Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum

Monitoring of the economic, social and labor situation in the BRICS countries
Issue 06.2023
2023.02.06 — 2023.02.12
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
China supports BRICS expansion, organization facilitates economic recovery, diplomat says (Китай поддерживает расширение БРИКС, организация способствует восстановлению экономики, заявил дипломат) / Russia, February, 2023
Keywords: brics+

BRICS members have promoted the positive dynamic of the organization's development since its founding, she noted, adding that the association has become "an important force in solving global issues"

BEIJING, February 6. /TASS/. The Chinese authorities support the expansion of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning told a briefing on Monday, adding that financial and economic cooperation between the organization's member states positively influences their economic recovery.

"China will continue to take a tolerant position, <…> through discussions and consultations, together we will promote the admission of new BRICS members," she said when asked about Beijing's view on the prospects of development and expansion of the structure. "In recent years, BRICS nations have achieved substantial progress in the area of financial and economic cooperation, as well as in the monetary field. This is essential for optimizing trade relations between the organization's member states, for their general economic recovery," the diplomat said.

BRICS members have promoted the positive dynamic of the organization's development since its founding, she noted, adding that the association has become "an important force in solving global issues."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that the issue of creating the BRICS' own currency would be discussed at the BRICS summit scheduled for the end of August.

                Chinese expert no longer sees West as globalization leader, says BRICS emerged timely (Китайский эксперт больше не считает Запад лидером глобализации, считает БРИКС своевременным) / Russia, February, 2023
                Keywords: expert_opinion, global_governance

                Director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University points out that "in this context, the emergence and development of BRICS cooperation mechanism can be considered timely"

                SHANGHAI, February 11. /TASS/. The West can no longer be the so-called globalization leader, while the emergence of BRICS in this context is timely, a Chinese university professor told TASS on Saturday.

                Shen Yi, Director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University, said Western countries had encountered inflation and economic problems domestically after going on a consumption spree in the wake of the Cold War. "From a global consumption point of view, this primarily manifests itself in a period where the world is facing problems and challenges, including the spread of COVID-19, economic growth, climate change, etc., and Western countries can no longer offer an effecicent public product and are unable to act as the so-called leader and driving force of globalization," he believes.

                "In this context, the emergence and development of BRICS cooperation mechanism can be considered timely," the expert said as he described the practical cooperation model as mature.

                "This can lure other developing markets and the developed world," Shen argued. According to him, BRICS can make substantial progress and expand in the next decade.

                In 2006, Brazil, Russia, India and China created the BRIC group, which turned into BRICS after South Africa joined the four nations in 2011. This year, South Africa is chairing the group for the third time.

                              International Organizations in Algeria's Foreign Policy (Международные организации во внешней политике Алжира) / Russia, February, 2023
                              Keywords: expert_opinion, political_issues

                              The application to join BRICS, hosting the LAS summit, the new international activity of Algeria, as well as the stance taken by its leadership in relation to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, make many observers turn their eyes to this North African nation, whose regional role was recently highlighted in quite a few analytical reviews. Abdelmadjid Tebboune's rise to the presidency opens the next chapter in Algerian foreign policy, offering a new perspective on the situation in North Africa and the Western Mediterranean, as well as on the participation of Arab states in global political and economic processes.

                              On Algeria's foreign policy at the new stage

                              Ivan Loshkarev:
                              From Visits to Concepts: How Russia and the U.S. See Africa's Place in the World
                              A noticeable uptick in Algeria's foreign policy activity commenced just after Mr. Tebboune won the presidential election in December 2019. A number of key prerequisites for this uptick can be identified: we can talk about three levels, namely, national (intra-Algerian), regional (North African) and global.

                              The nature and direction of a state's foreign policy usually depends on the domestic political landscape and, if we are talking about political systems with a pronounced personalistic model of leadership—on individual qualities of a person spearheading the top-down system. Algeria is no exception in this respect.

                              The events of the "black decade," 1992–2002, had a negative impact on the Algerian leadership's flurry of foreign policy activity, reducing the foreign policy resources and forcing policy-makers to focus only on responding to urgent challenges and threats. The foreign policy strategy became primarily reactionary and lost its former proactiveness, which was its distinguishing characteristic during the initial decades of independence. In the 2010s, despite the large-scale regional upheavals caused first by the Arab Spring, which brought about regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt and formation of the permanent instability zone in Libya, and then by regional and international terrorist structures stirring to greater activity in the Sahel and Sahara, Algeria remained in a state of dormancy. This condition was caused by the rapid deterioration of President A. Bouteflika's health after 2013. Foreign policy became hostage to the "waiting mode" in Algeria's domestic political space.

                              In 2019, in response to the nomination of A. Bouteflika for his fifth election campaign, large-scale protests dubbed "Hirak" engulfed the country [1]. The support of the protesters by the military allowed changes to take place within the political elite, which led to Bouteflika's resignation. The transition period transpired, albeit with the assistance of the military leadership (and perhaps under its partial control), almost in full compliance with the Constitution. The only setback was rescheduling the presidential election from summer to the fall of that year.

                              A. Tebboune being elected to the highest office following a successful election campaign marked the end of the brief period when political transition was forced under the army's wing. Besides, this ended the entire period of listless foreign policy and apathy of the Bouteflika regime, quite typical of its last years. Moreover, the new president faced an urgent need to consolidate his position in power against the background of a relatively low voter turnout and continued discontent from members of the Hirak Movement.

                              Nevertheless, it is not possible to explain an uptick in Algeria's foreign policy activity at the start of the second decade of the 21st century by internal reasons alone. Significant global and regional transformations created favorable conditions for Algeria's "return" to big regional politics, whereas the traditional principles and slogans of its foreign policy doctrine proved attractive to many regional as well as extra-regional players and observers.

                              Evolution of Algeria's foreign policy tracks

                              Algeria's foreign policy has had its ups and downs, in addition to periods of stagnation. However, its fundamental principles have remained largely unchanged since the nation's independence. These include respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states; support for the decolonization process (in particular, in Palestine and Western Sahara); good neighborly relations, cooperation and multilateralism [2]. For Algeria, these principles are not just a tribute to the traditional agenda, but part of its own identity as they define its place in the world after decolonization.

                              In many ways, these principles were shaped by the long struggle for independence. They also determined the foreign policy of Algeria during the "golden age" of its diplomacy (second half of the 1960s-1970s) and during the challenging period of the "black decade" (1990s), underpinning A. Bouteflika's foreign policy in the early 2000s.

                              Nikita Panin:
                              When Africa Is Just Around the Corner
                              The same principles persisted after the incumbent Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune came to power. They are reflected in his presidential program (Program Du Président de la République) and then in Le Plan d'action du Gouvernement pour la mise en œuvre du program du président de la Republique (the government's plan of action to implement the program of the Republic's President), adopted in September 2021. The Plan addresses various spheres: from jurisprudence modernization to national security and defense consolidation. The fourth chapter is devoted to foreign policy, which ought to be dynamic and proactive.

