Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 36.2018
2018.09.03 — 2018.09.09
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Bruce Whitfield: From BRICS to BRATS – SA goes from great hope to laughing stock (Брюс Уитфилд: от БРИКС к БРАТС - ЮАР пришел от большой надежды к объекту насмешек) / South Africa, September, 2018
Keywords: expert_opinion, brics+, political_issues
South Africa
Author: Bruce Whitfield

  • South Africa is not Argentina, Venezuela or Turkey, nor China or Brazil, whatever the acronyms imply.
  • But the world is seeing us as a place with the kind of regulatory and economic trouble found in some of those countries.
  • Still, a currency now a third cheaper than earlier this year has some positives.
If you're tired of economic acronyms, blame Jim O'Neill.

He started it all.

The British economist saw common traits in four fast-growing economies nearly 20 years ago and thought it a good idea to create an acronym: BRIC for Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

It was never meant to confer an investment status on the group of countries, but then the exchange-traded-fund industry, and managed funds, latched on to the theme. Politicians in BRIC countries grabbed it; it gave them a sense of legitimacy, besides the theme played out well.

For a while.

At the time emerging markets were on nobody's' radar and it was a useful way to draw attention to a new trend. And it worked. Even if only really China, and to a lesser extent in recent times India, have brought anything substantive to the party.

South Africa found itself incorporated into grouping despite the fact that we shared few of the characteristics that brought the bigger faster growing partners together.

Since then we have seen lots of people create quite clever acronyms applicable at a moment in time but essentially worthless to any serious investor. During the Greek debt crisis we learned about the PIIGS: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain – all economies with debt burdens enough to keep the governors of the European Central Bank awake at night.

There was a time around the Soccer World Cup where South Africa was finally showing signs of growth, we looked like we might finally reach our potential and deliver some sustainable growth and create some jobs to tackle some of the issues that are still with us today. Some smart alec, a CEO of a global bank, if memory serves, coined CIVETS: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa. Since then Egypt had the Arab spring, Turkey gained what is basically a dictator, and South Africa very nearly drove itself at full speed into a brick (sadly not BRIC) wall.

Then there were MINT countries: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey. The idea being they would become the powerhouses. Mexico and Indonesia have seen pockets of performance but Turkey, with its attempts at manipulating policy that makes the sacking of Nhlanhla Nene seem like a Sunday school picnic, and Nigeria's most recent antics around MTN and harvesting R75 million from the account of Standard Bank's Nigeria business Stanbic without so much as a guilty plea, is worrying.

Now finally an acronym worthy of the name, BRATS: Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Turkey and yes, South Africa.

Brazil is, like neighbour Argentina, filled with promise but fraught with corruption scandals and economic mismanagement, just as Turkey and Russia have their various issues. Then there is us. It doesn't matter if we don't see ourselves in such company; the brutal reality is that this is the way the world sees us right now – and that is not going to help drag us out of recession.

We went into recession this week, as I reported HSBC warned we might a month ago, so you should have been prepared. The Rand has lost a third of its value from its strongest point this year to its weakest point this week. On 26 February the Rand peaked at R11.56/$ and on Thursday closed at R15.40. That makes you as a global citizen considerably poorer than you were at the start of the Ramaphosa presidency.

I prefer to see the glass half full.

It makes SA 33% cheaper to invest in too, and critically for the export industry, 33% more competitive. For tourists too it makes us a third cheaper – if only Malusi Gigaba would get off his high horse on pointless visa regulations.

Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
'Opportunity' to Buy Gold as BRICS Hit by Fed («Возможность» купить золото, когда Федеральный Резерв США бьет БРИКС) / United Kingdom, September, 2018
Keywords: political_issues, economic_challenges, expert_opinion
United Kingdom
Author: Adrian Ash

PRICES to buy gold stabilized in London on Wednesday morning, trading $2 higher to $1194 per ounce even as the US Dollar pushed other currencies lower once more and global stock markets extended yesterday's drop on Wall Street.

Commodity prices also retreated and the Chinese Yuan fell again versus the Dollar after China's weak manufacturing surveys for August were followed by news of a slowdown in its services sector.

"I'm not looking for the emerging-markets cycle to turn until we get close to the end of the [US] Fed's tightening cycle," says Marc Chandler, head of currency strategy at financial services firm Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

"Emerging markets are needing to import capital for current account and budget deficits. It's hard to imagine how they're going to compete with the US for the world's savings."

