographical neighborhood or not. Access to natural resources, however, plays little role in motivating issue leadership in global institutions such as the UN, the World Bank, or the WTO. Power projection in the context of international organizations requires attention to domestic politics more broadly. Institutionalist analyses have long argued that sectorally determined business interests (Shafer 1994) and the relative power of different and often contending business groups (Schneider 2004) crucially shape the development policies chosen by a particular country.

It is important to note, however, that business-state relations is not the only vector in domestic politics that shapes engagement within the global politics of development. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements constitute formidable political forces in their own right, and are endowed with the potential to shape how international influence is exercised. Conflicts and alignments between state authorities and civil society networks influence which official foreign policy positions are assumed and how a country interfaces with the international (Brysk 2000; Castells 1997).

Finally, the international ramifications of domestic factors are not limited to state-business and state-civil society alignments. The distribution of economic resources more broadly, and its entwining with categorical inequalities and political cleavages (Tilly 1998), often has substantial ripple effects on international policymaking. For example, in post-apartheid South Africa the persistence of stark ethnoracial divisions and the sharp increase in income differentials between rich and poor fostered a peculiar business climate. South African companies seek markets abroad and pressure the national government to promote new investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, while the majority of the population of townships is not even considered part of the economic equation (Carmody, 2012).


This article has distinguished four major strategies of international engagement that are employed by the BRICS: issue leadership, region organizing, opportunity seeking and region mobilizing. The particular strategy(ies) these countries use to cement their rising economic position and to exert international influence are varied, and depend on their particular circumstances and national economic and political characteristics. I contend that this approach helps to move beyond the idiosyncrasies of each BRICS country, while also establishing a flexible tool for tracing forms of international power projection across different cases and time. This inbuilt flexibility provides a distinct advantage over identifying particular countries with a fixed role within the global order – as suggested by established classifications such as "great powers," "regional powers," "semi-peripheral countries," or "anchor countries."


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Carmody, P. (2012) Another BRIC in the Wall: South Africa's Developmental Impact and Contradictory Rise in Africa and Beyond. European Journal of Development Research 24 (2): 223-241.

Castells, M. (1997), The Power of Identity. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Cotula, L., Verneulen, S., Leonard R. and Keeley, J. (2009) Land grab or development opportunity? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa. London: FAO, IIED and IFAD.

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Held, D., McGrew, A., Goldblatt, D. and Perraton, J. (1999) Global transformations: politics, economics and culture. Cambridge: Polity.

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Korzeniewicz, Roberto (2012). Trends in World Income Inequality and the 'Emerging Middle' European Journal of Development Research 24 (2): 205-222.

Macfarlane, S. N. (2006) The 'R' in BRICs: is Russia an emerging power? International Affairs82(1): 41-57.

Milanovic, B. (2010) The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. New York: Basic Books.

Narlikar, A. (2010) New Powers: How to become one and how to manage them. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ramo, J. C. (2004) The Beijing Consensus. London: The Foreign Policy Centre.

Schneider, B. R. (2004) Business politics and the State in twentieth-century Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Segal, G. (1999) Does China Matter? Foreign Affairs 78(5): 24–36.

Shafer, D. M. (1994) Winners and losers: How sectors shape the developmental prospects of states. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Soares de Lima, M. and Hirst, M. (2006) Brazil as an intermediate state and regional power: Action, choice and responsibilities. International Affairs 82(1): 21-40

Stuenkel, O. (2015) The BRICS and the Future of Global Order. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Tilly, C. (1998) Durable Inequalities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

vom Hau, M., Scott, J. & Hulme, D.(2012) Beyond the BRICs: Alternative Strategies of Influence in the Global Politics of Development. European Journal of Development Research 24 (2): 187-204.
CARICOM Should Seek Deeper Ties with BRICS (CARICOM следует искать более глубокие связи с БРИКС) / Guyana, October, 2017
Author: Clement J. Rohee

Dear Editor,

The Summit of BRICS was recently held in Xiamen, China. The five members of BRICS namely; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have a combined nominal GDP of US$16.6 trillion and 22 % of Gross World Production.