                              Comparing the presidential program of A. Tebboune in 2021 with that of A. Bouteflika in 2014, we can see that while the basic foreign policy principles have not changed, while the priorities have shifted.

                              Thus, Bouteflika's program sets the following priorities: the policy towards citizens living abroad; activities within the Arab Maghreb, then in the Arab world, in Africa and in other regions within the Non-Aligned Movement; relations with the world's financial institutions and, finally, international security issues. A. Tebboune's program highlights quite different key points: a revision of the classic goals and objectives of Algerian diplomacy (as part of bilateral and multilateral relations) comes first, followed by the strengthening of economic diplomacy, as well as cultural and religious diplomacy; and finally, it's about the protection and promotion of the national community abroad. The logic behind these principles and priorities is also different. While A. Bouteflika's program leans upon a geographic approach, A. Tebboune's approach is problematic, with a greater focus on the economy.

                              The "Government's Plan of Action to Implement the Program of the Republic's President" emphasizes the role of Algeria in international organizations, especially in the section on promoting the relations with Africa and the Arab world. The LAS (The League of Arab States) is mentioned separately: "Within the Arab world, Algeria will work in the coming months to restore joint Arab action by creating optimal conditions for the conduct and success of the next Arab summit." As for the African Union, there is more emphasis on economic areas of cooperation: "In the same spirit, our country should also support continental organizations, help to usher the African Free Trade Zone and to develop intra-African infrastructure projects, such as the trans-Sahara route, the Algeria-Nigeria gas pipeline and fiber-optic communications."

                              A special role is assigned to diplomacy modernization, whereby Algeria's diplomatic corps at various organizations – the UN, the AU, the LAS, the OIC – was significantly ramped up. It is impossible not to notice the new leadership's focus on multilateral formats of international interaction. Like many other states, Algeria is trying to use multilateral formats to enhance its role in the regional and global international environment.

                              The Arab thrust has historically been one of the most prominent and important for Algeria's political rhetoric due to tradition and ideological attitudes. Its origin can be traced to the search for political identity of the state and society in the years following the end of the war for independence and formal recognition of Algeria's sovereignty by France. Involvement in the Commonwealth of Arab States and in the "pan-Arab cause" and struggle for the rights of Palestine as well as the eradication of colonial legacy in all its manifestations served not just to show the maturity of the Algerian state; this also signaled its willingness to conduct an active policy not only in the vicinity of its borders, but also throughout the great "Arab homeland". Moreover, this came down to the purely utilitarian issues of building a new system of education and culture in Algeria itself, focused on the reproduction of an alternative anti-colonial Arab national narrative, with the support (primarily via HR, practices, and experience) of other Arab states.

                              Through its eager participation in the activities of the League of Arab States, Algeria has for many decades advocated the idea, which has been getting less and less popular in many other member countries, that the LAS is not just a traditional meeting place for presidents and monarchs. Algeria's foreign policy vision has always been, and still is, of the League as a supposedly very effective and necessary tool for Arab nations to work together towards developing joint solutions to common problems. The Algerian authorities also made it clear that the potential of the LAS had been unjustifiably ignored. This essentially idealistic principle bordering on naïveté in the current context, nevertheless, accurately reflects Algeria's unwavering solidarity-based orientation towards multilateral cooperation with the Arab states.

                              In 2022—after three years of the LAS summit dormancy—Algeria received the right to host the next summit and made unprecedented efforts to make sure it was not just "another" formal protocol event with zero results. The summit meant that Algeria was to be visited by representative government delegations, and Algerian policy-makers were not only keen on demonstrating the achievements of the Algerian leadership and on presenting their country in the best possible light, but also on assuring definite progress in the key areas of regional political and economic development in the face of familiar and new challenges to sustainable development as well as security threats.

                              Andrey Kortunov:
                              Dr. Dolittles and Ben Alis: How Is the Collective North Responding to African Challenge?
                              The extensive and thorough preparations involved a wide range of regional security issues, the situation in the zones of unresolved military-political conflicts, as well as global food and energy security issues that became more acute in 2022. Algeria deliberately sharpened its focus on the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the light of some Arab states signing the Abraham Accords, along with the situation around Western Sahara, both developments affecting its national interests and security. In doing so, the Algerian foreign ministry promoted a dialogue and execution of an agreement of understanding and cooperation between Palestinian organizations, trying to show not only in word but also in deed that the Palestinian movement still had allies among the Arab states willing to provide not only humanitarian, but also political support for its cause. Rather than during the summit, tough questions were raised in the run-up to it and in the course of preparatory meetings between the foreign ministers of the participating countries regarding the restoration of Syria's membership in the LAS, the participation of non-Arab countries of the region (Israel, Iran and Turkey) in the internal affairs of Arab states. Notably, most rulers of the monarchical Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula did not attend the summit, and neither did the King of Morocco, whose visit to Algeria against the background of deteriorating Algerian-Moroccan relations could have, but never became a sensation.

                              Nevertheless, the November LAS summit in Algeria was revealing in many ways, highlighting once again both old and new divides in the region, as well as the multiple problems in the regional security architecture and in relationships between the nations of the region. Meanwhile, Algeria's seemingly archaic foreign policy discourse has not turned it into a rogue state, but rather attracted burgeoning attention from other Arab actors to the North African leader, not just from the recognized powerhouses. Algeria's discursive strength, manifested before, during and after the summit, proved to be an effective tool for defending its political and economic interests in the turbulent 2022.

                              Another priority area of Algeria's foreign policy is Africa. Being the cornerstone of Algerian foreign policy activity, Africa and its numerous problems were leveraged to address various concerns.

                              If initially the main agenda promoted and backed by Algeria within the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was decolonization and support for national liberation movements, the situation changed after the "black decade." Algeria started promoting a counterterrorism agenda, inviting other countries to take advantage of its successful experience in countering extremism and post-conflict reconstruction [3], as well as developing channels of cooperation and trust-building measures between police structures of the continent's states in their fight against cross-border crime.

                              Another new avenue in Algeria's foreign policy and discourse within the framework of the AU has been promoting economic cooperation. Today, the main tool used is bilateral agreements with specific states, but Algeria also focuses on the desirability of developing trans-regional trade and improving the volume and quality of trade and economic relations between African states within the continent.

                              In addition, Algeria keeps on using the AU to pursue its foreign policy aspirations, a special emphasis being placed on the independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (and opposition to Morocco in this matter) as well as on restraining the Israeli influence on the African continent.

