Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 43.2018
2018.10.22 — 2018.10.28
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Madagascar Eloi Alphonse Maxime Dovo, Moscow, October 22, 2018 (Выступление и ответы на вопросы СМИ Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова в ходе совместной пресс-конференции по итогам переговоров с Министром иностранных дел Мадагаскара Э.А.Максимом Дуву, Москва, 22 октября 2018 года) / Russia, October, 2018
Keywords: mofa, top_level_meeting, sergey_lavrov

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have held a substantive discussion.

Madagascar is our long-time partner in Africa. Today, we have reaffirmed our mutual desire to step up cooperation in all areas.

We have stated our joint interest in expanding trade, economic and investment ties. Promising avenues, charted by us, include geological prospecting, healthcare, personnel training programmes, tourism, the transport infrastructure and military and technical cooperation. We have agreed to assist business circles in establishing and strengthening direct contacts.

We have exchanged opinions on key contemporary issues on which our positions either coincide or are very close. Our countries consistently advocate the democratisation of interstate contacts that should hinge on international law and respect for the peoples' aspirations to independently determine their own future. Obviously, we have noted that there is no alternative to the settlement of any conflicts by peaceful, political and diplomatic methods.

We positively assessed the level of cooperation at the UN. Russia is grateful to its Malagasy partners for their unwavering support of our initiatives, primarily the resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism, as well as the projects on promoting transparency and confidence in space, and international information security.

We see eye to eye regarding the settlement of various conflicts in Africa, primarily in countries such as South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.

We are unanimous in our belief that the Africans themselves should play the decisive role in solving their problems or, as they say, provide African solutions to African problems. The international community should provide necessary support to the African Union and subregional organisations in their efforts to stabilise the remaining conflict areas. Russia reaffirms its commitment, including as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to continue to contribute to strengthening peace and stability in Africa.

In this regard, we have also discussed reforming the UN Security Council. We are supportive of the African Union's consolidated position on this matter. We believe that under-representation of the developing regions of the world is the main flaw of the UN Security Council. So, we will push for any reform to, first, be based on broad consent and, second, by all means, to address the issue of representation for Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Russia welcomes the integration processes unfolding in Africa and supports the African states' efforts to boost the effectiveness of regional interaction mechanisms. We see this as an important component in ensuring the dynamic development of all states in that region.

Among the initiatives that are designed to strengthen ties between Russia and Africa, I would like to mention the Russia-Africa Public Forum, which opened today, at the opening of which Mr Minister and I had the pleasure to speak. We confirmed our commitment to promote ties in other areas.

We are pleased to note that the Russia-Africa forum will be held at the parliamentary level in the near future, followed by a Russia-Africa business forum. All of that will serve as important steps for laying the way to a full-blown Russia-Africa summit, as discussed at the meeting of the BRICS member countries with their African partners in Johannesburg in July.

We touched upon a number of other international issues such as, above all, the Middle East and in particular, the situation with the Syria crisis settlement. In this connection, we noted the increasing importance of forming a broad anti-terrorist front in order to effectively combat this universal evil. The corresponding services and law enforcement agencies of Russia and Madagascar are improving and increasing the effectiveness of interaction on anti-terrorism and combating drug trafficking and organised crime.

I would like to thank my colleague for good talks and the invitation to visit Antananarivo.

Question: Today, you will meet with National Security Adviser John Bolton. Prior to his visit to Moscow, President Trump announced US withdrawal from the INF Treaty. How will Trump's decision affect the talks between Moscow and Washington that were scheduled to be held during the meeting of the presidents of Russia and the United States in Helsinki? It is expected that, by mutual agreement, Syria, North Korea, the Iranian nuclear programme and other issues will be discussed during the talks.

Sergey Lavrov: With regard to the US position on the INF Treaty, I have not yet seen President Trump's decision. I heard about this intention and a rather contradictory reaction, including in the United States itself. Some support this plan, while others believe it is the wrong thing to do and call for not destroying the remaining vehicle for limiting strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons. Still others believe that this statement is not about withdrawing from the treaty, but a proposal to revise it (I think Senator Bob Corker said this), so at this point it won't be productive to read tea leaves. We will wait for official clarification from our US colleagues. If John Bolton is ready to do so, then we will, of course, listen to what he has to say and then assess the situation. If they plan to do so through other channels, we will also be ready for such contacts and will then determine our position proceeding not from plans, but from clearly stated decisions.

The INF Treaty follows the procedure described in it, which indeed provides for a possibility of withdrawing from it, but this procedure has not been used yet.

Regarding our cooperation with the United States on other matters, in particular, the regional affairs that you mentioned (Syria, the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear programme), such talks are not formalised. These subjects are on the agenda of our dialogue. As you may be aware, we have a "deconflicting" channel on Syria. We would be willing to pursue more substantive cooperation in looking for ways to resolve the Syrian conflict as efficiently as possible, above all, to start the refugee return process, to begin political talks and to ensure the final elimination of the remaining "terrorist internationals" in Syria. However, the United States is not ready for such comprehensive cooperation.

Recently, fairly productive consultations on the Korean Peninsula between Foreign Deputy Minister Igor Morgulov and Special Representative of the US Department of State for North Korea Stephen Biegun were held in Moscow.

Our position on the Iranian nuclear programme is well known. The United States has officially decided to withdraw from it, and we consider this a big misstep. The other participants in this agreement share this viewpoint. I am talking about the European Union and China. Intensive talks are now underway between those who remain parties to the agreement in order to prevent a serious negative effect from the US decisions on the economic ties of the other countries with Iran.

Question: As a follow-up to the INF Treaty, what does Russia think about US threats to revise the terms of the START Treaty or not to renew it altogether after 2021?

Sergey Lavrov: With regard to the INF Treaty, as I said, commenting now on this situation and any hypothetical consequences is not a very productive thing to do. To reiterate, this decision has not yet been made. We were just told about the intention to do this. I mentioned a rather contradictory reaction in the United States and, of course, you heard about the reaction in the leading European capitals, such as Berlin and Paris. There were only hasty and eager statements in support of the allegedly adopted US decision on withdrawal from the INF Treaty from the NATO spokesperson. She was in a hurry to emphasise loyalty to any decision that might be made in Washington. The UK Secretary of State for Defence also said something along the lines of support for any and all actions by the United States, but he is also known for an approach that lines up strictly with what is said from across the ocean.

The other capitals express alarm. Of course, as we have said more than once (President Putin recently confirmed this at the Valdai forum in Sochi), any action in this area will be met with counteraction, because strategic stability can only be achieved on the basis of parity. Such parity will be maintained in all circumstances. We are responsible for global stability. We hope the United States will not give up its share of responsibility, either.