Current betting on this month's Federal Reserve rates decision puts 99.8% odds on a hike, with more than half of all bets on next June's Fed meeting now expecting a further hike by mid-2019.

"People are [also] now looking beyond idiosyncratic issues [in emerging markets] and more generally at spillover and contagion," theFinancial Times quotes one analyst, pointing to how last month's sell-offs in Turkey and Argentina are spreading, hitting Indonesia on Wednesday and pulling the MSCI developing-market share index down 1.4% for the day and 4.4% lower from a week ago.

Measured on a simple unweighted index against the US Dollar, the currencies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – christened the BRICS by then-Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill in 2001 – are now trading just above the multi-year lows hit as the Federal Reserve began raising its interest rate from 0% at the end of 2015.

"On balance," says the latest weekly analysis from specialists Metals Focus, "while a stronger Dollar may act as a headwind for gold, we still believe that the economic backdrop will eventually become supportive of higher gold prices.

"A notable decline in emerging markets could lead to spill over effects on industrialised markets, at a time when trade tensions are already raising concerns about global growth.

"In particular, as US GDP growth starts to slow, this should see US equities lose momentum and trigger some rotation towards gold."

High-net worth investors in Asia should be looking to increase their personal holdings of gold according to nearly two-thirds of financial advisors polled in the region by research firm Hubbis on behalf of brokerage INTL FC Stone.

Out of 174 private banks, family offices and wealth management advisers surveyed earlier this year, 62% recommend raising allocations to gold – perhaps to one-tenth or more of a portfolio – while 38% advise against it.

"Gold has sold off over the past few months as US Dollar interest rates have increased," the South China Morning Post quotes Chris Land, a senior associate in Hong Kong at financial advisory Holborn, "so there is more opportunity to buy.

"For clients who don't have an allocation of gold in their portfolios, now is time to increase that."

Returning from Labor Day's end to the summer vacation season, New York's S&P500 index closed Tuesday 0.5% below last week's fresh all-time high.

Asian and European stock markets fell harder today, taking Hong Kong nearly 2.0% lower and Paris down 1.0% with a potential widening of US trade tariffs "still the major factor affecting the markets" according to one equity strategist.

Silver prices also steadied with gold today after falling within 1 cent of $14 per ounce on Tuesday.

That still put the gray metal at its cheapest value relative to gold since spring 1995.
Employing New Construction Tools: Beams as the "supporting Structures" in Global Economic Architecture (Использование новых строительных инструментов: BEAMS как несущая опора в строительстве глобальной экономической архитектуры) / Ярослав Лисоволик) / Russia, September, 2018
Keywords: economic_challenges, expert_opinion
Author: Yaroslav Lissovolik

The stark realities of a world descending into a vortex of sanctions and protectionism have already given rise to a number of initiatives in the developing world targeting the creation of alternative institutions and integration groupings that would to some degree provide for additional venues for openness and liberalization across the developing world. Some of the key initiatives in this area included the launching of the BRICS+ format by China at the BRICS summit and its further development by South Africa during its chairmanship in the BRICS in 2018.

These innovative approaches to economic integration increasingly point to a more active cooperation among not just the largest economies of the Global South but also the largest regional integration blocks led by BRICS economies. A potential mega-block that brings together these regional integration arrangements denoted as BEAMS (BIMSTEC, EAEU, AU, MERCOSUR and SCO – all on the basis of previous outreach undertakings by BRICS countries) could form the basis for the first mega-block of the developing world that would have enough weight to provide a counterweight to other competing megaprojects such as the TPP or the TTIP.

The commentary on the BEAMS concept (advanced in the Valdai publication "BEAMS of the sunrise: a look at BRICS 5-year cycles", 14 June, 2018) has previously mostly focused on the "solar rays" analogy of the acronym, while a far more promising venue may be to look at the angle that brings BEAMS and BRICS under one umbrella of construction tools and materials that may be employed in the building of new global economic architecture.

In building jargon beams are an indispensable part of the building construction, serving as supporting structures for floors and playing a key role in the structural integrity of the building. Beams come in many varieties in construction – there are the bond beams, ground beams, ring beams, I-beams as well as vertical or horizontal beams. A typical house is built from elements such as posts, columns, beams and bricks, the latter frequently used as the material for the foundation, with beams used as support structures at the upper levels of the building to ensure its integrity.

