Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 35.2018
2018.08.27 — 2018.09.02
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Russia, EU set to provide normal operation of foreign companies in Iran — senior diplomat (Россия и ЕС намерены обеспечить нормальную работу иностранных компаний в Иране - старший дипломат) / Russia, August, 2018
Keywords: quotation

MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russia and the European Union intend to provide normal working conditions for foreign companies in Iran after the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iran nuclear program and launched sanctions against the republic. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said about it on Tuesday at the opening of the BRICS International School (BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

"Russia is working with the 'Euro Three' (the United Kingdom, Germany and France - TASS) and the EU foreign political agency to make sure that even after the US launches a full package of sanctions against Iran, Russian and European companies and companies from third countries will be able to continue their work with Iranian contractors by creating special mechanisms of financing and settlement in national currency and the wider use of barter schemes," the deputy foreign minister noted.

In May, US President Donald Trump declared his country's withdrawal from the JCPOA and promised both to revive the old sanctions and launch new ones against Tehran. Part of the American sanctions started operating overnight into August 7, having covered Iran's automobile construction sector and the buying and selling of gold and some metals. Restrictions for oil products export will come into effect on November 5. That said, the US president repeatedly stated that it is ready for negotiations with the Iranian side to ink a new agreement.
BRICS Summit 2018: A Review (Саммит BRICS 2018: обзор) / India, August, 2018
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion
Author: Dr. Arundhati Sharma

With the 10th BRICS Summit held on July 25-27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the BRICS grouping celebrated its ten years of existence. Over these years, BRICS cooperation has expanded not only in its scope but also in terms of frequency of its meetings and increased participation of stakeholders. Building upon successive BRICS Summits, the Johannesburg Declaration, adopted at the end of the summit, endeavoured to address the longstanding issues such as strengthening multilateralism, reforming global governance and addressing global threats such as terrorism and climate change. However, progress on these issues remained inadequate, and the Johannesburg Declaration is largely a reiteration of earlier positions.

The participation of countries representing different global and regional organisations from Africa as well as other regions, including Argentina, Indonesia, Jamaica, and Turkey, and the United Nations, can be seen as a continuation of its efforts to extend its reach to countries across regions. Keeping with its tradition to engage with the countries of Africa, the 10th Summit was themed as "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution". Although the 10th Summit marked a decade of its existence, the BRICS is far from achieving its initial commitments.

Defending Multilateralism

The intent of the leaders to work together to defend multilateralism is indicative of the references to 'uphold multilateralism', to 'foster a more representative, democratic, equitable, fair and just international and economic order', 'to strengthen multilateralism and the rule of law in international relations, and to promote a fair, just, equitable, democratic and representative international order' and to 'support multilateralism and the central role of the United Nation' [1]. In this context, the BRICS leaders reiterated their positions of reforming the security, trade and economic related institutions, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) so as to reflect the changes in the world economy, particularly providing greater voice and representation to the developing countries in these institutions.

However, in reforming the global governance architecture, progress remains overdue. For instance, on one hand, BRICS has been instrumental in increasing IMF quotas with a total 6% share transferred to the emerging and developing countries. The votes of China, Russia, Brazil, and India were increased and reached a total of 14.18%.[2] Nonetheless, the quotas still fall short of representing the contribution of the developing countries to the world economy. Unfortunately, on the other hand, the Declaration, akin to earlier declarations, does not directly mentions extending support to the expansion of the permanent membership of the UNSC. It is reflective of the persisting intransigent positions of Russia and China on reforming the UNSC.

The leaders also addressed emerging concerns in the UN and the WTO. For instance, given the abysmal financial situation of the UN, caused primarily by the delayed contributions of member states to the regular budget, the leaders underscored the importance of 'collaboration amongst the BRICS countries on better resourced UN, on its administration and budget' to preserve the state-driven character of the UN and strengthening the organisation. [3] Similarly, in view of the impasse in the selection process for new Appellate Body members, the leaders urged all members to engage constructively on a priority basis to restore the Dispute Settlement System of the organisation. [4]

Managing the Global Commons

The BRICS leaders have, over the last ten years of its inception, stressed on the improved management of global commons, including climate change and sustainable development. However, the Summit reflected a reiteration of the positions. Given the geopolitical changes, BRICS needs to do more in these areas.