World Bank experts expect BRICS growth to pick up to 5.3 % in 2017. The BRICS have a combined Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of approximately US$37 trillion and an estimated foreign reserves totaling US$4 trillion. Taken together as a group, BRICS population amounts to 3.6 billion people or 40 % of the world's population. In contrast, CARICOM's total population is 17.7 million. The region has a nominal GDP of US$64.7 billion and combined Purchasing Power Parity of US$107.8 billion. CARICOM's GDP increased by 0.3 per cent in 2013. The community's combined foreign reserves amounts to 3 months of exports. Unlike other integration movements, CARICOM boasts a single market and economy, harmonized legislation, free movement of capital and labour, a development fund, a court of justice and a host of regional institutional instruments that contribute to the strong and sustainable integration arrangement.

In other words, CARICOM has the distinct advantage of marketing itself to BRICS, whether in a loose or formal relationship, as a group of small economies in whom they are assured of a highly cohesive, reliable and structured relationship. In this regard, it is apposite to note that at the conclusion of the BRICS Summit its leaders issued the Xiamen Declaration in which inter alia, they announced plans to promote a 'BRICS Plus' arrangement with developing countries and international organizations. The declaration pointed out that US$1.5 billion will be made available for 'projects on clean and renewable energy and transportation.' The Declaration supported the need for 'an equitable distribution of wealth and the pursuance of human well-being centered strategies.' According to the Declaration the Summit marked a turning point from 'a world system of domination to a world of sovereign equality and equal opportunities for all.'

Given the economic and geo-strategic significance of both BRICS and CARICOM the question is; would it be too far-fetched for CARICOM countries to consider themselves as a contingent of the developing countries who would wish to engage BRICS with a view to establishing a futuristic formal or informal strategic relationship with BRICS within the meaning of the BRICS Plus framework?

The fact of the matter is, a pathway already exists for such a strategic relationship to take place.

China, a major player in BRICS has a significant diplomatic, trade, economic and technical cooperation presence among most CARICOM countries save for those who still maintain rather tenuous bilateral relations with Taiwan. The now defunct CARICOM/South Africa Joint Commission should be resuscitated and efforts made to re-invigorate CARICOM's all-round relations with South Africa within the meaning of South-South cooperation. Guyana is the only CARICOM country that has significant technical and economic cooperation as well as trade relations with Brazil. The excellent bilateral relations two countries enjoy can be utilized as a platform for bringing CARICOM closer to BRICS's doorstep. CARICOM has never reached out to Russia nor India as a 15-member community of states although both Russia and India have diplomatic missions or non- resident ambassadors in all CARICOM member states.

Moreover, it is quite possible that the majority of CARICOM member states have active economic, trade and technical cooperation programmes with these two key members of BRICS.

It would make diplomatic sense therefore for a joint collaborative effort within CARICOM at the level of the Council on Foreign and Community Relations, to formulate a joint approach to both India and Russia with BRICS in mind.

Concurrently, diplomatic efforts should be exerted to bring about a confluence of the aforementioned three fronts with a view to arriving at a joint strategic approach to engage BRICS in one way or another.

Yours faithfully,

Clement J. Rohee

Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
The Limpopo Factor: How SA's SMMEs Reap the Benefits of BRICS Membership (Лимпопо-фактор: как малый и средний бизнес ЮАР используют преимущества членства в БРИКС) / Russia, October, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_SA, Limpopo_Economic_Development_agency

Even though it represents the last letter in the BRICS acronym, and it was the last country to join the association in 2010, South Africa has instantly become an equal partner for Brazil, Russia, India and China. Along with other member states, the country is now taking steps to develop its small and medium enterprises.

South Africa's economy accounts for 35 percent of the continent's gross domestic product, and the country is known for its well-developed banking and service sectors. Just like many other BRICS members, South Africa is trying to boost its small and medium enterprises, creating free economic zones and providing government support — both nationwide and locally.