Using these analogies, the BEAMS and the set of platforms of regional integration arrangements more generally may be seen as the missing links/support structures in the edifice of the global economy and in particular its South-South section. The problem with global economic architecture built in the last century is that the progression from country-level economic integration to the roof-top of global economic institutions has been too sporadic and swift, missing the crucial stage of incorporating the intermediate level of the supporting structures of regional integration arrangements. Despite their active propagation and increases in sheer numbers, the multitudes of regional integration arrangements have not been duly incorporated as supporting structures/platforms that would on the one hand sustain the global institutions above and render due stability below at the country-to-country level. What is then the sequencing and the mechanics of the construction process that involves the use of BEAMS in building a more stable global economic architecture?

BEAMS as the direct derivative of the earlier BRICS outreach exercises that included the African Union, BIMSTEC, EAEU, SCO and MERCOSUR may be subdivided into two main categories. The first one targets mainly connectivity in the respective continents between BRICS economies and their regional partners and includes the African Union and the SCO. This offshoot of the original BEAMS grouping is to emphasize primarily the cooperation among the regional development banks as well as the new development institutions such as NDB to work together in financing infrastructure projects related to intra-continental connectivity in Africa and Eurasia. Further progression in building a network of pan-continental alliances targeting the promotion of infrastructural connectivity may involve the addition of CELAC from South America to form a trilateral SCO-AU-CELAC alliance that brings together the vast majority of developing countries.

The second off-shoot from the original BEAMS grouping includes BIMSTEC, EAEU and MERCOSUR – this set of integration arrangements may form the initial stage for the FTA track that is to bring together the main regional integration arrangements with BRICS participation with the goal of forming a platform for economic liberalization. The formation of a trade and investment partnership among the EAEU, BIMSTEC and MERCOSUR is facilitated by existing agreements and negotiations already underway. In particular the EAEU and India are currently exploring the potential modalities for an FTA agreement, while India and MERCOSUR have formed a preferential trade agreement that went into effect in 2009. Finally, MERCOSUR and the EAEU have progressed towards preparing a joint memorandum on cooperation.

The FTA track of BEAMS may be extended to include regional groupings such as SACU (South African Customs Union) and the ASEAN-China (as well as ASEAN-India) FTA. The latter may play the role of establishing a connection between the BEAMS/BRICS+ framework and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), of which the China/India-ASEAN FTA is a sub-component.

This in effect leads to a combination of regional integration arrangements that are more focused on trade and investment integration, namely BIMSTEC, EAEU, ASEAN-China FTA, MERCOSUR and SACU. The resulting acronym is BEAMS that may be considered as the FTA derivative of the original BEAMS group formed on the basis of BRICS outreach exercises.

Overall, the combinatorics of bilateral alliances within a five-member framework such as BEAMS allows for 10 bilateral "integrations of integrations". What is important is that out of the 10 potential agreements a significant part is in the process of negotiation or preliminary discussion:

- 1 agreement already entered into force: MERCOSUR – SACU preferential agreement entered into force in 2016
- 3 agreements concluded by BRICS individually apart from ASEAN-China FTA, ASEAN-India FTA: India – SACU FTA, India-Mercosur FTA, EAEU-China non-preferential agreement
- 4 agreements under discussion: China-India FTA, China – MERCOSUR FTA, China – SACU FTA as well as EAEU-India FTA.
- 2 agreements that are yet to be addressed: EAEU with Mercosur and EAEU with SACU

It turns out then that the construction of the BEAMS/BRICS+ framework is not starting from scratch – there is already a set of regional agreements among the potential BRICS+ members that can serve as the source of further multilateralization of trade preferences within the BEAMS circle. Importantly the set of trade agreements within the BRICS+ framework will serve to shape and provide a sense of direction to the evolution of South-South economic integration. Thus far the economic integration among developing countries has lacked structure and direction, being notably more fragmented compared to the largely coherent and effective framework of integration in the developed world.
SWIFT Analogue Creation Should Be Discussed At Level Of BRICS, EU - Russian Central Bank (Вопрос о создании аналога SWIFT должен быть обсужден на уровне БРИКС и ЕС -Российский центральный банк) / Pakistan, September, 2018
Keywords: economic_challenges

Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova suggested on Thursday discussing the establishment of an alternative to the international payments provider SWIFT at the level of BRICS forum or the European Union.