                              Algeria and BRICS

                              In 2022, Algeria not only amped up its participation in regional international organizations, but also declared its ambitions on a global level. The leadership of Algeria both signaled its plans to join this club and began to dynamically develop the BRICS accession process. While until recently the BRICS expansion prospects were perceived more as a purely hypothetical possibility, now, given the sharp aggravation of the situation on the world stage, these prospects are viewed as quite real.

                              In Russia, there were occasional discussions in previous years about which state might join the BRICS next. For many observers, it seemed obvious that it should or could be one of the states in the Middle East and North Africa, but it was not clear which one that could be. Iran, Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were mentioned among the potential contenders. Each of them had both strong cases for accession and serious constraints (the size of their economies, their membership in certain blocs, etc.). Nevertheless, since South Africa officially joined the organization in 2011, no formal criteria or description of the procedure for admitting new members have been developed and publicly presented, which created uncertainty both for potential candidates and interested observers from outside the association.

                              Yaroslav Lissovolik:
                              Integration along the North–South Axis: Opportunities for Coupling
                              The Algerian leadership publicly declared its desire to join the BRICS in July 2022, applied for membership in November, and all five members of the association responded positively already in December. Despite the fact that the accession process will take some time (presumably it will last until the summer of 2023), the decision to expand the membership can be considered approved in principle.

                              The rapid pace of developments indicates that they are related not so much to specific economic parameters and potential benefits as rather to political circumstances. The symbolic capital of the BRICS throughout the history of this interstate association has been at least as important as the economic value of cooperation within its framework.

                              It seems that Algeria's participation in the BRICS could be interesting in several respects. First, given Moscow's determination to fundamentally transform not only the system of international relations, but also the global economy, the idea of abandoning world reserve currencies and "forming new international financial platforms, including for international settlements" is becoming increasingly relevant.

                              Second, as the events of 2022 have shown, new trans-regional transport and logistics projects are of particular importance for transformation of the world order. In addition to China's BRI Initiative, we are usually talking about the North-South transport corridor with access to the Persian Gulf, on the one hand, and a potential railway offshoot to the Mediterranean Sea through the territory of Iraq and Syria, on the other hand. After Algeria joins BRICS, there could also be a third project on the table – a trans-African railroad, the idea of which has been pushed since colonial times.

                              Third and finally, Algeria's participation in the BRICS could be an important factor in filling this club – predominantly economic thus far – with new political content. Algeria's foreign policy narrative, based on the values of anti-colonialism and sovereignty, perfectly chimes with Russia's new approaches to global governance. In the 1960s and 1970s, Algeria's foreign policy was very successful when Abdel Aziz Bouteflika headed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It allowed the North African state not only to establish a certain reputation outside its native region, but also to gain friends and partners in Asia and South America.

                              In addition to favorable assessments, both Algerian and foreign analysts often express skepticism. On the one hand, Algeria's economy obviously lags far behind the economies of four of the five BRICS member states, although it is comparable to South Africa's (43rd and 32nd in the world GDP by PPP rankings, respectively). In addition, the Algerian economy development rates are directly dependent on the volume of hydrocarbon supplies to European markets. As a result, from economic perspectives, Algeria's accession to the BRICS won't add much to this association's clout. In political terms, according to critics, it may well dilute the association's objectives and thereby reduce its effectiveness, while leaving a number of other states that have declared their desire to join this club in bewilderment. From the Algerian perspectives, the potential negative effect of participation in the BRICS could be due to the prospect of increased economic dependence on other participants of the association, the loss of political independence, and the imperative to join the emerging anti-Western alliance.


                              The notable uptick in Algeria's foreign policy activity can be described as one of the most significant changes in the regional system of international relations in 2022 that affected the situation in North Africa as a whole. Despite the fierceness of the foreign policy rhetoric and the permanent aggravation of relations with Morocco, Spain and France, as well as the escalation of unconventional threats on the southern borders, which forced the Algerian parliament to empower the armed forces to conduct military operations abroad, the "new" Algerian foreign policy, notable for the commitment to historically established principles and attitudes, could not only bolster the acquisition by Algeria of the status of a powerful regional actor, but also precipitate the formation of a more resilient subregional security system.

                              1. Babkin S.E. Algeria: Has the "System" Endured? (towards the events of 2019) / Editor in charge: N.G. Romanova. M.: The Institute of Oriental Studies under the RAS, 2020, p. 87

                              2. Daguzan J-F. La politique étrangère de l'Algérie: le temps de l'aventure? // Politique étrangère / Algeria's foreign policy: time for adventure? // Foreign Policy. 2015. №3. – p. 32.

                              3. Zoubir Y. Algeria's Roles in the OAU/African Union: From National Liberation Promoter to Leader in the Global War on Terrorism // Mediterranean Politics. 2015. Vol. 21. P. 56

                                            From unidimensional to 3D: the contours of the post-Bretton Woods world (От одномерного к трехмерному: контуры постбреттонвудского мира) / Russia, February, 2023
                                            Keywords: expert_opinion

                                            The start of the year 2023 was marked by a series of statements coming from representatives of BRICS countries concerning plans to create new currencies. In particular, Brazil's President Lula called for the creation of common currencies among BRICS and MERCOSUR countries, while Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the creation of the BRICS common currency would feature in the discussions at the BRICS summit to be held in South Africa this year. And even as a lot of these changes in the international monetary system will take time, the vector of this transformation is becoming increasingly clear. The new international monetary system will be increasingly geared towards the creation of new regional currencies that will aspire to take on a global reserve status alongside the current pantheon of the select currencies of advanced economies. A multi-regional international monetary system in which the key regions of the developing world form their regional currencies may offer greater optionality to the global financial markets and will reduce the dependency on the few select reserve currencies.

                                            A fragmented global financial system consisting almost exclusively of national currencies leaves scope for excessive dependency on the currency of the dominant economy. This in turn creates sizeable vulnerabilities in the form of a "moral hazard" and "too big to fail" considerations – the debt ceiling in the US is duly elevated to avoid default, while the "exorbitant privilege" of the US dollar as the global reserve currency is feeding "moral hazard" patterns in the form of greater fiscal profligacy and the emergence of related theories such as MMT.

                                            As stated in the recent IMF report, "despite the weaknesses of the current reserve system (the "New Triffin dilemma") any significant shifts away from the status quo are only possible if and when there are viable alternatives to the dominant currencies."[1]. This recognition by the Fund of the fundamental weakness of the current monetary system (while conditional on the emergence of alternatives) is an important testament to the rising doubts regarding the "infallibility" of the current monetary system. One way to look at some these deficiencies is to realize that high inflation in advanced economies is currently undermining the value of these countries' state debt – the ratio of US state debt to GDP by the end of 2022 declined by nearly 9% of GDP compared to Q1 2021 on the back of an inflated (due to price growth) nominal GDP. This depreciation in the value of US public debt is adversely affecting the reserve holdings of those countries that have opted to invest heavily in US dollar-denominated assets. At the same time, along with the inflation-related reduction in the debt-to-GDP ratio the nominal stock of US debt continued to grow and forced repetitive increases in the US debt ceiling over the past years. This time around in 2023 the risk of a US default due to the fragilities in the balance of power in US legislature came as yet another scare to emerging markets and a reminder of the perils of high dependency on one sole center of "gravity" in the global economy.