Building on the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities, the leaders urged 'all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the UNFCCC' and to ensure 'financial, technological and capacitybuilding support to developing countries to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaptation' by the developed countries. However, with the UN undergoing financial crunch and the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and Green Climate Fund (GCF), financial assistance required to support mitigation and adaptation process might be a challenging task.

Similarly, the BRICS economies are at different stages of progress in terms of implementing the SDG goals. For instance, the BRICS countries are well below the 50th rank in the SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2017. While India and South Africa ranked 116 and 108 respectively among 157 countries, Russia, China and Brazil ranked 62, 71 and 56 respectively.[5] As such, BRICS has not seen substantive progress in this area.

Addressing Global Threats and Security Concerns

Keeping with its longstanding positions, the BRICS leaders have been vocal in addressing global threats and security concerns, including terrorism, cyber security and US sanctions on Iran. On terrorism, the leaders condemned it in all its forms and manifestations and called for the expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).[6] Like earlier declarations, the statement on terrorism remains strong. However, the only omission in the declaration was the direct references to terrorist groupings including Jaish-e-Mohammad and Laskar-e-Taiba which was incorporated for the first time in the Xiamen Declaration last year. On Iran sanctions the leaders stressed on full compliance and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to promote international and regional peace and security in contrast to US withdrawal from the agreement.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and PartNIR

The leaders agreed to the establishment of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR). The partnership is aimed to deepen BRICS cooperation in 'digitalisation, industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment, to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution'. There is also divergence in technological capabilities among the BRICS countries. Needless to say, technological cooperation would require establishing and compliance to certain set of laws consistent with their domestic ones. However, given that the BRICS countries are diverse politically and economically, agreeing to a common set of laws might be a tenuous process.

BRICS Outreach and BRICS Plus: Growing Footprints

Keeping with its tradition of increasing engagement and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, BRICS Outreach between BRICS and African leaders and BRICS Plus were also held on the margins of the Summit. Apart from building cooperation and partnerships, these initiatives of BRICS can be seen as an encouraging sign to forge regional integration and spur the global economy. The institutionalising of such forums can also be seen as an effort to increase BRICS footprints in countries across continents. It is worth mentioning here that BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is considering expanding its membership to extend its assistance beyond BRICS members.[7]

Noteworthy, a resource-rich Africa has become increasingly important in foreign and economic policy of each of the BRICS countries. The fact that the leaders of two of the BRICS member countries, including India and China, visited African countries – Rwanda, Uganda and Senegal – prior to the summit is reflective of such growing significance of the region in the foreign policy of these two countries. During his visit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended over $400 million lines of credit (LOC) for Rwanda and Uganda for development of industrial parks, special economic zones, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and dairy sectors. [8] Similarly, Chinese President Xi Jinping granted Rwanda a loan of $126 million and $14.7 billion to South Africa. Senegal committed to China's Belt and Road Initiative during the visit, thus becoming the first West African country to be part of the Chinese initiative. [9]

Strengthening Institutional Building

During the last one decade of its existence the most tangible achievement of BRICS has been the establishment of institutional mechanisms, including the New Development Bank (NDB), the Africa Regional Centre (ARC) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). The tenth Summit added further impetus to strengthen institution building by welcoming the establishment of the Americas Regional Office in São Paulo, Brazil, which, alongside the Africa Regional Centre, is intended to consolidate the position and presence of BRICS across the two continents.[10]


BRICS, comprising of the five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa from different regions of the world, is being increasingly seen as the centre of global power transition. As such, and on account of the reclusive policies of the US towards multilateralism and global institutions, the group is being seen to play a critical role in providing a platform for effective alignment of policies to promote multilateralism in different forums such as the G20. However, the tenth Summit, though marked a decade of its existence, did not succeed in pushing forward the earlier commitments. In hindsight, the Johannesburg Declaration was largely a reiteration of earlier positions on reforming global governance, climate change, terrorism and other issues. Therefore, it is high time that while strengthening the group through institutionalisation, BRICS must focus on expediting the implementation of the earlier commitments in order to maintain its relevance and clout.