SOCHI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 06th September, 2018) Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova suggested on Thursday discussing the establishment of an alternative to the international payments provider SWIFT at the level of BRICS forum or the European Union.

"If such discussion [of SWIFT alternative's elaboration] is initiated at the level of BRICS or the European Union, I believe it would be useful consultations. It does not mean that the existing systems should be abolished or replaced, this means that another system might be created, [the one that] would help to make calculations differently and, perhaps, this system would be more effective," Skorobogatova indicated on the sidelines of the 10th Global Policy Forum of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion in the Russian city of Sochi.

In August, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the European Union to set up an independent equivalent of the SWIFT system in order to protect the EU firms from the US sanctions against Iran, targeting actors doing business with the Islamic Republic.

Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov said back then in his comments to Sputnik that the desire of the EU politicians to set up an alternative to SWIFT might be explained by the wish to conduct payment transactions with other countries in the euro. According to the lawmaker, this would require the creature of an autonomous infrastructure, which will help to prevent all the financial transaction reports going through the United States, which currently possess large part of such data since the majority of transactions are carried out in the US dollar.
Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
'There was a Drought that Affected South African Economic Decline' - Economist («Была засуха, которая повлияла на экономический спад в Южной Африке» - экономист) / Russia, September, 2018
Keywords: summit, concluded_agreements, economic_challenges, expert_opinion

The South African rand has weakened as the country's economy has gone into recession. According to reports, the South African economy shrank by 0.8% in the second quarter of the year. The main reasons behind the recession were said to be the slowing agricultural, transport and trade sectors.

Sputnik has discussed this with Hugo Pienaar, senior economist at the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University.

Sputnik: Did this economic recession come as a surprise to you?

Hugo Pienaar: If we just go back a bit, the large contraction that we saw in this first quarter of the year that certainly was a surprise. I don't think anybody expected that back in January, but after we had that big contraction and the data started coming out for the second quarter it was quite clear that the second quarter was also going to be poor. I think there was always the possibility of a recession, but having said that, most analysts, including ourselves, thought that the likelihood of that was fairly low. So from that perspective, yes, it did come as a bit of a negative front.

Sputnik: Experts have noted a sharp decrease in the agricultural sector, perhaps, you could explain why there has been a sharp decrease, and whether it's got something to do with the recent news with increased land grabbing from black individuals in South Africa in recent months, hasn't there? Perhaps there's been some kind of effect with regard to the reclamation of the land…

Hugo Pienaar: There's a lot of noise about that, but I really think that is not part of the story here. So where I sit in the Western Cape, in the Cape Town region of South Africa, we've had a significant drought, and it's not just been in one season. We've now had three seasons of quite severe drought, and so most of the decline we've seen in the agricultural sector in the first half of this year I think we can trace back to the drought. In other words, weather-related issues as opposed to the uncertainty around the land issue.

Sputnik: What about the general outlook, because we were reporting on the BRICS convention that was being held in Johannesburg a month or so ago, is there any positivity that we can take out of the South African economy moving forward for people within the country to take some hope from things?

Hugo Pienaar: Where we sit today in almost the end of the third-quarter, I don't think we are in recession anymore. So we do think that GDP will post a positive number in the third quarter, but I mean growth is still under pressure. So if you think of 2018 as a whole, now it looks like we'll probably only grow around 1% in real terms as opposed to at the beginning of the year when many analysts were thinking closer to 2%. So that is a dramatic downward shift in our growth expectations.

I think that the outlook for the foreseeable future is a bit cloudy. We think that we probably need to get past next year's general election which will probably be around April-May 2019 and after that one will hopefully see more clarity on the policy front, including on the land debate and that should hopefully foster a bit more confidence so that growth picks up.

Sputnik: The report of recession comes as the South African government has been making changes to the Constitution, a bid to expropriate land, what impact has this had on the country's economy?

Hugo Pienaar: So there hasn't been any change to the Constitution. So no laws have been changed at this stage. All we are doing at this stage is having a debate about whether the Constitution should be changed, and if so, to what extent. So what the ANC (The African National Congress) is saying at this stage, and remember this is only their position, nothing has been changed.