South Africa's delegation was one of the largest at this year's Forum on Small Business hosted by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and BRICS Regions in Russia's Ufa.

According to Humphrey Maputha, who is the acting executive manager of the Limpopo Economic Development agency, his country is ready to do business with BRICS nations.

"We are inviting everybody to make business in South Africa. But what is key for us being a new member of BRICS is that we need to learn from one another."

Limpopo is the country's northernmost province, known for its game hunting industry, diamond and platinum resources, as well as mango, tea and coffee plantations. According to Humphrey Maputha, Limpopo's small businesses want to play a bigger role in the region's economy.

"Key growth sectors are mostly in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and mining…. And now our national government has approved the implementation of a special economic zone in Limpopo, so we will need our SMMEs not to be left out, to participate in those special economic zones. We are here to learn best practices from other BRICS members."

At the forum in Ufa, South Africans had a chance to chat with their Indian colleagues, who shared their experience in supporting micro, small and medium enterprise. India's economy relies heavily on these types of businesses, and the country has a long history of providing support for SMMEs, including financial help and export assistance.

Russia, in turn, shared its experience in creating standards and databases for local franchisors, such as fast food owners who are planning to sell their licenses abroad.

The term BRIC first appeared at the turn of the millennium to describe the world's fastest-growing national economies. The association bearing this name was formed in the late 2000s and was later joined by South Africa.

The bloc has had its share of financial problems during the 2008 financial crisis, but with 3.5 billion people living in BRICS countries and with its five member states having a combined nominal GDP of $16.3 billion, the bloc's economic potential remains high.

The leaders of the BRICS nations gather annually to discuss political and economic issues. This year's BRICS summit was held in China's coastal city of Xiamen.

Revisiting the Dynamic Relationship between Exchange Rates and Stock Prices in BRICS Countries: A Wavelet Analysis (Пересмотр динамических взаимосвязей между курсами обмена и ценами на акции в странах БРИКС: вейвлет анализ) / Netherlands, October, 2017
Keywords: research, exchange_rate, stock_return
Author: Ahmed Mohamed Dahir, Fauziah Mahat, Nazrul Hisyam Ab Razak, Bany-Ariffin Amin Noordin

Based on a wavelet analysis, this study investigates the dynamic links between exchange rates and stock returns in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). The results reveal that relationships between exchange rates and stock returns are positive in the medium and long term, indicating that exchange rates lead stock returns in Brazil and Russia. However, the India index pair has a negative relation, and stock returns lead exchange rates in 64-128-day scales over the periods 2008, 2010–2012, and 2012–2015, while South Africa seems to have a more bidirectional causality; the Chinese index pair did not show any correlation. Further, the findings indicate that the crises had a substantial impact on links among the series. These results have important implications that investors should take into account in frequency-varying exchange rates and stock returns and regulators should consider to develop sound policy measures to prevent financial risk.
ISTMA BRICS Forum Focus On Technical Skills Development (ISTMA БРИКС Форум фокусируется на развитии технических навыков) / Italy, October, 2017
Keywords: ISTMA_World
Author: Davide Grilli

Funding by the BRICS Bank can give skills development in South Africa, especially in the production environment, a huge boost says Dirk van Dyk, South African representative at the BRICS Forum of the International Special Tooling and Machining Association (ISTMA World).

ISTMA represents associations from 20 countries and serves as the centre of expertise for the worldwide special tooling and precision machining industry – a key support function for global manufacturing. Collectively, ISTMA member associations represent over 8,000 companies with an estimated 70 billion US dollars in annual sales.

The ISTMA BRICS Forum was established in Shanghai, China in June 2016 to serve as a global networking hub to pursue and access BRICS initiatives and to share best practices and information among member countries.

The Forum operates parallel to the ISTMA European Tooling Forum that aims to strengthen the competitiveness and leadership of European high added value engineering in world markets.

The BRICS Forum serves as a lobby group to influence policy, create linkages and promote solution development through partnerships. It is an important tool to generate financial resources linked to capacity building for the member countries.