*** * Dr. Arundhati Sharma, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi. Disclaimer: The views expressed are that of the Researcher and not of the Council.


1. "Johannesburg Declaration", (accessed on July 29, 2018)

2. "Progress Report on the Implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership", August, 2017, (accessed on May 15, 2018)

3. "Johannesburg Declaration", (accessed on July 29, 2018)

4. "Johannesburg Declaration", (accessed on July 29, 2018)

5. "SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2017, (accessed on July 20, 2017)

6. "Johannesburg Declaration", (accessed on July 29, 2018)

7. "BRICS bank will look to expand membership: Kamath", The Times of India, July 10, 2015, (accessed on August 2, 2018)

8 "India pledges $400 million aid to Rwanda, Uganda", The Times of India, July 25, 2018, (accessed on July 29, 2018);
"In Rwanda, PM Modi announces new diplomatic mission and $200mn credit line", Hindustan Times, July 24, 2018, (accessed on August 2, 2018); See also, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, "India-Rwanda Joint Statement during State Visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda", July 24, 2018, (accessed on July 29, 2018) and Press Information Bureau Government of India, "India-Uganda Joint Statement during State Visit of Prime Minister to Uganda", July 25, 2018, (accessed on July 28, 2018)

9 Justina Crabtree, "China and India launch investment spree in Africa ahead of key summit", CNBC News, July 25, 2018, (accessed on August 2, 2018); Justina Crabtree, "Xi and Modi just visited Rwanda and supplied millions of dollars, here's why", CNBC News, July 24, 2018, (accessed on July 29, 2018); Justina Crabtree, "China's latest trade partner in Africa could help it export to the US", CNBC News,, July, 2018,

10. "Johannesburg Declaration", (accessed on July 29, 2018)
China and the 10th BRICS Summit: A Conversation with Duncan Innes-Ker (Китай и 10-й саммит БРИКС: беседа с Дунканом Иннесом-Кером) / China, August, 2018
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion

This episode explores China's standing in BRICS, a group of five countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) with fast-developing economies and growing regional influence. Our guest, Duncan Innes-Ker, explains the major outcomes of the 10th BRICS summit, describes the group's increasing economic engagement with Africa, and analyzes China's position as the largest economy in BRICS. He also considers how the BRICS countries may develop over time, both individually and as a group.

Duncan Innes-Ker heads a team of analysts covering Asia in The Economist Intelligence Unit's Country Analysis division in Hong Kong. He has helped produce customized research and analysis on many topics, and has shared his perspectives on Asia with senior corporate executives, academics, and diplomatic officials. Mr. Innes-Ker is also a frequent commentator for news services such as the BBC, CNN, and CNBC.

The conversation is available at SoundCloud:
Abstract from SCIO briefing on development of Belt and Road Initiative (Отрывок из брифинга информационного бюро Госсовета Китая по разработке инициативы ОПОП) / China, August, 2018
Keywords: obor, global_governance, quotation


I have a question for Mr. Zhang Jun. The Beijing summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation is about to be held. We know that the joint development of Belt and Road Initiative is an important topic for China-Africa cooperation. People have talked about Africa as a pilot region for joint efforts to build the "Belt and Road". What do you think of this? What challenges do you think China and Africa face in carrying out the "Belt and Road" cooperation? Thank you.

Zhang Jun:

The construction of the "Belt and Road" is especially targeted at the Asia-Europe-Africa continents, and African countries are one of the key areas for the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative. As a major group of developing countries, Africa is facing the arduous task of infrastructure construction and economic and social development. Supporting and helping Africa achieve peaceful development and stability has always been one of the priorities of China's diplomacy. For a long time, we have invested a lot in the development of Africa, and have made great achievements.

In recent years, it has been an important part of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to inject vitality and motivation for African development through the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Beijing Summit will be held in Beijing, with China and Africa having agreed to promote the Belt and Road cooperation in Africa, both sides should strengthen integration and docking between China's development strategy and "Belt and Road" joint contribution, and the Africa's Agenda 2063, as well as strengthening the connection and docking between the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African development strategies. Those will be an important part of this year's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Both sides have great expectations for the outcome of the forum.

