Appointment Book

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE DEFENCE MINISTERS OF SWEDEN
07/04/2014
Cooperation
10/07/2014

Cooperation

BRICS and the consolidation of a financial and political bloc

Marcelo Rech

In July 14, 15 and 16, Fortaleza (state of Ceará) and Brasília (DF – Federal District) will welcome the Chiefs of State and of Government of the countries that form the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc for the beginning of its second cycle of high level summits. And Brazil receives the leaders of these countries in a moment in which the BRICS consolidates itself as a financial and political bloc.

In spite of some criticism here and there, the BRICS gives firm steps fulfilling more and more relevant roles in the contemporary international relations. Its voice is heard much more when the subject is the world order, the new realities and the necessity of deep reforms inclusive regarding worldwide financial regulation.

If before nobody knew well what it was about, now the BRICS is respected and even feared in some circles. And for good reason. The bloc joins 40% of the world population, 25% of the globe, more than 30% of the arable lands, 20% of the global economy, and 15% of the international trade.

It is a mechanism that cannot be ignored anymore, whatever be the subject in discussion. The BRICS must be seen as a mighty factor in the consolidation of the new objective reality of the 21st century. Besides, it is consolidated as example of how is possible to tie friendships and interests even with an Ocean on the way.

In each new Summit, gets clear that the BRICS is willing to widen its participation in the global decisions and has given the necessary steps for that.

In 2011, it admitted the South Africa as member; in 2012, it adopted local coins for transactions; in 2013, it implemented the Business Council, comprising 25 representatives of enterprises; and it started the discussions that will result in the creation of a General Secretariat for the forum.

Furthermore, its leaders signed several agreements in the field of “green economy”, co-financing of infrastructure projects in Africa, and now it examines the creation of its bank of development – to avoid having to resort to the World Bank – with social capital of around US$ 50 billion. The creation of the bank should take between one and two years, but will be a mark for the global financial relations.

As part of this process and opposing the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it works for the establishment of a fund of US$ 100 billion. There is consensus among the members of the BRICS that the loans and financing granted by the IMF and the World Bank attend only the interests of the United States and European Union.

The concrete fact is that the majority, if not all, of the world problems cannot be solved without the active participation of the BRICS, be them political, energetic and environmental crises or the terrorism and drug trafficking.

Even regarding the crisis of Russia with Ukraine, somehow the members of the BRICS endorsed the position of Moscow. It shows a rare unity, which makes all the difference.

Another important factor concerns the interest of tired actors of the North American hegemony and of the “Old World” countries in adding up to the bloc nations like Argentina, Egypt, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. Moreover, it is a fact that the BRICS will interact with the G-20, besides working with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Those are movements that will impact the present and the future of the international relations as we know them.

Marcelo Rech is a journalist, specialist in International Relations; Strategies and Policies of Defense; Terrorism and Counterinsurgency; Human Rights in the Armed Conflicts; and director of the Instituto InfoRel de Relações Internacionais e Defesa. E-mail: inforel@inforel.org

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