Van Dyk says one of the Forum's main focus points now is the development of a BRICS funding framework for skills development support. Constructive engagement took place between South Africa and Brazil at the recent ISTMA World General Assembly in Brazil to create a basis for the proposed funding model.

"I am optimistic that when South Africa chairs BRICS next year, all funding protocol and procedures will be finalised" says Van Dyk.

Van Dyk believes the highly successful South African INTSIMBI National Tooling Initiative (NTI) can offer several exciting possibilities for application in the BRICS countries.

The multi-stakeholder initiative was introduced by the Toolmaking Association of SA (TASA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to rehabilitate the declining tooling sector in South Africa.

INTSIMBI NTI is currently piloting the advanced manufacturing sector solutions required for skills and enterprise development in the R15 billion local direct tooling industry.

Van Dyk points out that the international standards (ANSI) based modular training components can be integrated into any country's manufacturing skills development systems.

"It is a successful partnership model between industry, training institutions and government and offers a tested student selection, recruitment and support system. The training modules of the modernised curriculum are flexible and offers from basic to engineering skills in the tooling industry."

Van Dyk says South Africa has already signed an agreement for the implementation of the model by Brazil.
A.P. MedTech Zone joins elite club of BRICS Working Group («A.P. MedTech Zone» присоединяется к элитарному клубу рабочей группы БРИКС) / India, October, 2017
Keywords: Woking_Group, Business_Council, AMTZ
Author: Santosh Patnaik

It is expected to be a hub for ultra modern medical equipment manufacturing

The Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, an initiative of the State government to attract medical devices manufacturing units to Visakhapatnam to bring down the cost of healthcare by at least 40%, has joined the elite club of BRICS Woking Group on Manufacturing from India.

The BRICS is an association of five major economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. It has seven working groups in the areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, financial services, energy and green economy, skill development, agribusiness, and deregulation under the aegis of the BRICS Business Council. An official of the AMTZ told The Hindu on Thursday that they would be part of an elite group, comprising Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra, Birla, and Apollo Tyres.

The BRICS Business Council, which was set up during the Fifth BRICS Summit held in Durban (South Africa) in March, was aimed at creating a platform to promote and strengthen ties among the member countries.

AMTZ, which is in the process of finalising tenders for its first phase of construction at Nadupuru village near here, where it has been allotted 270 acres early this year, is expected to become a hub for ultra modern medical equipment manufacturing.

Estimated investment

The project is envisaged to attract at least 200 units with an estimated investment of Rs. 25,000 crore to Rs. 30,000 crore and job opportunities for 25,000 people.

The park will be developed as an Electronic Manufacturing Cluster, the first after the one proposed at Gurrampalem near Pendurthi in the city. AMTZ will be an import substitute for medical devices being brought from the Europe, the US, Germany, and China.

The zone will have separate labs for electro-magentic interference/compatibility, gamma irradiation, X-ray/CT scan tube manufacturing, radiated emissions, conducted emission, 3D design, prototyping and rapid tooling facility and central warehousing, exhibition and seminar halls, regulatory offices and export import promotion body.
"It's A Huge Story": China Launching "Petroyuan" In Two Months ("Это значительная история": Китай запускает "Петроюань" через два месяца) / USA, October, 2017
Keywords: Petroyuan, China_World, expert_opinion
Author: Tyler Durden

As a reminder, nothing lasts forever...

The World Bank's former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system.

"The dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises," Justin Yifu Lin told Bruegel, a Brussels-based policy-research think tank.

"The solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency."

The writing is on the wall for dollar hegemony. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said almost two months ago during the BRICs summit in Xiamen,

"Russia shares the BRICS countries' concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies."

As Pepe Escobar recently noted, 'to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies' is the politest way of stating what the BRICS have been discussing for years now; how to bypass the US dollar, as well as the petrodollar.