As far as I know, at the Beijing Summit of the forum, more than a dozen documents on cooperation between China and African countries will be signed, which will further promote and implement the cooperation between China and Africa in joint contribution for the "Belt and Road." At the same time, China-Africa cooperation also has a broader space. For example, during the meeting of the BRICS leaders not long ago, President Xi Jinping met with African leaders and reached a broad consensus on further deepening China-Africa cooperation. An important achievement of the BRICS Summit Johannesburg was the establishment of a new industrial revolution partnership. We look forward to the advancement of the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution, which will not only enable Africa and developing countries to address the issues of food, clothing and basic needs of development, but also enable developing countries to catch up with the new industrial revolution and better seize opportunities for development from the process of scientific and technological development in the current world. Under the complex and changing economic situation, we can better meet the challenges and achieve common development with other countries in the world.
Russian diplomat: BRICS focuses on closer cooperation between members, not on expansion (Российский дипломат: БРИКС фокусируется на более тесном сотрудничестве между членами, а не на расширении) / Russia, August, 2018
Keywords: mofa, quotation

MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. The extension of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is not a priority now, and the five countries should better focus on the development of joint projects, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at the opening of the BRICS scientific and educational program on Tuesday.

"We believe that we should rather focus on the extension of joint projects or joint work, not the number of BRICS participants," the deputy foreign minister said.

"BRICS will be definitely expanding at some point, but this issue isn't on the agenda now," he added.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
BRICS Bank Plans Its First Dollar Bond Issue (Банк БРИКС планирует выпуск первой долларовой облигации) / Brazil, August, 2018
Keywords: ndb

The New Development Bank backed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) is evaluating issuing US $ 1 billion of dollar-denominated bonds next year.

The infrastructure sector lender backed by the BRICS group of nations is planning its first bond issue in dollars by 2019 in order to increase its capacity to extend loans to member countries.

The New Development Bank backed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) is evaluating issuing US $ 1 billion worth of dollar-denominated bonds next year, chairman KV Kamath said on Wednesday by telephone.

With two international ratings in hand, now is the "right time" to evaluate a bond issue, and the bank hopes to make the next dollar bond arrangement a benchmark in world capital markets, Kamath said. The term could vary from seven to 10 years and presentations should begin in the "next eight to 10 weeks," he said.

The financial institution started operating in 2015 to support infrastructure projects and sustainable development initiatives in emerging economies. While it has a total portfolio of more than US $ 5,700 million, it only has a bonus in circulation: a panda bonus of 3,000 million yuan sold in 2016.

The bank plans to start a second panda bond program of 10 billion yuan by the end of 2018, depending on market conditions and regulatory approval, Kamath said.

"In the last three years, we have discovered that our members are increasingly expressing the need to finance in local currency," he said. "We have come a long way to look at the South African rand market, the South African government has expressed great interest in applying for rand loans, and we would like to satisfy that expectation of our target customers."

However, the bank remains cautious given the increasing volatility of emerging markets amid the constraint of global monetary policy. "I think we should be careful when we enter these markets because we want to make sure we are in the market during a relatively quiet period, which will be something we will consider when we explore local markets," he said.

The New Development Bank received a credit rating from the long-term issuer AA + of S & P Global Ratings, the rating agency said in a statement sent by email. The bank has the same rating as Fitch Ratings, according to its website.

FOCAC effective to boost China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC эффективен для активизации китайско-африканского сотрудничества) / China, August, 2018
Keywords: ndb, investments

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has proven to be productive and effective in boosting China-Africa cooperation, a Chinese special envoy said.

Zhou Yuxiao, China's ambassador for FOCAC affairs, said this in an interview with Xinhua prior to the FOCAC Beijing Summit in September, expressing his confidence in the event's success.

Zhou said FOCAC has grown into a dynamic mechanism with rich content and tangible results, following the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and the values of friendship, justice, and shared interests.

"China neither imposes its own will on others nor seeks its sphere of influence," said Zhou. "The concept of 'extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits' is upheld when China cooperates with African countries."

FOCAC was founded in 2000 and its membership had grown to have China, 53 African countries having diplomatic relations with China, and the African Union Commission as of June 2018, according to the FOCAC website.