I presume that such an approach should also be applied to a START-3 Treaty. We have repeatedly, and President Putin has said this, expressed our willingness, as envisaged by the treaty itself, to renew it after 2021 when the first 10 year term expires, but of course, we will be ready to talk with the United States on what needs to be done.

There are matters both with regard to the INF Treaty and the START-3 Treaty that must be discussed non-publicly in accordance with the procedures laid down in each of these treaties, including as part of established special expert intergovernmental mechanisms to discuss any issues that may arise.

We formulated our approaches with regard to the INF Treaty and START-3 quite a long time ago and did so specifically. We are interested in the United States providing us with their responses. In turn, we will respond to the questions that the United States has for us. To do so, we need to use the mechanisms that exist in accordance with these documents.


Colleagues, in closing, I have a pleasant mission. As was mentioned earlier, the Minister has worked for almost 15 years as an ambassador here. He made a truly invaluable contribution to developing our cooperation across all areas, and was always prepared to do his best to overcome challenges and to develop interaction projects that were beneficial for our citizens, peoples and countries. We decided to award the Minister with the Russian Foreign Ministry's badge of distinction For Contribution to International Cooperation.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks at Russia-Africa Public Forum, Moscow, October 22, 2018 (Выступление Министра иностранных дел России С.В. Лаврова на открытии Общественного форума «Россия – Африка», г. Москва, 22 октября 2018 года) / Russia, October, 2018
Keywords: mofa, top_level_meeting, sergey_lavrov, quotation

Colleagues, friends,

All of us agree that it will be impossible to elevate the entire range of relations between Russia and African countries to an entirely new level unless the public at large takes the most energetic part in these efforts. There is demand for more intensive cultural, humanitarian, academic and youth exchanges, as well as general contacts between people. It is hard to overestimate the role of this in strengthening friendship, trust and mutual understanding between nations. For example, many Africans have in fact discovered modern Russia for themselves while taking part in the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi in the autumn of 2017 or while visiting Russia as fans during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

I consider it absolutely necessary to maximise the potential of public, cultural and business diplomacy in the interests of strengthening and expanding the traditionally friendly and mutually beneficial ties between Russia and African states.

I would like to sincerely thank the organisers of the current Forum, including the African Business Initiative Union and the World Association of Foreign Alumni of Russian Universities. Your efforts have made it possible to bring together representatives of political, public, academic, business and youth circles of African states in Moscow. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss topical issues of Russian-African cooperation and to outline specific and forward-looking aspects of cooperation and joint work.

Russia's ties with the African continent go back centuries. In the 15th-17th centuries, Russian merchants and pilgrims visited Egypt. In the 19th century, famous Russian traveler and diplomat Yegor Kovalevsky conducted geographical and geological research in East Africa. By the way, he was one of the first to pinpoint the correct geographic location of the source of the White Nile. Prominent Russian researcher Vasily Yunker made a significant contribution to the study of Central Africa. He was the first to draw a detailed map of the region. Outstanding Russian poet Nikolay Gumilyov also contributed greatly to African studies. Nikolay Leontiev left a deep imprint on the memory of the people of Ethiopia. During the first Italian-Abyssinian war, he led a detachment of Russian volunteers in the anti-colonial fight and contributed to the modernisation of the Ethiopian army. Prominent Russian diplomat Pyotr Vlasov stood at the beginning of official relations between Russia and Ethiopia in 1898.

Our country did not stain itself with the crimes of colonialism. On the contrary, it helped, in every possible way, the peoples of the continent attain their freedom and sovereignty by providing comprehensive assistance and support in developing statehood and strengthening the economic independence of the African states. We are proud of our common achievements in political, economic, cultural and other spheres.

Africa is an important partner for Russia, a participant in the emerging and sustainable polycentric architecture of the world order. Our relations with the states of that continent are valuable in their own right and should not be subject to the fluctuations on the international arena. We are aware that our African friends hold the same views. Relying on the accumulated experience of productive cooperation, Russian diplomats seek to pursue a consistent policy for deepening the range of Russia-Africa relations. We are doing this based solely on the principles of international law, equality, and consideration and respect for the interests of each other. We have managed to achieve significant results.

We maintain regular contact at the highest and higher levels. Relations between our parliaments, as well as the exchanges between our respective ministries and departments, including, of course, foreign ministries, are expanding. Trade and economic exchanges are improving, although not at the pace we would like to see. Projects in the military-technical sector, as well as programmes in healthcare, education, and culture are underway. I am convinced there will be more efforts in these and other areas.

I am pleased to note that the positions of Russia and the overwhelming majority of African countries on the key issues of our time are similar or very close. Both we and our African friends are consistent supporters of strengthening democratic and just principles of international life, respect for the cultural and civilisational diversity of the modern world, and the right of the people to determine the models and approaches to socioeconomic development.

Moscow is interested in close foreign policy coordination with its African partners in the UN and other multilateral venues. In particular, we support further deepening of the BRICS-Africa dialogue. We attach great importance to strengthening peace and security in the region which is the most important component in ensuring the sustainable and dynamic development of the African states and maintaining global and regional stability.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia will continue to contribute to the development of a strategy for practical peacekeeping operations on the continent, while invariably adhering to the African solutions to African problems principle formulated by the Africans themselves.

In closing, I would like to say that your forum will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the overall efforts to achieve the comprehensive strengthening of ties.

I am pleased to note that two more major events - the Russia-Africa Parliamentary Forum, as well as the Russia-Africa Business Forum - will soon take place. I am confident that these events will set the stage for a comprehensive Russia-Africa summit in the foreseeable future, to which we will contribute in every way. Most importantly, we need to provide it with specific mutually beneficial content.

Thank you and I wish you every success in your work.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the 190th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Brazil, Moscow, October 26, 2018 (Выступление Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова на открытии выставки, посвященной 190-летию установления дипломатических отношений между Россией и Бразилией, Москва, 26 октября 2018 года) / Russia, October, 2018
Keywords: mofa, top_level_meeting, sergey_lavrov

Mr Ambassador, Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, friends,

We have gathered today on a remarkable occasion which is the opening of an exhibition of archives from the foreign ministries of Russia and Brazil timed to coincide with the 190th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries.

On October 3, 1828, Emperor Nicholas I signed a decree appointing well-known Russian diplomat and researcher Frants Borel the first Russian envoy to Brazil. It is symbolic that Brazil was the first Latin American country with which the Russian government established diplomatic relations. In fact, Brazil served as a "window" for Russia to this unique region. We have come a long way since then and accumulated considerable experience of constructive interaction. Copies of the agreement on establishing diplomatic relations are on display at the exhibition.