                                            To overcome this high dependency and the fragmentation of the currency space in the Global South developing countries can form larger currency blocks – whether regional (as in the case of the proposed currency for MERCOSUR economies) or transregional (as is the case with the proposed R5 BRICS currency basket). This process of aggregation in currency unions across the Global South if continued may lead eventually to the formation of currencies with sufficient economic weight in terms of the underlying GDP and reserve size of members to merit their inclusion into the group of global reserve currencies.

                                            The international monetary system formed on the basis of macro-regional currency unions will present greater opportunities for advancing new candidates for the position of global reserve currencies. Across the Global South there may be at least three regional currencies with sufficient economic weight to be potentially included into the set of global reserve currencies:

                                            • A Latin America common reserve currency
                                            • An African common reserve currency
                                            • An Asian common reserve currency
                                            The Latin American track has already been promulgated by Lula da Silva in Brazil. In Africa the formation of the AfCFTA as well as the rising global prominence of the African Union (likely to become a full-fledged member of the G20 in the coming years) bode well for gradually moving towards greater coordination in the economic policies of not only the national economies of the African continent, but also its regional integration and currency arrangements. In Asia, several proposals have already been unveiled in the past several years, including the possible creation of a Pan-Asian single currency as well as a common currency for the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

                                            All these regional currencies have the potential to carry enough economic weight and scale in the form of their respective integrated regional blocks to enable them to attain the global reserve currency status. The potential for regional currencies to become integral parts of the global financial system is expanded by the optionality in the modalities of regional currencies/regional agreements in the monetary sphere that may include:

                                            • Regional baskets
                                            • Regional currencies that replace existing national currencies
                                            • Regional swap lines
                                            • Digital regional currencies/currency baskets
                                            • Regional accounting units
                                            The new currencies, whether regional or trans-regional, will need an anchor or a reference point, a role that has thus far been primarily filled by the US dollar and the euro. The rise of China as the main trading partner of the economies of the Global South implies that it may be time for the developing economies to change the reference point away from the dollar and the euro towards the yuan and/or the BRICS reserve currency (in which the yuan would likely take a sizeable share). In particular, those developing economies with fixed/pegged exchange rate regimes could consider the possibility to shift towards pegging their currencies to the BRICS basket and/or employing this new currency increasingly as an accounting unit. This would accord well with the trends of the past decade characterized by growing importance of South-South trade; it would also provide more favourable conditions for further expediting the diversification of foreign trade and investment towards the South-South track after decades of under-trading among the developing economies (including among the regional partners in the developing world).

                                            The latter point may need some elaboration – for decades the trading patterns of the developing economies were largely characterized by high shares of trade with the leading advanced economies such as the US and the EU and lower-than-potential trade shares accorded to the regional neighbours of these economies. The indications of the gravity model that traces trade intensity to distance among countries and their economic weight (as measures by GDP) suggest that there is tremendous potential to boosting regional trade given the lower gravity of distance. Regional economic integration and the creation of regional currencies, like the planned launching of the regional currency SUR in Latin America, would serve to realize this potential for South-South regional trade for the benefit of global economic growth.

                                            The three key pillars of a revitalized international monetary system will need to include the following Post-Bretton Woods principles, or 3D principles as per below:

                                            • Demonopolization (Poly-centricity): a system that is predicated on a set of reserve currencies that include a number of regional currencies as well as possibly trans-regional baskets of currencies – the resulting pattern is that of a co-existence of reserve currencies from EM and DM without a "core-periphery" pattern setting in the global monetary system
                                            • Depoliticization: the new international monetary system will also need to contain a "de-politicization clause" as one of its key foundations – the reserve currencies will need to carry a legal affirmation of the non-use of these currencies in imposing sanctions and other restrictions
                                            • Dis-inflation: with the "exorbitant privileges" of the DM currencies dissipating, inflationary fragilities in the global monetary system may be attenuated; at the same time the competitive edge in the global monetary system will start to gravitate towards those currencies that are credibly backed up with reserves/resources.
                                            Compared to the unidimensional paradigm of the current monetary system, these 3D principles are meant to render the vision of the international monetary system more objective and real – the new system needs to reflect the changing realities and dynamics in the world economy, including the emergence of new regional economic centers; it also needs to address the growing demand on the part of the international community for currencies to be real, i.e. duly supported by countries'/regions' reserves/resources.

                                            Another way to picture the 3D vision for the international monetary system is to introduce a regional layer into the monetary system that is represented by the regional integration blocks, their currencies and development institutions. This regional layer would complement the layers of national economies at the bottom and the global economic institutions (such as the IMF and the World Bank) at the top. The main ingredients for the regional layer of the international monetary system are largely in place and consist of the following three key elements:

                                            • Regional financing arrangements (RFAs)
                                            • Regional development banks (RDBs)
                                            • Regional currency mechanisms
                                            For the financial markets an international monetary system characterized by the emergence of regional economic and currency blocks may result in a decoupling of emerging markets (EM) from developed economies (DM) – contrary to the current paradigm whereby the dominance of US and EU financial markets determine to a large degree the overall direction of market dynamics in the developing world.

                                            In the end, the international monetary system is not out of the woods just yet – the fragilities that resulted in the rising frequency of global downturns throughout the past several decades are yet to be addressed. One of the key pathways out of the limitations of the current Bretton Woods setup is to expand the array of reserve currencies with the new regional currencies that could emerge in the Global South. The evolving international monetary system cannot be disassociated from the future progression of the global economy, including its trade structure and patterns of investment flows. In this respect the regionalization of the global economy and the rise in the prominence of trading blocks and their regional development institutions (regional development banks and regional financing arrangements) will increasingly call for greater regionalization of the international monetary system.

                                            [1] Aiyar, Shekhar, Ilyina, Anna, and others (2023). Geoeconomic Fragmentation and the Future of Multilateralism. Staff Discussion Note SDN/2023/001. International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC.
                                                          Benefits of Egypt's Joining BRICS's New Development Bank (Преимущества присоединения Египта к Новому банку развития БРИКС) / Egypt, February, 2023
                                                          Keywords: ndb, expert_opinion

                                                          The Parliament approved an agreement that allows Egypt to join BRICS group's New Development Bank, which comes as a significant addition that supports development plans and priorities of the country, and enhance Egypt's ability to achieve its economic, political and social objectives.