Under the FOCAC framework, there are regular consultations at ministerial and senior-official levels, and between the Chinese Follow-up Committee and the African Diplomatic Corps in China. Sub-forums on business, youth, health and poverty reduction, and many others, have also been set up.

FOCAC has held two summits gathering leaders of China and African countries, one in Beijing in 2006 and another in Johannesburg in 2015.

"FOCAC is not for idle words, but a platform to unleash real actions," said Zhou.

The veteran diplomat, who spent years in Africa and served as the Chinese ambassadors to Liberia and Zambia, said he had witnessed the development of FOCAC over the years.

It began with small steps, with a focus on aid, trade, debt relief, personnel training but gradually grew to a comprehensive platform that covers industrialization, agricultural modernization, financing, green development, people-to-people exchanges, and security.

FOCAC has won wide support from African countries for its efficient enforcement means, clear time-bound action plans, and an effective evaluation system, Zhou said.

He also attributed the mechanism's effectiveness to the adequate funding. For example, Zhou said, China pledged financing support amounting to 60 billion U.S. dollars to implement the ten cooperation plans announced at the 2015 FOCAC summit in Johannesburg.

Projects can also be funded by the Silk Road Fund or the BRICS New Development Bank. Meanwhile, the Chinese government encourages trustworthy and competent Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa.

Both China's ability to "walk the walk" and African countries' active collaboration are key to the success of FOCAC, Zhou said.

"That is why FOCAC has earned wide recognition from African countries as well as the international community, and expectations are high for the upcoming summit," said Zhou.

The summit is scheduled for September 3 to 4 in Beijing. Priorities and key directions for China-Africa cooperation in the next three years will be announced.

A key aspect to watch, Zhou said, will be how China and Africa link the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union's Agenda 2063, and African countries' development plans.

With the "twin engines" of the BRI and FOCAC, China-Africa cooperation is poised to move forward more steadily, faster and further.

"I'm confident that the summit will be a complete success," said Zhou.

The anti-dollar awakening could be ruder and sooner than most economists predict (Выход против доллара может быть грубым и более ранним, чем прогнозируют большинство экономистов) / China, August, 2018
Keywords: economic_challenges, expert_opinion
Author: Gal Luft

The United States is currently waging economic warfare against one tenth of the world's countries with cumulative population of nearly 2 billion people and combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $15 trillion.

These include Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea and others on which Washington has imposed sanctions over the years, but also countries like China, Pakistan and Turkey which are not under full sanctions but rather targets of other punitive economic measures.

Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images
In addition, thousands of individuals from scores of countries are included in the Treasury Department's list of Specially Designated Nationals who are effectively blocked from the U.S.-dominated global financial system. Many of those designated are either part of or closely linked to their countries' leadership.

From a U.S. perspective, each one of the economic entities is targeted for a good reason be it human rights violations, terrorism, crime, nuclear trade, corruption or in the case of China, unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.

But in recent months it seems that America's unwavering commitment to fight all of the world's scourges has brought all those governments and the wealthy individuals who support them to a critical mass, joining forces to create a parallel financial system which would be out of reach of America's long arm. Should they succeed, the impact on America's global posture would be transformational.

America's global supremacy has been made possible not only thanks to its military power and its alliance system but also due to its control over the plumbing of global finance and particularly the broad acceptance of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The unique status of the U.S. currency has anchored the global financial system since World War II.

Any transaction done in U.S. dollars or using a U.S. bank automatically brings the trading parties under American legal jurisdiction. When the U.S. decides to impose unilateral sanctions, as in the case of Iran, it essentially tells the world's governments, corporations and individuals they must choose between halting business with the sanctioned country or be shut off from the world's number one economy. This is a powerful stick.

Not many companies or banks can afford to give up on the U.S. market or be denied access to U.S. financial institutions.

Revisionist countries that wish to challenge the U.S.-led system see this as an affront to their economic sovereignty. Which is why both Russia and China have developed their own versions of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the global network that allows cross-border financial transactions among thousands of banks. Both countries are also urging their trading partners to ditch the dollar in their bilateral trade in favor of indigenous currencies.