Our relations continue to expand incrementally. A regular and trust-based political dialogue is maintained at all levels, including the highest. Bilateral sectoral cooperation mechanisms are functioning effectively, and trade and economic exchanges are expanding. Importantly, we are not resting on our laurels, but are instead seeking new and more advanced forms of cooperation, including in the investment, research and technology sectors.

Our interaction in international affairs is based on coinciding or similar approaches to the key challenges of our time. We closely coordinate our moves at key multilateral venues, primarily, the UN, the G20 and, of course, BRICS, which is an association of a new type, and is an important element in the emerging polycentric architecture of world order which is more just and democratic.

The unifying feeling of friendship and affinity between our peoples, our genuine reciprocal interest in the history, culture and traditions of the other are enduring factors that underlie further improvement in bilateral ties. By the way, there is the charter of the Association of Friends of the Soviet Union among the documents on display, which was created at a time when official contacts between Moscow and Rio de Janeiro were interrupted.

An unparalleled cultural project – the one and only Bolshoi Theatre ballet school outside Russia in the city of Joinville – is being successfully implemented in Brazil. Its graduates perform on the Bolshoi Theatre stage in the Russian capital and collaborate with other renowned international ballet troupes. We welcome and support young Brazilians' interest in studying at the Russian universities. A love for the number one sport – football – also brings our nations closer. This summer, numerous fans from Brazil visited our country for the World Cup and were able to see for themselves what modern Russia is like.

Colleagues, friends,

According to a Brazilian saying, a friend is not the one who says "go forward," but the one who says "let's go forward together." We see mutual interest in moving forward along the path of deepening Russian-Brazilian strategic partnership.

I note with satisfaction that, in addition to representatives of the diplomatic corps, science, culture, media and the general public, we have here a group of diplomats from Latin American and the Caribbean States who are in Moscow to attend professional development courses at our ministry's Diplomatic Academy.

Now, please, go ahead and enjoy the exhibition. I'm convinced that it will be of great interest to the Ministry's employees and numerous other visitors.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Tito Mboweni warns that SA may lose out at Brics bank (Тито Мбоуени предупреждает, что ЮАР может проиграть с банком БРИКС) / South Africa, October, 2018
Keywords: ndb, expert_opinion, economic_challenges
South Africa

The finance minister also cautioned that the International Monetary Fund is lurking if debt grows

SA must get its act together in planning a pipeline of infrastructure projects or it will lose out on funding from the New Development Bank, finance minister Tito Mboweni said on Thursday.

Mboweni was meeting with parliament's finance committee to answer questions on the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) he tabled on Wednesday.

He was a director of the New Development Bank, formally the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) development bank, for the first two years after its inception, but said he was "fired" in 2017.

"We are putting $4bn into the Brics bank, but what are we getting it for it? Everyone is taking loans, but our take-up leaves a lot to be desired," he said.

Mboweni said that when he had served on the board of the bank, SA's first loan application made by Eskom for grid-strengthening was derailed by allegations of corruption as the bank's code of ethics did not allow it to invest in companies linked to corruption.

A second application for the widening of the Durban harbour was also rejected because it was over-priced by $500m.

Neither of the loan agreements has yet been signed, but Africa regional head Monale Ratsoma said in an interview earlier this month that the main obstacles to both had been cleared and it was now a matter of finalising the details.

Mboweni also warned MPs that, without intervention, SA was heading for a debt to GDP ratio of 60%, which would result in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposed austerity plan.

"When that happens you are close to having a discussion with the IMF and they are coming to take over your finances. When you get into a debt trap that is what is going to happen."
Moody's says China's banks have the strongest credit profile among BRICs (Moody's: банки Китая имеют самый сильный кредитный профиль среди БРИКС) / Malaysia, October, 2018
Keywords: rating, economic_challenges

LONDON: Among the emerging market BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - China's banks have the strongest credit profile, said Moody's Investors Service in a report published on Monday.

Russian banks have the weakest profile in the group, it said in its report on the outlook for the banks in these countries.

Moody's said China's banks have the highest asset-weighted average Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of baa2 mainly thanks to the dominance of large state-owned banks.

By contrast, Russian banks have the lowest Adjusted BCA of ba3, due to their relative weakness in asset quality, liquidity and profitability.

"The operating environment for banks in BRICS nations is generally favourable," said Yaroslav Sovgyra, associate managing director at Moody's.

"While China's expansion will slow moderately, the nation's banks have the lowest ratio of problem loans among the group."

In the group, China's banks have the highest quality of assets. The aggregate ratio of non-performing loans to total loans at the nation's banks is 1.5%. By contrast, the ratio for Russian banks is 11.8%.

In terms of capitalisation, South African banks are strongest, with an average tangible common equity amounted to 12.4% of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) at the end of 2017. At the other end of the spectrum, Indian banks have the weakest capitalisation with a common equity ratio of 8.7%.

South African banks, together with Brazilian banks, are also the most profitable. While Brazilian banks' profitability will be supported by loan growth, fee income and lower credit costs, a slowdown in revenue growth and a rigid cost base will weigh on South African banks' bottom lines.

In profitability, Indian banks are distinctively weaker than others. Their returns will remain under pressure for the rest of the current fiscal year as provisions for credit losses at dominant state-owned banks remain large.

Chinese banks' profitability will remain stable as an improvement in net interest margins offsets pressure on fee income and high credit costs.
Indian banks' profitability weaker than Brics peers (Рентабельность банков Индии слабее, чем среди других стран БРИКС) / India, October, 2018
Keywords: rating, economic_challenges

New Delhi: Moody's Investors Service on Monday said the profitability of Indian banks is "distinctively weak" compared to those in BRICS nations, but it will improve from next fiscal as asset quality stabilises. On capitalisation, Moody's said it is the "weakest" for Indian banks with a tangible common equity ratio of 8.7 per cent at the end of 2017. "System wide asset quality in India is weak due to stressed state banks, which dominate the sector.

Government capital infusions will boost weak public sector banks' capital ratios," it said."The system as a whole is unprofitable due to high credit costs at dominant state-owned (Indian) banks," Moody's said, adding the profitability is "distinctively weak" for Indian banks than others in the five-nation BRICS bloc. By contrast, Brazilian and South African banks have the highest return on assets (ROA).Indian lenders had the second highest non-performing loan at 2017-end, followed by banks in Brazil.