So the ANC's position is that the Constitution should be changed that it allows for expropriation without compensation, but in fact, the Constitution already allows for that. So all the ANC is saying is that they want the Constitution to state more clearly under which condition expropriation without compensation can take place. I think that's an important starting point. Nothing has changed for now, but, of course, this debate and the noise surrounding that will already be having negative impacts because it creates uncertainty in the farming community.
Are we heading towards cybersecurity Armageddon in SA? (ЮАР движется к Армагеддону в кибербезопасности?) / South Africa, September, 2018
Keywords: expert_opinion, digital
South Africa

A number of reports in the last two years revealed that the BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) were found to be amongst the largest victims of cybercrime. For example, China, Russia and Brazil are among the top countries prone to malware infection. India and Brazil are countries in which users are most attacked by ransomware.

In that context, South Africa is listed as one of the ten globally most vulnerable countries to cyber-attacks. It is, for example, estimated that data breaches cost South African companies on average R1 632 per lost or stolen record.

On the other hand, it was reported that general cybersecurity awareness among the workforce and citizens in South Africa is at a very low level. A recent huge data leak in one South African organisation and many unreported security disruptions strongly hinted that our public and private organisations were and still are cybersecurity disasters waiting to happen. The most recent reports by News24, which stated that the notorious hacker, known as Paladin, has successfully attacked and shut down a number of government websites, just confirmed our unpreparedness to shield against cyber attacks.

Particular warring is the state of cybersecurity of the national critical infrastructure as highly-connected regions of the world such as South Africa are and will be lucrative targets for various adversaries. The number of cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure is rising fast all over the Globe so that many consider cyberspace as the new battlefield. Hence, protecting this infrastructure should be the utmost task if South Africa is to avoid cybersecurity Armageddon.

One of the biggest cybersecurity problems in South Africa is a feeble awareness among our workforce, including all level managers, and citizens. While some South African organisations are launching cybersecurity awareness programs, citizens are rarely offered such a programme or campaign. In this regard, government responsibility cannot be ignored but governments cannot do the job alone. Instead, the collaborative action of public, private, non-profit and educational sectors is needed for effective advocacy, leadership and skilling cybersecurity actions.

There is also an immediate need for improving cybersecurity culture at the organisational and societal level, which must include clear guidance on what it means to be a 'cyber-aware' or 'cyber intelligent' employee or citizen.

Finally, preventing and mitigating cybersecurity attacks requires skilled people, which are in a severe shortage all over the world. Are South African secondary and tertiary institutions currently ready for producing an adequate number of cyber specialists? It does not seem so. As the cyber skills shortage continues to increase, enterprises will recognise that they need to create their own cyber talents rather than waiting for educational institutions to produce them. Companies are also likely to begin promoting public dialogue towards more cyber skills education at an earlier age.

So, are we currently ready to prevent a cybersecurity Armageddon in this country? It does not seem so - but, as the old Chinese proverb says: 'The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now'. We hence need an urgent and effective cybersecurity intervention in South Africa now.
India Accumulates Gold, Sells US Treasury Securities to Insulate Country (Индия накапливает золото, продает казначейские ценные бумаги США для изоляции страны) / Russia, September, 2018
Keywords: economic_challenges

In the last year, the Reserve Bank of India bought 8.6 metric tons of goal, its first big purchase since 2009.

New Delhi (Sputnik): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) purchased 8.46 metric tons of gold during the last fiscal year (April 2017 to March 2018). In its annual report, the RBI revealed that it had 566.23 metric tons of gold as of June 30, 2018, compared to 557.77 metric tons in June 30, 2017, indicating that the bank had purchased gold for the first time since 2009 when it had purchased 200 metric tons of the precious metal following America's sub-prime crisis. India has joined the league of other BRICS countries such as China and Russia that are actively accumulating physical gold as part of their international reserve assets.

The RBI said that the country's foreign exchange reserves (FER) increased by 5.0 percent from June 2017 to June 2018, as compared to the 6.3 percent increase witnessed in the corresponding period of the previous year.

"Diversification of India's Foreign Currency Assets continued during the year [2017-18] with attention being ascribed to risk management, including cybersecurity risk. The gold portfolio has also been activated," the report added.

The step is being considered a prudent approach directed towards insulating the country from the US attempt to weaponize the dollar.