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This month Russia was quick to recruit Turkey into the anti-dollar bloc, announcing it would back non-dollar trade with it, after a financial feud between Ankara and Washington broke out. China for its part is using its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative as a tool to compel countries to transact in yuan terms instead of dollars. Pakistan, the number one recipient of Belt and Road money, and Iran have already announced their intention to do just that. Last month's BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in Johannesburg was a call to arms against the dollar hegemony with countries like Turkey, Jamaica, Indonesia, Argentina and Egypt invited to join in what is known as "BRICS plus" with the goal of creating a de-dollarized economy.

The main front where the future of the dollar will be decided is the global commodity market, especially the $1.7 trillion oil market. Ever since 1973, when President Richard Nixon unilaterally severed the U.S. dollar from the gold standard and convinced the Saudis and the rest of the OPEC countries to sell their oil only in dollars, the global oil trade has been linked to the American currency. This paved the way for the rest of the commodities to be traded in dollars as well. The arrangement served America well. It created an ever growing demand for the greenback, which in turn enabled consecutive U.S. governments to freely run their growing deficits.

Not anymore. Because so many of the members of the anti-dollar alliance are exporters of commodities they no longer feel that their products should be either priced by a dollar-denominated benchmark like WTI and Brent or be traded in a currency they no longer crave.

For example, when China buys oil from Angola, gas from Russia, coal from Mongolia or soybeans from Brazil it prefers to do so in its own currency and thereby avoid unwanted exchange rate fees on both sides of the transaction. This is already beginning to happen.

Russia and China have agreed to transact some of their traded energy in yuan. China is pushing its main oil suppliers Saudi Arabia, Angola and Iran to receive yuans for their oil. And last year China introduced gold-backed futures contracts, dubbed "petro-yuan" in the Shanghai International Energy Exchange - the first non-dollar crude benchmark in Asia.

The gradual acceptance of digital currencies, backed by blockchain technology offers another way for the revisionists to ditch the dollar in their trading. The Russian central bank indicated that it was considering launching a national cryptocurrency called "cryptoruble" and in the interim it helped Venezuela's launch of its own cryptocurrency, the "petro," which is backed by the country's vast oil reserves. Now BRICS members are discussing a BRICS-backed cryptocurrency.

All of those actions and others point to one direction: In the coming years the dollar will be facing a barrage of attacks with the goal of eroding its hegemony and the energy trading market will be one of the main battlefields where the future of America's economic dominance will be decided. Any successful attempt to delink commodity trading from the dollar will have a cascading impact not only on the global economic system as we know it but also on America's posture abroad.

With the overall positive state of the U.S. economy and the remarkable strength of the dollar compared to the currencies of the dollar-busters including the Russian ruble, the yuan, the Turkish lira and the Iranian rial it may be easy to sink into complacency and dismiss the actions of the revisionists as mere pinpricks.

But ignoring the growing anti-dollar coalition would be to America's detriment. Bull markets eventually come to an end and with a national debt of $21 trillion and growing at a rate of a trillion dollars a year, the awakening could be ruder and sooner than most economists predict.

In the midst of America's economic euphoria it is worth remembering that one of every four people on the planet lives today in a country whose government is committed to end the dollar hegemony. Thwarting their effort should be Washington's top national priority.

Gal Luft is co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and senior advisor to the United States Energy Security Council.

NDB receives AA+ rating from S&P, cementing its access to global financial markets (NDB получает рейтинг AA+ от S&P, закрепляя свой доступ к глобальным финансовым рынкам) / China, August, 2018
Keywords: ndb, rating

S&P Global Ratings (S&P) today announced it has assigned its AA+ long-term and A-1+ short-term issuer credit ratings with a stable outlook to New Development Bank (NDB). Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings (Fitch) announced that it had assigned NDB a long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of 'AA+' with a stable outlook and a short-term IDR of 'F1+'.

In its press release S&P stated, 'The ratings reflect our opinion that NDB will establish itself as a catalyst in reducing the infrastructure deficits faced by its BRICS members.' S&P assessed NDB's financial profile as extremely strong reflecting its robust capitalization and ample liquidity. S&P acknowledged robust shareholder support as a key rating factor underpinning its assessment of NDB's strong business profile.

The full press release announcing S&P's decision is available here.