, South Africa and China. Russian banks had the highest ratio of 11.8 per cent.Brazilian banks had an NPL ratio of 3.5 per cent at the end of 2017, compared with 2.9 per cent for South African banks and the lowest of 1.5 per cent for Chinese banks. "Indian banks also had a double-digit (NPL) ratio at the end of 2017. However, the recognition of stressed assets is largely complete and new non-performing loan (NPL) formation will moderate in the next 12-18 months, helped by on-going deleveraging by corporates and stable macro-economic conditions. Furthermore, reported NPL ratios will gradually decline as a result of stressed asset resolution," Moody's said.

Emerging Markets: Brace For Impact Sooner Than You Think (Развивающиеся рынки: приготовьтесь к удару раньше, чем вы думаете) / India, October, 2018
Keywords: expert_opinion, emerging_market
Author: Karan Mehrishi

As if the global trade tensions, commodity volatility and US rate normalization was not enough, emerging markets are staring at a potentially destabilizing reckoning.

While inflation in BRICS countries (proxy for emerging markets) is declining or stable - that of developed markets is inching up faster than expected. The evolving situation will disrupt the ongoing fiscal consolidations across the emerging market space and batter its asset classes if experts remain less vigilant. The countries, which were running high inflationary pressures in the recent past are experiencing a period of relative stability despite increasing crude prices. However, developed market interest rate normalization is occurring faster, given rising inflationary trends – creating volatility.

One look at the numbers explains the situation profoundly. From a peak of 9.25% recorded in 2015, emerging market interest rates declined to 6.25% on average by calendar year 2018. Developed market interest rates however increased to 0.75% during the same time, compared to just 0.25% earlier. This is reducing interest rate differential between 'safe haven' developed markets and 'risky' emerging markets, theoretically dangerous at a time when global capital begins its westward migration.

With these events unraveling in the background, the emerging markets are stuck between a hard place and a rock. This is because they have to tread a very thin line between domestic macroeconomic stability and catching up with rising developed markets interest rates, which have implication not only on their exchange rates but also their financial asset valuations.

Historically, the emerging markets dream run is associated with the continued inflows of the so called hot money during and since the Quantitative Easing. These countries are therefore regarded as high return havens, given their high economic growth and comparatively higher interest rates. This status however also makes them vulnerable to sudden changes in global liquidity, triggered by the world's prominent central banks, primarily the Federal Reserve.

Since none of the emerging markets have the highest rated benchmark sovereign debt - their asset classes are deemed riskier compared to those of the so called developed markets. Therefore, as soon as interest rates go up in the US, EU or Japan, invested money in emerging markets financial assets loses its sense of permanence and panic ensues. The term 'Taper Tantrums' is often used to describe this very situation and the recent emerging market rout is proof of its lingering existence.

How It All Started

The purpose of establishing the dollar swap lines among six structurally important central banks, under Section 14 of the Federal Reserve Act was to stabilize the global market. The idea was to establish a global liquidity framework that would allow the world's key central banks to maintain sanity during volatile times. Post the 2008 financial crises, the arrangement allowed the identified member central banks (namely, the ECB, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada, Bank of England and the Swiss Central Bank) to borrow dollar from the US Fed and stabilize not only their own economies but dependent regional economies as well.

What actually happened however ignored the so called dependent economies and created a sanctuary of the big boys. While these dependent economies, popularly known as EMs were left to the vagaries of an appreciating dollar, the protected nations ensconced themselves from the liquidity crises considerably. Moreover, countries in the protected group are developed economies (DM) and maintain mature supply chains, keeping price pressures at bay. Apart from Japan and Switzerland, most countries in the grouping even had access to significant domestic energy production, which was acting as a continuing stabilizer. This created a comfortable position for most developed markets with inflation remaining lower than the 2% target for the most part. The emerging markets on the other hand, even though had access to energy reserves themselves, were dealing with inefficient supply chains and supply-demand mismatches (accentuated by their depreciating currencies), creating inflationary pressures until January 2016, when the Iranian sanctions were lifted.

The event was one of the most significant macroeconomic events for these emerging markets, given the consequent impact on their current account and fiscal deficit. As anticipated, tampering with Iran oil supplies had far reaching ramifications on oil importing emerging markets, which reckoned the commodity key to their stability and fuel to their economic expansion. With sanctions lifted, January 2016 onwards, oil prices began to ease, falling below the $50 per barrel mark.

Resultantly, most emerging markets started to recover and inflationary pressures started to ease. Explaining the implications, the average inflation in BRICS countries came down to 5.7% in calendar year 2016 from nearly 7.3% the previous year. This stabilized further to 3.7% in calendar year 2017 as supplies replenished the system. However, as the fear of sanctions returned, the futures market factored in the risks and inflationary pressures returned. Nevertheless, emerging markets have not been impacted as much and inflation remained under control, rising by just 30 bps in calendar year 2018, as on September. This is because food prices remain soft and so does prices of daily use consumer items, in affect neutralizing the oil price spurt.

Developed markets on the other hand are operating on a different level; macroeconomic recovery has caused inflation to breach the benchmark 2% level. While this number is still not characterized by inflationary pressures, it warranted increase in interest rates among these rich countries. Again, the numbers do the talking here as well. Inflation in developed markets increased to 0.5% on average in calendar year 2016 from just 0.2% the previous year. This further increased to 1.7% in calendar year 2017, breaching 2% in calendar year 2018, as on September.

What can you do about it?

This is potentially a destabilizing situation, especially for the hapless emerging markets as developed markets interest rates have started or anticipated to rise further. The first signals are emanating from the American Federal Reserve, as stability ensues in the world's largest economy. The widespread effects of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on global interest rates are already visible. While the Bank of England had already increased rates on the lines of its American counterpart, the European Central Bank hints (ECB) of doing the same in the near term as it puts a stop to its asset buying program. An event, which will expedite emerging markets capital outflows and threatens their asset classes.

Therefore, it's time for a reality check for those considering the robustness of the emerging markets growth story. As normalization in the rich world will not stop and frankly wouldn't provision for risks to emerging markets, the invigorating flows of global capital will be suddenly emaciated. Given these insecurities looming in the background, it's time to sit back and introspect. Apart from that, there is very little anyone can do to contain the situation at this time, given the state of current affairs.

I am an the Lead Economist at Acuité Ratings & Research. As an economist and financial journalist, I have over a decade of experience in covering emerging markets. In the year 2014, I authored the business book, "The India Collective-What India is all about," published b...