                                                          In this regard, Egypt Today reviews benefits of Egypt's joining of the agreement in light of the parliamentary report of the Economic Affairs Committee:

                                                          1- The New Development Bank works to support sustainable development and enhance regional cooperation and integration by investing mainly in the field of infrastructure, which includes various sub-sectors in infrastructure such as: energy, transportation, water, and communications.

                                                          2- The bank's operations include the health and social infrastructure sectors, and the bank's activity extends to the field of digitization due to the negative economic effects resulting from the Corona pandemic (Covid 19) on the global economy.

                                                          3- With regard to environmental, social and procurement standards, the New Development Bank uses the national standards of the operating countries only. The New Development Bank aims to provide the necessary resources and provide technical assistance for the implementation of projects related to the national development priorities of the member states.

                                                          The bank was established in 2015 with a capital of 50 billion US dollars, of which 20 percent is paid, which is equivalent to 10 billion US dollars, by the countries of the BRICS grouping that includes the major emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

                                                          The bank is headquartered in Shanghai, China, and the role and representation of this bank reflects the priorities of emerging and developing countries. The capital will be increased by the new members by about $50 billion, bringing the total subscribed capital to $1 billion.

                                                          With regard to environmental, social and procurement standards, the New Development Bank uses national standards for the countries of operation only, and the Bank focuses on implementing projects related to the national development priorities of the member countries. This is expected to change with the gradual expansion of membership and the desire of the New Development Bank management and members of the Board of Directors to adopt more strategies international

                                                          Since 2022, the New Development Bank's portfolio included 80 projects, with a total value of $30 billion. Membership in the New Development Bank is still limited to BRICS countries, as the Bank followed a slow approach in the process of expanding its membership due to the different opinions among member states about How to manage the expansion process.

                                                                        Investment and Finance
                                                                        Investment and finance in BRICS
                                                                        The Dollar's Supremacy in Global Trade Faces Fresh Challenges (Превосходство доллара в мировой торговле сталкивается с новыми проблемами) / USA, February, 2023
                                                                        Keywords: economic_challenges, trade_relations

                                                                        By Zahra Tayeb

                                                                        The dollar's dominance of global trade and investment flows is facing a slew of new threats as many countries push plans to boost the use of alternative currencies.

                                                                        Nations from China and Russia to India and Brazil are pushing for settling more trade in non-dollar units – with plans ranging from the use of local currencies to a gold-backed stablecoin and a new BRICS reserve currency.

                                                                        For decades, the greenback has reigned supreme as the world's reserve currency and is widely used in crossborder trade, especially for commodities such as oil. Thanks to its relative price stability, investors see it as a safe-haven asset in times of heightened economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

                                                                        The dollar was further bolstered last year by a surge in US interest rates that made it attractive to foreign investors seeking higher yields. It surged 17% during the first nine months of 2022, but has since lost some of its shine on the prospect that the Federal Reserve may soon end its rate hikes as inflation cools rapidly.

                                                                        Against this backdrop come the latest threats to the greenback's reign — here are five currency projects from across the world that are ultimately aimed at undermining the dollar's supremacy.

                                                                        Brazil and Argentina plan a common currency

                                                                        Brazil and Argentina recently announced they are gearing up to launch a joint currency, named the "sur" (south), that could eventually become a euro-like project embraced by all of South America.

                                                                        A common currency could help boost South American trade, the countries' leaders said in a joint statement, because it evades conversion costs and exchange rate uncertainty. That could erode the dollar's dominance in the region, given the greenback accounted for as much as 96% of the trade between North and South Americas from 1999 to 2019, according to the Federal Reserve.

                                                                        Russia and Iran eye a gold-backed stablecoin

                                                                        Russia and Iran are working together on a cryptocurrency backed by gold — a 'stablecoin' that could replace the dollar for payments in international trade.

                                                                        The two countries, both of which have been hit by Western sanctions, want to issue a "token of the Persian region" for use in crossborder transactions, with a plan to launch it in a special economic enclave in Astrakhan in southern Russia, which already handles Iranian shipments.

                                                                        But the project can move forward only once Russia's market for digital assets is fully regulated, according to a Moscow lawmaker.

                                                                        Russia and Iran have stepped up their push to "de-dollarize" in recent months, according to think tank the Jamestown Foundation. They aim to increase their volume of trade to $10 billion per year via moves such as developing an alternative international payments system to SWIFT, which they are banned from.

                                                                        UAE, India look at using rupees in non-oil trade

                                                                        Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates and India have floated the idea of conducting non-oil trade in rupees.

                                                                        The move would build on a free trade agreement signed last year, which aims to boost trade excluding oil between the two countries to $100 billion by 2027.

                                                                        China has also pondered on the idea of settling non-oil trade in local currencies that exclude the greenback, according to minister of state for foreign trade of the UAE Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.

                                                                        China pushes for the yuan to replace the dollar in oil trades

                                                                        China, for another, is looking to weaken the dollar by pushing for the yuan to replace the greenback in oil deals, given its increased trade with Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

                                                                        The move looks to chip away at the petrodollar regime in place since the 1970s, where global oil transactions are largely settled in dollars.

                                                                        Toward the end of last year, Beijing began buying Moscow's crude at steep discounts, completing those purchases in yuan rather than dollars, giving rise to the so-called petroyuan.

                                                                        With a stronger greenback, oil contracts become more expensive because the deals are largely priced in the US currency, and this also explains China's shift away from the dollar.

                                                                        Kpler analyst Viktor Katona said Russia has effectively become "an Asian nation that in my opinion has introduced the yuan into large-scale oil trade."

                                                                        Russia, China propose a new reserve currency

                                                                        Last year, Russia and China kickstarted talks to develop a new reserve currency with other BRICS countries in a challenge to the dollar's dominance.

                                                                        The new reserve unit would be based on a basket of currencies from the group's members: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

                                                                        The dollar's reign as the chief reserve tender is already on the wane as central bankers diversify their holdings into currencies like the Chinese yuan, the Swedish krona and the South Korean won, according to the International Monetary Fund.

                                                                                      Russia's finance chief sees potential for single supranational BRICS currency (Глава Минфина России видит потенциал единой наднациональной валюты БРИКС) / Russia, February, 2023
                                                                                      Keywords: economic_challenges, quotation

                                                                                      It is noted that there is a long way to go before a final decision is made

                                                                                      MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov sees the possibility of a single supranational currency being created for settlements within the BRICS (Russia, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa).

                                                                                      "Today, as far as such a system goes, we can deliberate about a single system of settlement payments and settlements among friendly countries. Let's take BRICS nations. <...> [The settlement currency] can be some kind of supranational unit of account," Siluanov noted, speaking to Channel One.

                                                                                      However, according to him, there is a long way to go before a final decision is made.