"Today marks a momentous step for NDB towards establishing itself as a premier multilateral development finance institution," said K. V. Kamath, President of NDB, commenting on S&P's rating announcement. "Given the scale of our future ambitions, the AA+ ratings from S&P and Fitch, put the Bank in an exceptional position to mobilize financial resources at competitive rates thereby greatly enhancing our lending capacity to our members. These ratings also mark the beginning of an exciting period for the Bank wherein it will look to establish itself as a benchmark issuer in global capital markets. This milestone enables the Bank to offer full suite of financial products to its public and private sector clients. The AA+ ratings from the two agencies are a recognition of the Bank's strong financial profile as well as an endorsement of its prudent future growth plans and sound risk management practices. We are proud of this exceptional achievement, which would not have been possible without the strong support that we have received from our shareholders."

The document entitled "New Development Bank Assigned 'AA+/A-1+' Ratings; Outlook Stable", dated August 29, 2018 is entirely the copyright of, and is reproduced with the permission of S&P.

About NDB

New Development Bank is a multilateral development bank established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. To fulfill its purpose, NDB will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.


Alexey Kosarev
Phone number: +86-21-80211848

Saurabh Ghugre
Phone number: +86-21-80216151
Cell phone: +86-18516070334

World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
Cooperation among BRICS goes to the classroom (Сотрудничество между БРИКС идет в школьный класс) / China, August, 2018
Keywords: ndb, social_issues

While the heads of state of BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, gathered for the 10th annual meeting in Johannesburg recently, 31 students from those countries attended the fifth BRICS Summer School program at Fudan University.

The four-week summer program offers 20 scholarships each year and has attracted 141 undergraduates and graduates with different backgrounds ranging from law and international relations to economics since its inauguration. This year, the majority came from Brazil and South Africa.

The summer school offered classes on topics including China's politics, diplomacy and relations with Brazil, Russia, India and Africa, and BRICS cooperation and global governance, such as south-south cooperation, cyberspace governance, financial cooperation, global energy cooperation and cross-cultural negotiations.

The students also had the opportunity to share their views during discussion sessions and through academic papers.

Hou Xiaochen, manager of the BRICS Summer School Program organized by the center for BRICS studies at Fudan, said the program aimed to strengthen communication among BRICS students and make a stronger basis for BRICS cooperation.

For Brazilian student Luiza de Silva Nakamura, a PhD candidate at the school of international development at Nagoya University, the connection with other students is a valuable experience.

"Through this cultural exchange, I gained a deeper knowledge of each member country and what brings us together," Luiza said.

Chandan Panigrahi, from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, also said the program had helped him "in tremendous ways to learn about different cultures and mix with individuals from BRICS countries."

The experience in Shanghai went beyond the classes. The students also visited local museums, Xitang watertown in Zhejiang Province and cruised on the Huangpu River. They also paid a visit to the New Development Bank's headquarters in Shanghai.

"The visit to the NDB was a great insight into the structural and procedural methods of the bank," said Sanika Ranadive, an economics student from St Xavier's College in Mumbai.

For some of them, the program has helped them decide to further their studies in China.

"I have been learning Chinese for six years and it is a good way to combine my degree and languages," said Lagutina Maria Pavlovna, who is currently pursuing bachelor's degree in international economic relations at MGIMO University in Moscow and who plans to apply for a master program in Fudan.

Zena America, from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, who applied for the course after having done a course in Asian development economics, said the program in China complemented what she studied in her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Brics summit 'almost collapsed' because of legal threat against heads of state - Masutha (Саммит БРИКС «почти рухнул» из-за правовой угрозы для глав государств - Масута) / South Africa, August, 2018
Keywords: summit, political_issues
South Africa

Justice Minister Michael Masutha has admitted that the Brics summit in Johannesburg last month "almost collapsed" because a group of South African lawyers threatened legal action against some heads of state attending the gathering.

Masutha has also said South Africa's obligations under the Rome Statute as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) stood in the way of government's international relations and diplomatic work.

Masutha reacted to scathing criticism by judges and the deputy prosecutor of the ICC, James Stewart, against a decision by the South African government to leave the court.

They were at a symposium on international justice on Wednesday, organised by the Wayamo Foundation and the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability.