Karan Mehrishi is the Lead Economist at Acuité Ratings and Research. The views expressed here are those of the author.
Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS

PM Medvedev calls Asian countries' humanitarian projects "bridges to the future" (Премьер-министр Медведев назвал гуманитарные проекты азиатских стран «мостами в будущее») / Russia, October, 2018
Keywords: quotation, social_issues

MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister and Chairman of the United Russia political party Dmitry Medvedev has said he anticipates a growth in the number of foreign students in Russia's colleges and universities.

Speaking at a session of the General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), he called for cultivating ties between young people in different countries.

"It is important that the countries of Asia and the Middle East are the territory of the youth. The majority of the population living in our countries are young people, and joint projects in the humanitarian sphere are bridges to the future," the prime minister noted.

According to Medvedev, "interest in Russia in Asian countries is growing all the time, with many young people from those counties giving preference to the Russian education system." "Last year, over 18,000 people from various countries graduated from our universities. We assume that these figures will be growing," he pointed out.

The prime minister stressed that Moscow was "interested in popularizing the Russian language." "I believe that we should learn each other's languages," he said.

"There are youth formats at such international organizations as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS, which hold various festivals and contests. The Student Spring third international festival bringing together representatives of the SCO member-states will be held in Stavropol [southern Russia] next June," the prime minister said. He invited delegates of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties to attend the event.
A Challenge to BRICS? Brazil Towards a Military Dictatorship (Вызов БРИКС? Бразилия движется к военной диктатуре) / Brazil, October, 2018
Keywords: expert_opinion, political_issues
Author: Peter Koenig

One week before the second round of voting in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, the extreme right-wing candidate from the Social Liberal Party (PSL), against Fernando Haddad from the Worker's Party (PT), Lula's Party, for Brazil's Presidential run-off elections – Bolsonaro leads to polls by double digits, about 58 against 42.

And the gap is growing, despite the fact that as recent as end of September 2018, Brazilian women campaigned massively against Bolsonaro with the hashtag #EleNao (Not Him). His misogynist record left him with only 27% of women supporters only a couple of weeks ago.

Massive cheat-and lie-propaganda increased that ratio by now to 42%. – Does anybody seriously believe that Bolsonaro has changed his racist character and his women-degrading attitude? – It is mind-boggling how people fall for propaganda lies and manipulations.

The usual propaganda of deceit from the right has infiltrated every election in the last 5-10 years, starting with the sophisticated internet and propaganda fraud invented by Oxford Analytica (OA), which is largely believed having brought Trump to the White House, Macri to the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Macron to the Elysée in Paris and Mme.

Merkel for the fourth time to the German Federal Chanceller's office in Berlin – among others. OA is also said having helped the BREXIT supporters.

In the meantime, OA's dirty election manipulation methods have been mainstreamed to the mainstream media – with lots and lots of corporate and banking money.

In fact, the frontrunner Bolsonaro is currently being accused by his opponent Fernando Haddad, of a 'fraud and fake news' campaign, and that just a few days before the run-off. The charge is that Bolsonaro is running a multi-million-dollar defamation campaign against Haddad, via whatsapp and other social media.

This means sending out literally millions of tailor-made messages to potential groups of voters. That's the way of the of OA's algorithms.

According to RT, Haddad told a media conference in Rio, "We have identified a campaign of slander and defamation via WhatsApp and, given the mass of messages, we know that there was dirty money behind it, because it wasn't registered with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal."

This, after the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper uncovered a suspected election fraud. The publication alleges that a group of entrepreneurs are backing a multi-million-dollar slander campaign that would use several popular social media apps to reach out to Haddad supporters and smear his name with 'fake news'.

We can only hope that the discovery of this slander and fraud may not be too late to stop Bolsonaro's end run – and to inform voters.

Leading to an indictment of Bolsonaro is hardly a realistic chance, as he is supported by the current corrupt and fascist-type Temer Government and all the high judges who have impeded Lula's legitimate request for running for Presidency. Only voters' consciousness may make a difference.

Imagine what happens, if Bolsonaro is elected? – It is hardly fathomable. Bolsonaro has already declared that if elected he will render full power to the military. "When I'm elected, those who will command are the (military) captains". His word – in Portuguese.

He is a fascist no doubt. There were other fascist military governments in Brazil, like Getúlio Vargas, who reigned from 1930-1945 as a military dictator mostly by decree.

He abrogated the 1891 Constitution and introduced a new one in 1934 which was overturned, when finally, in 1945 Vargas was deposed and a new democratization process began with a new Constitution being introduced in 1946.

But that was not all for fascism and military dictatorship in Brazil. There was more to come in the decades preceding Lula.

Another brutal military government came to power in 1964 by a coup d'état by the Armed Forces. It ruled Brazil from 1 April 1964 to 15 March 1985 by President Joao Goulart. It came to an end when José Sarney took office on 15 March 1985.

What's important to know is that both the Vargas coup of 1930, as well as the 1964 military coup were supported by the US Embassy in Brazil and the State Department in Washington.

Mr. Bolsonaro has already today – after the first election round – the full support of Washington. He was immediately congratulated by the Trump government after the October 7 election result were known.

If no miracle happens within the coming week, Brazil may be slanted to go back some 90 years, into a fierce military dictatorship.

Worse, today with the neoliberal doctrine being the overarching last word on economic policies, also for the military.

We are looking at full privatization of everything, of social services, water and health privatization has already begun; basic and profitable infrastructure, natural resources – and the IMF, World Bank, FED-Wall Street indebtment is already well under way and its future programmed, including a devastating austerity program which under unelected Mr. Corrupt Temer has already started.

In fact, economic disaster in terms of dependence on IMF, WB and the FED, may also loom under Haddad, who has already said he would work with the financial fiefdom of Washington.

As Luiz Inacio Lula did, when he was elected in 2002. He was the "golden example boy" for the IMF, following strictly the rules he was taught would bring progress to his country.

Later he realized what was actually going on within the financial sector of Brazil. He corrected some of the aberrations, but many stayed in place throughout Dilma Rousseff's Presidency.

Brazil could become South America's Greece – just multiplied by a factor of 100.

Just imagine the political and economic impact this would have on the Latin American region. Brazil is by far the largest economy of Latin America with a GDP of about 2.1 trillion US-dollars in 2017, a population of 210 million and a landmass 8.516 million km2 – and with the world's largest known fresh water reserves.

Trade without Brazil is unthinkable for Latin America and the world. Plus, a Bolsonaro regime would have full ideological and military support from Washington. In fact – Brazil may soon become the second South American NATO country after Colombia.