                                                                                      Nonetheless, Siluanov believed that a single financial system covering a large number of countries and existing outside politics was not possible at the moment.

                                                                                                    BRICS reaching out to PEAKS: the next wave of expansion (БРИКС выходит на ПИКС: новая волна расширения) / Greece, February, 2023
                                                                                                    Keywords: expert_opinion, cooperation
                                                                                                    Author: Yaroslav Lissovolik

                                                                                                    Throughout 2022 the theme of BRICS expansion has taken on notable momentum as China's BRICS+ initiative has engendered increasing aspirations from some of the largest developing economies to join the BRICS grouping. Countries from diverse geographies such as Argentina, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and others have expressed interest in joining BRICS. The BRICS countries vowed to explore the possibility of undertaking the next steps towards expansion in membership, with one of the key targets being the decision on the criteria for new members. These criteria once agreed upon will lay the foundation for the formation of a second wave or a second generation of BRICS economies.

                                                                                                    Among the key criteria that are likely to feature in the list compiled by the core BRICS countries there may be the role played by the candidate country in its region as well as the sharing of BRICS values that in turn may be reflected in the scale of cooperation with BRICS within the framework of the BRICS+ activities. Another possible criterion may be an even-handed representation of the main regions of the developing world in the BRICS/BRICS+ circle, which implies that representative countries will be selected from each of the main regions of the Global South. These criteria potentially can narrow down the circle of countries that may be viewed as the second wave of BRICS to the following emerging economies:

                                                                                                    • East Asia: Indonesia as a G20 member and the largest economy in ASEAN
                                                                                                    • South Asia: Pakistan as the second most significant economic power in South Asia after India
                                                                                                    • Africa: Egypt as one of the leading economic powers in Africa
                                                                                                    • Latin America: Argentina as one of the heavyweights in Latin America
                                                                                                    • Eurasia: Kazakhstan as the second largest economy in the CIS space
                                                                                                    • Middle East: Saudi Arabia as the leading economy in the Middle East
                                                                                                    The resulting grouping may be referred to as InPEAKS or more simply PEAKS can constitute a grouping that works closely with the core BRICS groups under the umbrella of the BRICS+ process. Importantly, all of the above economies (apart from Pakistan) have already participated in the BRICS+ formats and have either applied formally or expressed an interest in joining the BRICS grouping. As regards Pakistan, its support for BRICS and BRICS+ as well as a consistent approach to criteria applied across the EM space suggest that Pakistan does need to become part of the BRICS+ circle – as rightly pointed out by Vladimir Morozov and Andrew Korybko Pakistan is an active participant of the main regional projects in Eurasia, such as the BRI and SCO[1].

                                                                                                    Back in 2018 the PEAKS/InPEAKS concept was advanced on the premise that "there is perhaps too much obsession with issues concerning the formal expansion of BRICS core membership, when in reality the key issue is to foster the development of "new BRICS" and the financial systems of other developing nations (see Y. Lissovolik. A Look at BRICS Derivatives and Alter Egos, Valdai Club, 2018)[2]. With the agenda of an expansion in full-fledged BRICS membership coming to the fore this year, the PEAKS/InPEAKS group may be viewed as a circle of second-generation of BRICS economies that with time could join the BRICS in an expanded core or form an expanded circle of heavyweights that are regular participants in the discussions and decisions of the BRICS+ circle.

                                                                                                    Indeed, further iterations of the BRICS+ format in the coming years will serve to build closer ties between BRICS and their allies from the InPEAKS circle. The track-record of this BRICS-InPEAKS cooperation can serve as the basis for potential further steps towards expanding the BRICS core. In this respect, an expeditious expansion of the BRICS core in 2023 may have the drawback of not allowing for such a track-record to be built and evaluated before the next wave of expansion is undertaken. In other words, there need to be more BRICS+ annual cycles with the main candidates for BRICS expansion (with a concrete, pragmatic and ambitious agenda in the sphere of economic cooperation) before an eventual decision on expansion is made. If values and new global governance are to serve as guiding principles in the expansion process, this widening of the ranks of BRICS should not be simply confined to picking the G20 members that are from the Global South.

                                                                                                    Apart from the above track of forming a group of heavy-weights that may aspire to become members of the core, another approach to BRICS+ is the cooperation among the regional integration blocks and regional organizations in which BRICS/BRICS+ countries are members. The nucleus of this format may be based on the cooperation among the key/priority regional projects of BRICS members: BIMSTEC (South Asia), Eurasian Economic Union, African Union, MERCOSUR (Latin America), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Asia). Such a format has the benefit of being significantly more inclusive with respect to the small- and medium-sized economies of the Global South. This platform also allows such influential regional grouping as the African Union to play a material role in advancing greater economic cooperation across the expanses of the Global South.

                                                                                                    The BEAMS approach may be viewed as either an alternative to the expansion in the core or a complementary track within the ambit of BRICS+. Combining the PEAKS and BEAMS tracks may have the benefit of the overall BRICS+ format being inclusive, while at the same time also allowing for an alignment of emerging heavyweights to act increasingly in synch with BRICS. Greater openness and synchronicity within the Global South at the level of countries and macro-regions may harbor one of the most significant potentials for boosting global economic growth. With Lula's comeback, the rise of the African Union on the global stage, as well as China and India becoming the main growth engines for the global economy, the current juncture offers a unique opportunity for the Global South to forge greater solidarity and synchronicity on the international arena.



                                                                                                                  Political Events
                                                                                                                  Political events in the public life of BRICS
                                                                                                                  Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the ceremony to mark Diplomatic Worker's Day, Moscow, February 10, 2023 (Выступление Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В.Лаврова на торжественном собрании по случаю Дня дипломатического работника, Москва, 10 февраля 2023 года) / Russia, February, 2023
                                                                                                                  Keywords: sergey_lavrov, speech


                                                                                                                  It has been a tough year, like all of them recently. It is important that we are together and that we are not forgetting our comrades. Today we commemorate the many we have lost over the past year. I ask you to join me in a minute of silence to honour their memory.


                                                                                                                  First of all, I would like to read out President Vladimir Putin's address to the Foreign Ministry's current staff and veterans.


                                                                                                                  Please accept my most sincere greetings on your professional holiday, Diplomatic Worker's Day.

                                                                                                                  "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia can rightly take pride in its glorious traditions. Our diplomats fulfilled with honour their professional duty and set an example of patriotism and civic courage even in the most difficult times, in the face of severe trials.

                                                                                                                  The best qualities of our country's diplomatic service are much in demand today amidst the hybrid war unleashed against Russia. It is extremely important now to make the most of our foreign policy instruments to defend our state sovereignty and national security.

                                                                                                                  The country managed not only to thwart the plans of the collective West to isolate Russia but also to step up cooperation with the majority of members of the international community largely owing to your efforts. I am referring to the states in Eurasia, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America.