Beijing is ready to step up the game. Soon China will launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan. This means that Russia – as well as Iran, the other key node of Eurasia integration – may bypass US sanctions by trading energy in their own currencies, or in yuan. Inbuilt in the move is a true Chinese win-win; the yuan - according to some - will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

The new triad of oil, yuan and gold is actually a win-win-win. No problem at all if energy providers prefer to be paid in physical gold instead of yuan. The key message is the US dollar being bypassed.

China's plans for oil futures trading go back more than two decades, with the government introducing a domestic crude contract in 1993 and stopping a year later amid an overhaul of its energy industry. But in 2013, we first hinted at the birth of the petroyuan was looming...

In doing so China is effectively lobbing the first shot across the bow of the Petrodollar system, and more importantly, the key support of the USD in the international arena... setting the scene for the petroyuan.

And now, we are within two months of it becoming a reality as China prepares to roll out a yuan-denominated oil contract within the next two months...

"Approval of the trading rules by the securities regulator marks the clearance of a major hurdle toward launch of the contract," Li Zhoulei, an analyst with Everbright Futures, said by phone.

"The latest rules raised entry threshold for investors from the draft rules, which shows the government wants to avoid volatility when it first starts trading."

Which, according to Adam Levinson, of hedge fund manager Graticule Asset Management Asia, will be a "wake up call" for investors who haven't paid attention to the plans.

Even before the emergence of the growing plethora of cryptocurrencies, several attempts had been made in the past to…

A Yuan-denominated oil contract will be a "huge story" in the fourth quarter.

"The contract is a hedging tool for Chinese oil companies. We're convinced Chinese oil companies will be anchor investors in the Aramco IPO."

All of which fits with recent comments and actions from Russian and Venezuelan officials...

"Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar," Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative "superbody." He reportedly did not provide details of this new proposal.

Maduro hinted further that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies.

"If they pursue us with the dollar, we'll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro," Maduro also said.

Additionally, Levison warns Washington that besides serving as a hedging tool for Chinese companies, the contract will aid a broader Chinese government agenda of increasing the use of the yuan in trade settlement... and thus the acceleration of de-dollarization and the rise of the Petro-Yuan.

"I don't think there's any doubt we're going to see use of the renminbi in reserves go up substantially"

Levinson was even more sanguine about China's growing credit exposure. While Chinese debt-to-GDP continues to rise, we note that Chinese sovereign credit risk has collapsed to 9 year lows...

Which as Levinson notes, "All the issues in China are occurring without fully understanding the asset side of the balance sheet." He is not concerned about China credit issues in the near-term, defining the near term as the next two years, as "the capacity of the sovereign to deal with an issue, should it occur, is pretty significant and therefore important."

Which appears to the market's perspective as China is now the least risky relative to US in four years...

Finally, while he is less concerned about China's credit, Levinson warns that the lack of volatility as stocks and bonds rally is the "scariest part" of global markets...

"If I am concerned about anything it's where the level of implied volatility trades," Levinson said in an interview in Singapore on Tuesday.

"It is extremely low. If there is something to be concerned about in global markets, it's the endogenous level of where implied volatility is trading."

Small market declines could escalate quickly, Levinson said.

"You don't know when an event or an issue is going to present itself," he said.

"But when it does, the nature of the volatility construct in markets today is such that if you have a modest correction it will turn into a much more severe one in a short period of time, because of the entrenched structural short-selling of volatility."

Any increase in market turbulence could trigger dramatic selling and the biggest of those events could be a broader adoption of China's PetroYuan contract... as Levinson says "will be a huge story" in Q4.
World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
New Development Bank Engages with Representatives of Civil Society and Non-governmental Organizations (Новый банк развития взаимодействует с представителями гражданского общества и неправительственных организаций) / China, October, 2017
Keywords: NDB

The New Development Bank's meeting with the representatives of civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia took place in Shanghai on 25-26 October 2017. This event continued a dialogue started in 2016 during the NDB First Annual Meeting in Shanghai.

The consultations were attended by more than 30 experts and activists interested in BRICS and the NDB, members of the Bank's top management including the NDB President Mr. K.V.Kamath and staff from various divisions of the NDB.