How would Venezuela feel, surrounded by two fierce militarized NATO countries? – Washington could just smile and watch, while Colombia and Brazil – and their NATO command – would do the rest. Or would they? –

Venezuela is on the best way to detach herself from the dollar hegemony and ally with the East. And that not only in trade, but also in huge investments from China and Russia. Invading Venezuela would not be easy, despite NATO from the east and from the west and with the empire just across the Caribbean.

Back to Bolsonaro. It will not be as easy to thrash this fascist military doctrine, of a President, hitherto hardly known to the outside world, down the average Brazilians' throats. Their vote and mind may be manipulated, but once they wake up – the election may be past, and the Temer policies implemented by factors of ten – social suffering will increase, à la Greece – people may simply not take it.

They will realize that this entire propaganda farce serves only a few Brazilian oligarchs, but mostly the transnational corporations and banks. – Will they take to the streets? Demand another government, fight for their rights?

Brazilians are not (yet) the kind to double up and shut up, as the Greeks had to do, weakened by a Government of treason, by an absence of medical and other social services and by a low-low moral that is reflected in an exponentially rising suicide rate, according to the British Lancet. Brazilians may have learned a lesson.

Brazil and the BRICS

Already under Temer, Brazil's role in the BRICS was merely anecdotal. It was clear that politically Brazil would and could no longer adhere to the principles that was behind the BRICS association, namely economic independence from the debt masters IMF, World Bank and FED. – What with Bolsonaro? –

It would behoove the BRICS expulsing Brazil; sending Brazilians a warning now, before the run-off elections, that no fascist government could be admitted within the ranks of the BRICS.

Fascism is the absolute antidote to the new alliances of SCO, BRICS, EEU, and newly the Caspian Sea Alliance (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan).

But – and this is highly important – let's not let it get out of hand. Let not Bolsonaro being elected this coming Sunday. Make the right choice now. Regardless what you are being manipulated to believe. Stand up Brazilians, Women and men – say #NAO Bolsonaro!

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organizationaround the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Cabinet approves MoU amongst BRICS nations regarding cooperation in the social and labour sphere (Кабинет министров одобрил Меморандум о взаимопонимании между странами БРИКС о сотрудничестве в социальной и трудовой сфере) / India, October, 2018
Keywords: concluded_agreements, off_docs, social_issues

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa, regarding Cooperation in the Social and Labour Sphere.The MoU was signed on 3rd August, 2018 during BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers (LEM) Meeting.


In the MoU, the parties including India have agreed to cooperate and hold mutual events in the prominent areas viz. labour legislation and enforcement, protection of workers' rights with focus on vulnerable groups, Employment and labour market policies, Professional education, skills and training and Social protection. The member countries may utilize the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes and BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework for cooperation on Social Security and other labour issues. The Memorandum is not an International Treaty and does not create rights and obligations for the parties governed by international law.

Major Impact:

The MoU provides a mechanism for cooperation, collaboration and maximum synergy amongst BRICS member countries with the common objective of inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the newindustrial revolution. This would facilitate member countries to share knowledge and also implement joint programmes on .matter of Labour and Employment, Social Security and Social dialogue. This would also ensure networking of international Training Centre of International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the BRICS Network of Labour Institutes which includes V.V. Giri National Labour Institute of India. This network would specifically focus on the theme of youth employment and research on new forms of employment. This network will also explore new learning technologies, including virtual network to deepen cooperation, exchange of information and capacity building. The BRICS Social Security cooperation framework will deepen social security cooperation among BRICS nations and would facilitate cooperation for improvement of social security systems and social security agreements among member countries.


The 2ndmeeting of BRICS Employment Working Group was held on 30th July to 1st August 2018 and BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial meeting took place from 2nd August, 2018 to 3rd August, 2018 under the South African Presidency in Durban, South Africa. The Draft MoU between BRICS countries regarding cooperation in the social and labour sphere was discussed, deliberated and finalized in the BRICS EWG meeting held between 30th July and 1st August 2018 and was signed by respective labour Ministers of BRICS member countries on 3rd August 2018. The provisions of the MoU clearly indicate its objectives as cooperation in thenature of successful sharing of policy measures; exchange programmes; consultations; expert meetings and conference etc. in the social and labour sphere.
Brazil's crisis and the bonfire of the BRICS (Кризис в Бразилии и огнище БРИКС) / United States, October, 2018
Keywords: expert_opinion, political_issues
United States
Author: Doug Saunders

By the end of Sunday, Brazil's 150 million voters may end up electing a threatening military-backed strongman – a decision that will put them in company with the voters of the Philippines, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and other once-poor countries.

If this weekend's second-round vote gives the presidency to Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain and far-right leader with a penchant for violent threats against women and minorities, and a strict law-and-order, protectionist agenda, it will end 24 years of forward-looking governments whose open economies and social policies did much to reduce Brazil's crippling poverty and inequality. Many Brazilians, however, ended up feeling far from comfortable and secure.

They are part of a worldwide pattern. Across the so-called middle-income countries, something is making people shift their priorities from progress to fear.

Brazil was supposed to be in a much better place in 2018. So were those other countries – Russia, India, China and South Africa – whose names gave us the acronym BRICS. Seventeen years ago, the British banker Jim O'Neill coined that term to describe the countries many believed were poised to leap from poverty into the sort of living standards more familiar in Europe and North America.

The list could have included the likes of Turkey, the Philippines, Chile, Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia, all of which experienced unprecedented progress in the 1990s and 2000s, just about ending absolute poverty and population growth. Billions of lives were improved.

As recently as 2012, Mr. O'Neill was saying that the BRICS countries were exceeding his wildest expectations, pretty much dodging the post-2008 economic crisis and growing at a pace that left Western countries in the dust.

But even then, there were signs that something was not quite right. "The main cause of coming conflicts will not be clashes between civilizations," the Venezuelan political analyst Moises Naim wrote in 2011, "but the anger generated by the unfulfilled expectations of a middle class, which is declining in rich countries and booming in poor countries."

That proved prescient. Each of these no-longer-poor countries is today facing a political crisis and, in each case, you can see its roots in the thwarted expectations of a precarious and fearful nascent middle class.

In all of these countries, headline figures about the rise out of poverty and the newly empowered consumer class did not fully capture what was going on.

Brazil, Russia and South Africa, all of them heavily dependent on natural-resource exports and thus upon foreign-exchange earnings, experienced frightening boom-and-bust cycles and the sort of political-corruption crises that result from resource dependency. India, more dependent on its internal economy, has seen stunning growth of its wealthy classes but its governments haven't done much to distribute that wealth in ways that create incentives and pathways out of poverty, leaving it, as the Economist wrote earlier this year, with "a hole where its middle class should be." China's urban middle class exploded in size, then hit a wall – it is so expensive to get a house, a decent university education or health care that consumer debt has spiralled out of control (as it has in most BRICS countries); those frustrations, and the resulting failure to develop the kind of robust consumer economy and stock market the Communist Party had hoped for, are a big factor behind Xi Jinping's political restrictions and massive infrastructure spending.

