Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 2.2019
2019.01.07 — 2019.01.13
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Russia, India plan to continue coordinating efforts as part of BRICS (Россия и Индия планируют продолжить координацию усилий в рамках БРИКС) / Russia, January, 2019
Keywords: cooperation, quotation, political_issues

MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Russia and India plan to continue joint coordination of efforts as part of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other international formats, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and Indian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vijay Keshav Gokhale held consultations in New Delhi.

"At the meeting the sides noted an unprecedented character of Russian-Indian especially privileged strategic partnership and highly assessed positive dynamics of bilateral relations in various areas," the ministry said.

The sides emphasized their intention "to further coordinate efforts of the two countries on the international arena, including as part of BRICS and other multilateral formats."

The ministry also stressed that during the consultations the sides stated that Russia and India share their approaches to vital global and regional issues, including the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. They also discussed in detail the issues related to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and other issues of the current agenda in the sphere of arms control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The sides confirmed their joint "commitment to forming a polycentric world order based on fair and democratic principles and the rule of law," the statement said.

Ryabkov took part in the international conference Raisina Dialogue held in the Indian capital on January 8-10. On the sidelines of the conference, the Russian deputy foreign minister met with Secretary General of the EU diplomatic service Helga Schmid.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Could Sanctions Ground Russia's Next-Gen Passenger Jet? (Могут ли санкции препятствовать выпуску российского пассажирского самолета нового поколения?) / Russia, January, 2019
Keywords: economic_challenges

Russia has high hopes for the new MC-21 medium-range jetliner, expecting it to become more than a match for competitors like the Boeing-737 and Airbus A-320.

US sanctions against Aerocomposit and ORPE Technologiya, a pair of companies engaged in the development of the MC-21, have cut off access to US and Japanese components necessary for the production of the plane's revolutionary composite wing design, Russia's Kommersant business newspaper has reported, citing industry sources.

According to the newspaper, components for the plane's wings and vertical stabiliser are produced by Hexcel, a US-based company and Toray Industries, a Japanese manufacturer. Russia currently has a stock of composite materials to build six more planes, and proposals to get around the problem are being actively discussed, one of Kommersant's sources added.

"We will have to either take Chinese composite materials, which are two times thicker and heavier, or wait until Russian industry is able to create something similar," the source said.

According to Kommersant, the Yelabuzhskiy Composite Materials Factory in Tatarstan, Russia is theoretically capable of creating the needed materials, but doing so will require time and resources for R&D and machine tools, which could push back the plane's mass production to "at least 2025."

Another option is assistance from Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom, which has an import substitution program and a composite materials division called Umatex, which has already agreed to participate in the development and testing of materials for the MC-21. However, according to Kommersant, Russia does not yet have enterprises capable of producing these materials.

A third option, proposed by the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute and the Zhukovsky Institute, is to redesign the wing and vertical stabiliser using metal, which would reduce delays, but also threaten to "kill the composites, which were proposed as one of the main advantages of the airliner," one of Kommersant's sources said.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the office of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, whose portfolio includes defence and aerospace, stressed that there were no significant challenges to the MC-21 program caused by US sanctions.

"The Russian government is aware of everything happening with the MC-21 project. Currently there are no problems threatening the project," the deputy prime minister's office said.

Furthermore, Rostec, ORPE Technologiya's holding company, called the problem "far-fetched", adding that the Russian aviation industry faces no shortage of composite materials, sanctions notwithstanding.

"There are reliable foreign suppliers of composites; there are our own developments. The aircraft industry will not remain without the necessary materials in any case, and the abandonment of the use of composites in the MC-21 is not even under consideration," Rostec explained.

The MC-21, a new short and medium-haul jetliner built by Irkut Corporation, a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation, is a major component in a broader effort by Russian aircraft builders to revive the country's once mighty civilian aircraft industry.

Featuring a carrying capacity of between 130 and 220 passengers among its variants, the MC-21 has a range of 6,000 km. Developers, flight testers and industry officials have touted the aircraft's advantages over competitors, including superior fuel consumption stats, lower maintenance requirements, higher cruising speed, more comfortable cabin pressure, climate control and noise isolation, as well as a price tag millions of dollars below that of competitors.

These characteristics are provided for by the planes airframe, engine and avionics systems design, including a composite wing design and the use of the PD-14 turbofan engine power plant, produced by Perm-based aircraft engine builder Aviadvigatel.

The MC-21 made its maiden flight in May 2017, and has been engaged in extensive testing. Expecting to receive certification from Russian civil aviation authorities this year, producers are hoping to get European Aviation Safety Agency certification in 2020.

Over 200 MC-21s have already been ordered by Russian airlines, including flag carrier Aeroflot. Hungary, Bangladesh and Syria have expressed interest in the aircraft, with India reportedly looking to domestically produce the airliner on license. Along with the domestic market, Irkut hopes to sell the plane extensively abroad, particularly among the BRICS group.
Mega City Projects In The Brics Regions (Проекты мега-городов в странах БРИКС) / South Africa, January, 2019
Keywords: expert_opinion, economic_challenges, social_issues
South Africa
Author: Colin Mashikinya

The narrative on the progress of catalytic projects (Megatropolis) in the regional blocs of the BRICS is exciting and reflects extremes of sophistication and complex-challenges. The cause and effect of the dawn of these megacities have similar stories behind them.