                                                                                                                  The agenda now is to continue building on this interaction with responsible international partners. It is particularly important to strengthen ties with the CIS countries, promote Eurasian integration processes, consolidate our alliance within the CSTO, realise the full potential of the Union State and expand cooperation in such associations as the SCO and BRICS.

                                                                                                                  As before, we consider our absolute priorities to be protecting the lawful rights of Russian citizens and supporting our compatriots abroad, waging an uncompromising struggle against neo-Nazism and ethnic discrimination in all its forms. Of course, Russian diplomacy will continue supporting the trend towards the formation of a multipolar, truly democratic world order based on equality, mutual respect and observance of the generally recognised norms of international law.

                                                                                                                  I am sure that you will continue giving your all to advance Russia's foreign policy interests. I sincerely wish you new professional successes as well as good health, high spirits and a long life to our veterans."


                                                                                                                  The Foreign Ministry also received greetings and warm words from Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko and State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, the heads of parliamentary committees and executive bodies, heads of Russian regions and representatives of major businesses. Such a show of solidarity supports us in a very real sense as we work to achieve the far-reaching goals set by the head of state.

                                                                                                                  The trust placed in us calls for great responsibility. We have a responsibility to implement the foreign policy decisions made by the country's leaders to create a favourable external environment for Russia's dynamic internal development. That is the guidance we have received from President Vladimir Putin. This goal is enshrined in all doctrinal documents and will certainly be reflected in Russia's updated Foreign Policy Concept, which is going to be released soon.

                                                                                                                  The US-led Western countries are aggressively trying to prevent the creation of favourable external conditions for our internal development. Until recently, they played a decisive role in shaping the terms of international relations, the global economy and finance. They have been abusing their position to the point that now the whole world understands that it cannot go on like this.

                                                                                                                  We will strive to create favourable external conditions for our internal development on the foundation of consent and balancing the interests of all states, rather than the dictates of the collective West and those who want to continue running the show in the world by colonial and neocolonial methods.

                                                                                                                  We are celebrating our holiday in conditions of a total hybrid war. The collective West has prepared for a new crusade in the East. This time, it is using Ukrainian neo-Nazis, the successors of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, as their advance party. The Americans, the EU and NATO (that the US has completely subdued) are no longer concealing their goals. They want not only to defeat us strategically on the battlefield but also to wreck the Russian economy, and weaken or even destroy Russia's centuries-long statehood. These are not figures of speech but the goals set by Western strategists. They are talking about them on the record.

                                                                                                                  There is no doubt that the threats to our national security from the West will be eliminated. The Russian Army and Navy have risen to the challenge thrown at them. For its part, our diplomatic service will continue doing all it can to strengthen national sovereignty, neutralise external challenges at the far reaches, and expand the circle of constructive international partners.

                                                                                                                  Today, it can be said that the Western plans to isolate Russia and cordon us off have been a fiasco. Despite the anti-Russia bacchanalia staged by Washington, London and Brussels, we are strengthening neighbourly relations in the broadest sense of this word with the global majority – states of Eurasia, the Asia-Pacific Region, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, which are guided by their vital national interests.

                                                                                                                  We are conducting dialogue with sensible representatives of public, political and business circles of European states, which value friendship with Russia. We are all united by our commitment to the democratisation of interstate communication and categorical rejection of the US-centric "rules-based order" with its inherent blackmail, threats, ultimatums and zero-sum games. These are flawed instruments of coercion that should not be used in the diplomacy of the 21st century.

                                                                                                                  Today, Russia is in the vanguard of international efforts to assert the enduring values of truth and justice and protect universally recognised international legal norms, including the sovereign equality of states (regardless of their size and form of rule) and non-interference in domestic affairs. We will continue closely coordinating steps with our numerous friends, allies and associates, including members, participants and partners in the CSTO, the EAEU, the CIS, BRICS and the SCO. We are working to realise the full potential of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. We will actively work to facilitate the consistent expansion of the membership of the recently established Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations that unites over 20 members of this universal organisation. This group is working to strengthen the multipolar principles of international life.

                                                                                                                  No threats or accusations regarding the decisions that we make to ensure our vital national interests have ever impacted our activities and never will. "Isolation" is a delusion. The ones who have been flagrantly violating the UN Charter for many years now, the ones who have committed criminal acts of armed aggression against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, the ones who have stained their reputation with bloody crimes of colonialism and are now plotting to resume colonial practices in their relations with countries around the world have placed themselves in international isolation. The ones who vote against (or abstain) the resolution that is adopted annually by the UN General Assembly to combat the glorification of Nazism are deeply isolated.

                                                                                                                  If the West prefers to live in a world of its own, according to the "rules" that they keep talking about, but have never shown to anyone, let them live as they choose. But Western countries must build dialogue with other members of the international community relying on the principles of honesty, equality and mutual consideration of interests which are enshrined in the UN Charter that was signed, ratified and accepted by all countries in the modern world.

                                                                                                                  Colleagues, President Vladimir Putin has approved Russia's long-term and strategic foreign policy which will be consolidated and included in the new Foreign Policy Concept. As has been the case for many years now, we note the existence of a national consensus in support of this policy. This imparts confidence and continuity to our actions and makes them systemic and steady. The high level of Russian diplomats' professional training has endured the test of time and is recognised by our international partners, but we must still keep striving for excellence.

                                                                                                                  The primary course of global development and our nation and other nations' position in the new polycentric architecture will be decided in the coming years. Speaking at a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in October 2022, President Vladimir Putin had the following to say: "We are standing at a momentous frontier. Lying ahead is probably the most dangerous and unpredictable, but at the same time critical decade since the end of World War II."

                                                                                                                  We are professionals and we know this is not an overstatement. So, we need to show our utmost dedication, fortified by the firm and unshakable belief that our cause is just. It is important to keep up with the times and the latest trends, and to be able to skillfully combine time-tested methods with innovative approaches and advanced technology.

                                                                                                                  Our unconditional priorities include ensuring continuity between diplomatic generations. Mentorship traditions have always been strong on Smolenskaya Square. It is vital to work tirelessly and focus on nurturing and promoting young diplomats, to trust them with responsible assignments and to listen to what they have to contribute. I am sure that combining many years of diplomatic experience (our seasoned diplomats have my deepest respect) with the energy of youth and their creative approaches will be beneficial for our diplomatic service.

                                                                                                                  I would like to convey special words of gratitude to former ministerial employees. We look forward to you sharing your extensive experience. We will continue to provide you with the support that you may need. As is customary, our foreign missions and Foreign Ministry's Main Administration for Service to the Diplomatic Corps (GlavUpDK) play an important role in this regard. We will continue to engage with our colleagues from the Government, the Presidential Executive Office and other federal and municipal bodies of authority in the interest of providing better social protection to all former diplomats and other ministerial employees without exception.