To understand what's at root, a team of World Bank economists recently took a detailed look beneath the hood of these countries' middle-class lives. Their huge study plumbs dozens of countries' figures for economic mobility – that is, the odds that you'll be better off than your parents were – and finds troubling results.

In terms of your ability to have more education than your parents – the most important indicator of middle-class stability – the researchers find that in middle-income countries, "progress has stalled since the 1960s, at a relatively low level of educational attainment compared to high-income economies." This is locking new entrants out of the middle class: "The opportunity for individuals born in poorer households to climb the ladder is narrowing in many economies in which average living standards are still low compared with high-income economies."

Here's one timely illustration of the problem: In my own work in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, I found that the state had invested heavily in really impressive school buildings, but that the teachers and their curriculum remained pitiful and backward. The poor families who'd made it into the lower ranks of the middle class were those who had somehow saved or borrowed enough to pay for private-school tuition.

This is a pattern familiar across many middle-income countries, where resulting household-debt levels have generally reached crisis proportions and the gateway to the middle class has become far harder to open. Frustrated and disillusioned, these families vote for fear rather than progress.

World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
#SAFW BRICS Fashion Forum to open new markets (#SAFW Форум моды БРИКС откроет новые рынки) / South Africa, October, 2018
Keywords: economic_challenges
South Africa

The first BRICS designer collections showcase took place at SA Fashion Week over two days.

Creatives from China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa shone on the runway with their designs.

South Africa was represented by Palesa Mokubung with her label Matsho.

The label was launched in 2004 and focuses on using African inspired prints and cultures into modern and edgy designs.This collection was no different as models walked down the runway in geometric cuts and black tulle. Mokubung's runway collection walk was dedicated to motswako rapper HHP who died on Wednesday.

Russia was represented by Irina Stetsco's label Irina Stetsko. Her autumn/winter collection was filled with bright colours. A well known designer in her home country, Stetsco's limited collections are popular among women with an active lifestyle.

THE collection from Brazil's Helen Rödel The first BRICS Fashion Business Forum taking place today will address the intention to build business-to-business collaborations amongst fashion and textile designers, agents, distributors and representatives from across the industry as a means to access various markets.

BLACK Business Council chair Bridgette Radebe (looking towards the picture) attended the BRICS designer collections showcase at the 21st edition of SA Fashion Week in Sandton. Photo Simphiwe Mbokazi/Africa News Agency/ANA Chairperson of Black Business Council and President South African Mining Development Association, Bridgette Radebe said when BRICS was created it was focused towards arts, culture, economics, business with a political action integration.

"The BRICS countries are all emerging economies and are so uniquely family. We are now trying to foster the economic liberation of our economies and our countries beyond the political emancipation of ourselves in SA, so this interaction goes beyond the economy, beyond politics and into the culture of what to wear and how to interact from a socio-cultural perspective."

THE collection from India's Ka-Sha label Radebe said she hoped this fashion exchange would be the first of many for the countries.

"Not only does it help expose our talent to the other countries but vice versa so we can integrate and share from each other. We can have our designers go to any of these countries and produce talent and clothes. Very often we import but now is the time to export."

China's Xiong Ying presented her Heaven Gaia collection that was well received by the guests at the Sandton rooftop. Brazil's Helen Rödel and India's Ka-Sha also showcased their intricate and feminine designs on the runway.

THE collection from China's Xiong Ying- Heaven Gaia Thursday saw the second half of the BRICS designer collections on show.

Radebe said they hoped out of the forum came the opening of markets.

"We want to create jobs and opportunities beyond South Africa. We want to be able to have our designers be able to sell whatever products they manufacture and sell them for export so we can get foreign direct investment.

THE collection from Russia's Irina Stetsco's label Irina Stetsko "Here at home you find people who sew and are the security for a whole household. I hope, through this forum, we will be able to open stores in other countries,and take our brands abroad."

Tonight at SAFW will see showcases from Inga Atelier, ERRE, Keys Fashion and RK Menswear among others.

The last day of the fashion week extravaganza will feature Esnoko, Kumkani Bespoke and Bakusasa Collections.
BRICS institutions join hands to promote intercultural understanding (Институты БРИКС объединяются, чтобы способствовать межкультурному взаимопониманию) / China, October, 2018
Keywords: Museum_Alliance, cooperation, social_issues

Museums from the five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have set up a new platform to enhance cultural understanding among their peoples. The five-year deal was signed at a meeting of these institutions in Beijing on Thursday.

Cultural institutions from the BRICS grouping have gathered for their Alliance of Museum Conference at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Their agenda ranges from funding for exhibitions and conferences to the prevention of relics trafficking.

Director of the host museum Wang Chunfa is the first rotating president of the alliance.

The first BRICS Alliance of Museum Conference held in the National Museum of China in Beijing, October 25, 2018. /Photo via National Museum of China

"I believe that the alliance conference will be a perfect platform to demonstrate our cultural achievements as well as different human civilizations to the world. It will also allow more cultural exchanges and academic research to take place," said Wang.

Hours of discussions finally led to a consensus on a five-year cooperation structure, which includes joint efforts to promote touring exhibitions, academic exchanges and training, as well as funding to support regular communication among the BRICS countries.

"Exhibition always works in which it demands opinions from scientific staff and direct staff. For example, we'll have a very frank practice with our Chinese partners in the next year. I think this platform established by the members of BRICS countries is a new step for museum cooperation," said Alexey Levykin, director of the State Historical Museum of Russia.

In a globalized world, intercultural understanding matters, as it's an important foundation for other human interactions. As an old Chinese saying goes, "The friendship between nations depends on their people's affinity." And that's what the BRICS museum alliance says it is trying to achieve.