Masutha told delegates that India threatened to withdraw from the recent Brics summit in Johannesburg should South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority decide to arrest and prosecute Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the South African Kashmiri Action Group and the Muslim Lawyers' Association asked the body to investigate "war crimes" during Modi's governance of Jammu and Kashmir.

This followed the debacle three years ago around Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's attendance of the African Union summit in Johannesburg.

Diplomatic immunity law 'in a state of flux'

A court ruled that government failed in its obligations to arrest Al-Bashir as he was wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Referring to the Modi case, Masutha said: "We almost had a complete derailing of proceedings of the impending settling of the Brics summit because of this".

He said as long as "current legal arrangements" were in place, South Africa's diplomatic immunity law was "in a state of flux, to put it mildly, or even crisis, and we cannot sit back and do nothing about it".

With reference to previous points raised during the discussion that international justice also promoted peace, Masutha said: "It's not just about our quest to promote peace in Africa and elsewhere, but it's also about the reality that we are part of a global community and part of a global society, who are concerned with advancing development international objectives that promote our own domestic interest such as Brics."

He said if legal obligations obstructed these commitments, it would not be helping the people of South Africa.

Masutha said government had "no qualms about civil society asserting themselves" by taking government to court, because such litigation pointed out "flaws in our laws".

'Hypocrisy of superpowers'

"It's a good thing, because in that way you are pointing to what we have to do to correct [it] in order to achieve our national priorities."

Masutha said some legislation stood in the way of South Africa's diplomacy.

"South Africa cannot go back to the status of pariah state where other countries will shy away from visiting it if to do so would put their heads of state in a state of legal uncertainty and in fear of being arrested and prosecuted in South Africa when they are sitting heads of state.

"I don't think people have paused to reflect on the consequences of such a situation."

He said Al-Bashir had just been re-elected by Sudanese voters.

"Were you actually really realistically expecting us to effectively effect a change of government in the Sudan by going against the will of the people in Sudan by arresting him?" he asked.

He added that this hasn't ever been done by any of the world's superpowers.

"I'm just worried that there's an element of hypocrisy here. It's time we reflected on the position of other, more senior nations in the world, and what their attitude is."

Decision to withdraw 'taken lightly'

Stewart earlier said the withdrawal of South Africa from the ICC, which it had helped found, would be a blow to the international body.

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said South Africa's decision to withdraw from the ICC "was taken lightly if you look at the context, that it has taken 50 years to get to where we are … and seemingly one individual is being protected here".

She also said the Al-Bashir case was not unique, as former United States president George Bush has had to cancel a trip to Switzerland (in 2011) after human rights groups said they would call for his arrest for the alleged mistreatment of suspected militants at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The ANC resolved at its conference in December that South Africa should withdraw from the ICC, and a parliamentary process in this regard is currently underway.

The Academy's research is presented in the "BRICS School" (Исследование Академии представлено в «Школе БРИКС») / Russia, August, 2018
Keywords: social_issues, research

Dr. Marina Larionova, Head of the RANEPA Center for International Institutions Research told the participants of BRICS School about BRICS` role in the system of global governance and international institutions

Prof. Marina Larionova, Dr. in Political Science, Head of the Center for International Institutions Research (CIIR) at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) made a presentation for the participants of the scientific and educational program "BRICS International School" on 29 August 2018.

Prof. Marina Larionova told about BRICS` role in the system of global governance and international institutions.

The participants had an opportunity to explore characteristics of the system of global governance; BRICS evolution; decision-made process in the fora and implementation of the decisions; BRICS engagement with other global governance's actors and international institutions; as well as BRICS possible future agenda.

Prof. Marina Larionova shared with the participants the outcomes of the CIIR long-term research project implemented jointly with the University of Toronto with assessment of the G20 and BRICS effectiveness on the basis of monitoring of compliance with the summits` decisions.

The programme was organized by the National Committee on BRICS Research jointly with the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.

35 best students and junior researchers from Russia, BRICS member countries as well as France, Israel, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Ukraine were selected for participation in the "BRICS International School 2018".

Dr. Marina Larionova`s presentation (in English)

BRICS International School programme (in Russian and English)

RANEPA CIIR research projects on the global governance

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