                                                                                                                  Once again, please accept my warmest congratulations on the occasion of your professional holiday. I wish employees from the Central Office, foreign missions and territorial offices of the Foreign Ministry, your families and friends, good health and every success, relying on the belief that our cause is just. My deepest respect to our retired diplomats.

                                                                                                                                World of Work
                                                                                                                                SOCIAL POLICY, TRADE UNIONS, ACTIONS
                                                                                                                                Science & Technology Cooperation as the Direction of BRICS Partnership (Научно-техническое сотрудничество как направление партнерства БРИКС) / Russia, February, 2023
                                                                                                                                Keywords: expert_opinion, think_tank_council, cooperation

                                                                                                                                Tatiana Bokova, Intern of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research – special for InfoBRICS

                                                                                                                                Modern technologies are not only the source of economic growth but also the basis for the realization of global prosperity. Consequently, many states are seeking to develop science and technology through international cooperation. Currently, BRICS nations focus on strengthening, expanding and deepening cooperation in science and technology (S&T). In this article, we consider Science & Technology cooperation as the direction of BRICS partnership, and trace the results of cooperation in this area among the member countries of the association.

                                                                                                                                Since the first BRICS Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation in 2014, the participating countries have discussed and start organizing cooperation in areas of common interest and adopt several important documents that provide a legal framework for their cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI). The key documents that formalize cooperation in science and technology are the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (the document that has become the primary tool for developing BRICS cooperation in STI). The BRICS STI Framework adopted by the Moscow Declaration of October 28, 2015, is the second fundamental document after the Memorandum of Understanding. It covers a wide range of issues as part of implementing the BRICS Science and Innovation Initiative and proposals for key areas and programs of cooperation of the group.

                                                                                                                                Besides the Memorandum, the successful implementation of BRICS S&T initiatives is carried out through implementing the commitments in the following documents, namely the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, the annual BRICS STI declarations that highlight progress and outline areas for further development, regular meetings in this area, and the 2019-2022 BRICS S&T and Innovation Work Plan.

                                                                                                                                In addition to these documents, the BRICS Russian Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, which coordinated the activities of various bodies and organizations that determine and implement state policy in international scientific and technological cooperation within BRICS, as well as to implement R&D and innovation of the association, are important mechanisms for regulating the science and technology field. There are other BRICS research and innovation initiatives and mechanisms: Technology Foresight and STI Policy, the BRICS Water Forum, the BRICS Young Scientists Forum, the Meeting of Academies of Science, and others.

                                                                                                                                Currently, the member countries continue to progress in the S&T area. For example, on November 17, 2020, China announced the establishment of the BRICS Innovation Base in Xiamen, Fujian Province. The members of the association built this base as an important bridge and link for BRICS countries to deepen practical cooperation in the wave of the new industrial revolution, and as an essential platform for China to promote high-level openness and innovation. As a member of the Standing Committee of the Fujian Provincial Party Committee and secretary of the Xiamen City Party Committee noted, "Establishing the BRICS Innovation Base is a glorious mission and a great responsibility entrusted to Xiamen by the Party Central Committee".

                                                                                                                                Subsequently, in July 2021, the members agreed on the BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation (2021-2024) guided by science, technology and innovation (STI), proposed by India at the 12th meeting of the group's steering committee on science and technology. India also initiated the sharing of each other's innovation ecosystem experiences and the creation of networks of innovators and entrepreneurs, which will be elaborated by the BRICS Partnership on Science and Technology and Innovative Entrepreneurship (STIEP) working group.

                                                                                                                                BRICS member countries pay great attention to collaborative science and technology innovation, which is why the 10th BRICS Ministerial Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation was held in Beijing in September 2022. At the meeting, the parties reviewed the achievements of cooperation in science and technology innovation through video communication, and in-depth exchanges on BRICS policies and practices in science and technology innovation were held. As a result, the participating countries signed documents such as the "Declaration of the Tenth BRICS Ministerial Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation" and the "Work Plan (2022-2023).

                                                                                                                                The five academies of sciences also contribute greatly to the development of this field, as the academies join forces to create a technological "toolbox" to deal with current global risks and challenges, to jointly accumulate "treasures" of digital development, and to build a "bridge for exchanges and communication among the BRICS countries. For example, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has established the BRICS Sustainable Development Forum. The Big Data Forum aims to further promote scientific and technological cooperation among the BRICS countries in scientific and technological innovation.

                                                                                                                                The climate issue is also on the agenda of the heads of the five nations. For example, in December 2022, about 100 researchers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa participated in a BRICS workshop on climate forecasting, marine disaster prevention and mitigation. Besides environment matters, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are establishing partnerships in communication, information and digital technologies. This area is an important area of global development and is a key focus of BRICS cooperation, according to the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy, until 2025.

                                                                                                                                Participating countries also interact with each other in science and technology. If we consider Russia and India, the parties signed an Integrated Long-Term Programme of Cooperation (ILTP) for Science and Technology cooperation until 2020. This document recognized the growing importance of S&T for the socio-economic development of both nations. Over the 25-year period, ILTP has supported over 500 collaborative R&D projects and the establishment of 9 thematic centers in India and Russia, resulting in over 1500 joint publications and many new products, processes and facilities. In 2021, thanks to joint efforts, Russia and India conducted over 100 joint R&D activities on promising topics, including aviation, to create a solid foundation for the future development of high-tech industries in the two countries.

                                                                                                                                Russia also actively cooperates with China. In the past three years, the cooperation between the scientific and technological circles of China and Russia has achieved brilliant success. The Chinese Association of Science and Technology and the Russian Federation of Science, Technology and Industry are influential S&T organizations in the two countries. In the future, both sides will coordinate more organizations to support the S&T community in establishing cooperation mechanisms. South Africa and Russia are currently developing new projects in high-tech areas such as telemedicine and satellite technology, and the signed memorandums provide for joint work in such fundamental sectors of the African economy as agriculture, rational use of mineral resources and environmental protection. "We look forward to further expansion of diversified humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Africa, especially in higher education and scientific research," the two sides emphasized.

                                                                                                                                The BRICS nations are now speeding up their progress in developing emerging technologies and new industries based on their respective technological advantages and future market needs. The countries are striving to expand the field of scientific and technological cooperation and to give new impetus to the interaction. With the steady improvement in the economic and social development of the association's countries, S&T cooperation among members also deepens. Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa are promoting growth and transformation through innovation and are actively taking part in the wave of innovation and growth caused by smart manufacturing, the Internet, the digital economy and the sharing economy, deepening their strategic ties. In addition, BRICS members aim to cooperate in technology transfer and transformation, as well as to create a platform for collaboration between industry, universities, and research.

                                                                                                                                Source: InfoBrics
                                                                                                                                              Made on