Vladimir Mishelovin: No doubt, there is competition within a single format, and competition between formats has the right to exist (Владимир Мишеловин: Несомненно, конкуренция существует в одном формате, и конкуренция между форматами имеет право на существование) / Russia, October, 2018
Keywords: fas, expert_opinion, quotation

Head of FAS Fiscal Control Department described development of multi-format trade at Forum for the prospects of developing and cooperation of small business in the SCO and BRICS space in Ufa, Bashkiria

On 18 October 2018 Ufa hosted at the IV International Small Business Forum of SCO and BRICSon the "Prospects of developing and cooperation of small business in the SCO and BRICSspace", attended by representatives of the authorities and business of SCO and BRICS economies, Bashkiria Government, State Bashkiria Committee on Entrepreneurship and Tourism, and Bashkiria Chamber of Commerce and Industry with support of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, SCO Business Council and support form the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Russian Export Centre, MSP Corporation [the Federal Corporation for Developing Small and Medium Business], the Strategic Initiatives Agency, Sberbank, Russian Franchise Association, some NGOs.

The event was attended by delegations from 24 countries of the near and far abroad, and more than 40 regions of Russia, bringing together 1400.

Speaking at the Round Table on "Multi-format trade in SCO and BRICSspace", Head of FAS Fiscal Control Department Vladimir Mishelovin drew attention of the representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation that "in the current edition of the Competition Development Standards in the regions targets for developing market and fair trade worked, but they are not included in the new draft Competition Development so far..."

Vladimir Mishelovin also pointed out: "No doubt, there is competition within a single format, and competition between formats gas the right to exist. To this end, businessmen must answer some questions. Who is their consumer? What are the goods, their features and assortment? Price? Where to sell? How? Trading format? How to work with the buyers? Who is the supplier? Logistics? The answers to these and other questions will determine specific features of a particular outlet, its competitive advantages and the main competition tools".
Vladimir Mishelovin: It is Necessary to Create New Traditions to Transfer Consumers to the Goods Less Hazardous for the Health of the Population (Владимир Мишеловин: Необходимо создать новые традиции для перевода потребителей на товары, которые менее опасны для здоровья населения) / Russia, October, 2018
Keywords: fas, expert_opinion, quotation

Head of FAS Fiscal Control Department Vladimir Mishelovin took part in the expert session on "Small business and excise goods"

The event took place on 18 October 2018 at the IV Small Business Forum of SCO and BRICS in Ufa.

The Forum brought together a wide range of leaders of Russian regions, business communities, Russian and foreign experts. Vladimir Mishelovin discussed development of competitive environment under strict government regulation of excise goods.

He emphasized during the discussion: "Strengthening market regulation and increasing fiscal burden on business always has another side of the medal. У This is a risk of illegal fabrication, the scope of poor-quality goods in the market, which means foxy statistics on reduced production and consumption. In fact, everything is different: a dangerous experiment with consumer health, budgetary losses, distorted consumer culture, deterred innovations. It is necessary to create new tradition to transfer consumers to the goods less hazardous for the health of the population".

CSHS Representatives Attend Second BRICS India Nursing Forum, Deliberate Giving Nurses Active Role in Healthcare (Представители CSHS участвуют во 2-ом форуме БРИКС по сестринскому делу Индии, намеренно предоставляя медсестрам активную роль в здравоохранении) / India, October, 2018
Keywords: nurses_forum, cooperation, social_issues

Dr. Harmeet Kaur, Principal and Ms. Bandana Bisht, Vice Principal, Department of Nursing, CSHS, were invited to attend the second BRICS Nurses Forum. The Second BRICS Nurses forum, hosted by Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi, advocated the need to empower nurses and perceive them as equal partners in health care to meet the future needs of the growing healthcare sector and constantly increasing disease burden.

Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Mr. Ashwini Kumar Chaubey inaugurated the conference in New Delhi.

During the conference, the Union Minister informed, "The government is committed to develop the capacities of healthcare professionals especially nurses by establishing nursing schools in every large district or cluster of districts with about 20 to 30 lakh population, setting up centers of excellence for nursing in each state, improving the quality of nursing education, development of specialised nursing training courses, establishing cadres like nurse practitioners and public health nurses and rolling out Nurses Registration and Tracking System (NRTS)."

The conference aims at creating a platform for enabling networking of Institutes, learning from best practices in BRICS countries, creating avenues for Inter-professional collaborations and research in addition to deliberations on Nursing Education regulation practice in BRICS nations. Around 30 to 40 delegates from professional nursing associations from BRICS Countries i.e. Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa were part of Second BRICS Nurses forum along with 150 nursing professionals from India.

During the Forum, nursing leaders from BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – delved on various areas such as cross sharing of the nursing landscape, PESTLE analysis of nurses role in improving healthcare, SWOT analysis of nursing leadership followed by group work on improving inter-professional collaborations. The BRICS National Nurses Associations agreed to establish a long-term cooperative partnership through discussion and friendly consultation, coordinate position in International organisation and settings and lead to the international Nursing Development, strength academic exchanges on Nursing Science in various field and promote nursing and health services development.

BRICS member countries to focus on collaboration in astronomy (Страны-члены БРИКС сосредоточили свое внимание на сотрудничестве в области астрономии) / South Africa, October, 2018
Keywords: cooperation, space
South Africa

Astronomers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will meet in Durban from 29 to 30 October to discuss new areas of cooperation.

The BRICS Astronomy Workshop is held under the umbrella of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group, which is led by South Africa and comprises government officials and experts leading astronomy in the five BRICS countries.

The workshop is the latest of a series of events to be hosted by South Africa following its assumption of the BRICS Presidency in January. In the lead-up to the 10th BRICS Summit in July, the Department of Science and Technology hosted a BRICS forum for young scientists, followed by a meeting of BRICS ministers of science, technology and innovation.

The BRICS Astronomy Working Group seeks to promote cooperation in astronomy to support the development of astronomical sciences, human capital, new technologies and applications. The group's long-term goal is to develop a flagship project such as a joint BRICS instrumentation and telescope project, and the BRICS Astronomy Workshop provides a platform for the countries to work on project proposals.

At its previous meeting in India last year, the working group signed the 2017-2020 BRICS Astronomy Framework for Scientific Cooperation. The framework defines priority areas of cooperation, including big data, astrophysics, cosmology, and galaxy formation and evolution.

While all the BRICS countries have a tradition of excellence astronomy, with many scientists making important contributions to the field over the years, South Africa was a natural choice to lead the working group, having won the bid to co-host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

There is already strong cooperation in astronomy among BRICS countries. South Africa, China and India are members of the SKA Organisation. South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope, China's Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), and India's Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) have formed the basis for increasing collaboration among scientists and engineers from the three countries. And China, India and Russia have significant space and astronomy programmes that could benefit Brazil and South Africa.

Details of the event:

DATE: 29 to 30 October 2018

VENUE: Protea Hotel, Umhlanga

TIME: 09:00 – 17:00

For media attendance and enquiries, please contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 083 400 5750 or, or Thabang Setlhare at 072 659 9690 or
Made on