The RBI brought down its exposure to US treasury securities from $157 billion in March to $148.9 billion by May. In the same period, the RBI sold $8.25 billion in the domestic spot market. With this move, India is now ranked 13th with regard to US sovereign holdings, down from 11th a month earlier.
World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
BRICS countries catching up with EU and US in publication activity, according to Scopus (Страны БРИКС догоняют ЕС и США по активности публикации исследовательских работ, согласно Scopus) / United States, September, 2018
Keywords: research, rating, expert_opinion
United States

Experts from the Higher School of Economics reviewed the BRICS countries' research landscape using the 2000-2015 data from the Scopus citation database and found academic activity in BRICS to be growing at a fast pace and catching up with that of the EU countries and the US. https:/ / link. springer. com/ article/ 10. 1007/ s11192-018-2883-7

In 2010, the total number of publications from BRICS exceeded the number of publications from the US, and in 2014 they almost equalled those from the 28 countries of the EU. In 2015, BRICS researchers produced nearly 29% of the global publications cited in Scopus (versus 10.7% in 2010), of which 18% came from China, 5% from India, 2.6% each from Russia and Brazil, and 0.72% from South Africa.

This breakthrough has mainly been driven by the exceptionally high rate of publications from China cited in Scopus, there was an 8.5-fold increase between 2000 and 2015 bringing China's share of publications indexed in Scopus from 4.3% in 2000 to 18.0% in 2015. A tangible growth in cited papers from Russia began in 2013, leading to a 50.8% increase in indexed Russian publications between 2012 and 2015.

A review of different BRICS countries' positions in the 27 subject areas covered by Scopus shows that China tops the list in many areas, such as Chemistry, Computer Science, Energy, Engineering, Mathematics, and Chemical Engineering, while other BRICS countries rank high in some areas but not in others.

Russia holds leading positions in the following five areas: Physics and Astronomy; Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Earth and Planetary Sciences; Mathematics, and Materials Science.

In addition to this, HSE researchers found a tendency for BRICS researchers to collaborate more with colleagues from countries outside of BRICS. Their key partners include such established leaders in scientific production as the US, the UK and Germany. However, collaboration within BRICS has been on the rise in recent years. A notable exception is China whose share of publications produced in partnership with other BRICS countries was below 4% of all internationally-authored publications in 2000 - 2015, while Russia's share of collaborative publications with other BRICS countries increased from 3.9% in 2000 to 11.0% in 2015.

Academic cooperation among BRICS countries has been particularly limited in contrast to active engagement between BRICS and non-BRICS countries in certain areas, such as Arts and Humanities (especially for South Africa), Chemical Engineering (especially for China), Decision Sciences (especially for Brazil), and Social Sciences (especially for South Africa). According to the study authors, HSE ISSEK researchers Maxim Kotsemir and Sergey Shashnov, these could become potential future areas of cooperation among BRICS countries.

University of Tyumen to host Siberian legal forum in early November (Тюменский университет примет Cибирский Юридический форум в начале ноября) / Russia, September, 2018
Keywords: social_issues, legal_forum

MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. Russian and foreign experts will assemble at the University of Tyumen on November 1-2, 2018 to take part in the Siberian legal forum, the university's press service reported.

"The forum is an open platform for representatives from BRICS countries and a valuable instrument in outlining state practice and policies in the development of national and international law in BRICS countries," the press service said.

The forum will cover the development of competition and anti-monopoly regulation in the digital economy, the legal aspects of BRICS cooperation in the midst of globalization, modern challenges and the future of lawyers in Russia and Kazakhstan, the digitalization of civil legal proceedings, and the development of civil law in today's media space.

The forum's delegates will also discuss state management issues, along with the legal aspects of its digitalization, the problems of regulating social and labor relations in a changing economy, enhancing anti-corruption mechanisms in the digital economy, the legal aspects of exports competitiveness, as well as the institutionalization of non-governmental suppliers in the social sphere.

The reports submitted to the forum will be published in special issues of the magazine titled "The University of Tyumen Bulletin. Socio-economic and Legal Research" and BRICS Law Journal indexed by international agencies, including SCOPUS and HeinOnline.

The Siberian legal forum was initiated by the University of Tyumen in 2014 as a platform to discuss legal issue, share experience and establish communication between scientists and researchers from Siberia, other regions of Russia and foreign states.
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