As social housing is a non-profit sector, it is necessary to think beyond the public-private model and develop a third option, were the local community is the driver, and housing is not considered as a commodity. It is when you mix the typology with industrialisation that the model produces return for investment to which increases palatability.

Public and private sectors have to pro-actively support and participate in community led housing programs which should synchronise with poverty reduction, livelihoods, facilities, equity and security.

The BRICS have diverse expenditure and allocation for urbanisation underpinned by spatial information and city administration. The largest most tech-savvy with high cash spend per capita is China, Russia, South Africa, India then Brazil. China is aiming to build a Mega City larger than Britain with 100 million dwellers.

Last year, more than 340 billion yuan – US$48 billion was invested in Jing-Jin-Ji's (Beijing, Tianjing and Hebei) five pillar industries of education, health, transport, ecology and human resources (NBC News, 2014). This has set the benchmark of how typically a country can build symbols most representing them. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzen are each considered windows representing national profile to a fair extent.

In the most extensive resettlement project of Russia's Khrushchevka housing regime, 10% of Moscow is to be replaced with new housing model for a 1.6million Mixed Housing Typology (Rockefeller Foundation, 2017). Moscow is tackling several huge urban development projects which started with a 120bn roubels – $1.8bn of road rehabilitation.

In totality the Putin administration will spend close to 3tn-roubles ($455bn) for revitalisation and megatropolis projects.

The contemporary transformation tool has an important role in promoting a sensible debate for the BRICS on new paradigms and economic growth taking place globally. The urban global tipping point is yet to be reached as 60% of the world's population is currently un-urbanised (FIG, 2010).

South Africa's programme is set to reach R800bn – $53bn by 2022 through the Presidential Infrastructure Commission, with Gauteng taking a larger share of the portion. India is prepared for a 7 mega city projects by 2030, of which the New Delhi city will receive an estimated 9.3 million people (Jain A.K, 2016). The government of India has launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for building 20 million houses by 2022.

The programme is found in the draft National Urban Rental Housing Policy (NURHP) 2015. Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai are anchors of the megatropolis to be joined by Hyderabad and Ahmedabad by 2030. It was difficult to attain the value of the megaprojects, but an estimated $45bn is earmarked till 2022.

Brazils Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV) is a major social housing programme launched in 2009 by Hon Lula da Silva to build 1 million homes in order to address low-income housing shortage amid rocketing costs – the downturn saw a $551mn mega project canned in 2017. The revolution is styled "My House My Life" and has up to date delivered 2 million houses.

This growth has of course an impact on social, economic and ecological systems. The opportunity available for the coalition is to nature the growth in a sustainable manner, both professional and political managers should act proactively towards modern spatial management.

Accountability, co-responsibility, precaution and dialogue between academics and practitioners, as well as collective decision making is key to addressing climate, energy and environmental sustainability. Energy in particular has been a topical issue due to inadequacies and illegal connections as common phenomena in all of the BRICS.

The positive is BRICS countries have shown demand for the collection, integration, management and sharing of information and the relevant education; experience sharing and development of best practices. This appetite is driven by multidisciplinary factors in society which in turn are magnified by rapid urbanisation and the conditions of the world's megatropolis.

Buenos Aires has invested in spatial data access on a public website – reporting on city administration, planning, disaster management and land tenure specific to address BRICS topics.

Although it must be recognised that citizen participation in information gathering suggests certain risks like the concern for privacy; suspicion of governmental intrusion and loss of public support; the issue of quality of data collected by non professionals and the need for quality analysis; the danger of miss-use of citizen-provided information by repressive governments; and the question of the capacity of governmental agencies to monitor, evaluate, and interpret the volumes of data collected in certain urban sensing systems is critical.

The key factor for success will be utilising information technology to support growth as resources are necessary for the efficient use and economy of material, time and money.
World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
FM hails BRICS youth group efforts to uncover aggression violations (МИД приветствует усилия молодежной группы БРИКС по выявлению агрессии) / Yemen, January, 2019
Keywords: political_issues

SANAA, Jan. 13 (Saba) – Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf on Sunday praised efforts of BRICS youth group - Silk Road and Belt Project - to expose the crimes committed by Saudi-led aggression coalition against the country.

The minister also hailed the efforts of the national youth cadres to contribute to presenting proposals and vision to open channels of cooperation and communication with the People's Republic of China and other countries in the project towards building a strong Yemeni economy.

Sharaf indicated that one of the Yemeni foreign policy tendencies is the openness to all countries of the world and economic blocs in accordance with the country interests and the common benefits.

He confirmed that the political leadership represented by the Supreme Political Council and the National Salvation Government tend towards building a modern Yemeni state includes all Yemenis without any distinction.

BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as "BRIC", before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
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