The event was aimed at improving mutual understanding between the parties, sharing experience and comments on the Bank's policy documents as well as developing mechanisms for continuing an ongoing constructive dialogue.

During the meeting, the participants discussed such questions as the Bank's transparency, accountability and access to information, the Bank's policies, environmental and social management, gender aspects of operations, the NDB's General Strategy: 2017-2021, sustainable development, exchange of knowledge as well as other issues.

The event was participated by the representatives of ActionAid India, AFRODAD, BRICS Feminist Watch, Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at O.P. Jindal Global University (India), Chinadialogue, Coalition for Human Rights in Development, Conectas, Fudan University, Gender Action, Global Environmental Institute, Green Watershed, Greenovation Hub, Greenpeace East Asia, INESC, Landesa/Rural Development Institute, Oxfam, South-South Cooperation Research and Policy Centre, Vasudha Foundation.

The parties agreed to continue dialogue and expand further civil society engagement with the Bank.
The NDB is committed to enhancing its accountability and recognizes the importance of regular communications with representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations.
Gorodissky & Partners to host 9th BRICS IP Forum in Paris (Gorodissky & Partners проведет в Париже 9-й BRICS IP форум) / France, October, 2017
Keywords: IP_Forum

The 9th BRICS IP Forum will be held at Novotel Paris Centre Tour Eiffel on the 30th and 31st of October. The co-organizers of the event are Daniel Legal & IP Strategy (Brazil), Gorodissky & Partners (Russia), Remfry & Sagar (India), CCPIT (China) and Spoor & Fisher (South Africa).

Founded in 2008 and covering all subject matters in IP rights, the BRICS IP Forum (BIPF) is set to spread the voice of the developing world in matters of intellectual property.

The forum will present and exhibit recent IP developments in BRIC countries, compulsory licensing, trademarks outside the Latin alphabet, technoparks, free economic zones and other measures stimulating IP activity and foreign investments to emerging markets and IP on the internet.

This event will focus on delivering each specific IP subject bearing the reference of the situation BRICS countries. Therefore, sharing with the participants the present situation in each country enabling them to compare the available options in IP and to direct their attention towards areas where they can develop with consideration the supply and the demand situation.

See the BIPF 2017 – BRICS IP Forum program here:
Chinese Director Jia Zhangke Talks About the Rising Power of BRICS Countries Film Industries (Китайский режиссер Цзя Чжанке рассказывает о растущей силе киноиндустрии в странах БРИКС) / India, October, 2017
Keywords: film_industry, film_festival

The first BRICS co-produced film, Where Has Time Gone?, is set to hit mainland cinemas. Before its nationwide release, Jia Zhangke, executive producer and director of the Chinese section of the film, shared some behind-the-scene stories with Chinese media and film fans at a promotional event in Beijing.

An anthology film featuring short stories from directors of the five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - Where Has Time Gone? revolves around the theme of time and people. For example, the Russian short film deals with the relationship between a couple who live an isolated life in a valley, while the Chinese section focuses on China's family planning policy.

Jia explained that when he was asked in autumn of 2016 if he was interested in leading the project for the BRICS film festival, he was gleeful.

"I had been to every nation except for South Africa. I imagined at the time that it would be very colorful if directors from the five nations came together for one film," Jia told reporters at the event.

According to Jia, the directors chose to focus on the same theme because they all agreed that human beings, no matter where they may be from, essentially face many of the same problems. Add to this the fact that the five BRICS nations are currently experiencing very similar social development trends in which "the economy is developing quickly, while people's traditional way of living and relationships are changing a lot."

Jia also noted that while films from the US and European nations have dominated the global movie market, he has noticed that "the majority films that have had breakthroughs in terms of film languages or featured a new perspective on humanity have been from non-US and European nations."

"Through these films, audiences are discovering more in addition to what the US and Europe provide, other countries also produce meaningful films," Jia noted.

After its nationwide release in the mainland, Where Has Time Gone? is expected to make its way to overseas film festivals such as Tokyo Filmex and the Busan International Film Festival.

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