BRICS Summit to assess achievements, chart way forward, experts say

JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 1 — The ninth BRICS Summit to be held in
Xiamen, China on Sept. 3-5 should take stock of what has been achieved and
also chart the way forward, experts have said.

The summit has attracted world attention to how Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa will chart the bloc’s future course amid challenges
and uncertainties stemming from global economic sluggishness, increased
anti-globalization sentiments in Western countries, regional security and
geopolitical blackswans, among others.

In an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Elizabeth
Sidiropoulos, CEO of South Institute of International Relations (SAIIA), a
South African think tank, said the BRICS Summit will try to build on what
they have achieved so far as the bloc has established institutions like the
New Development bank (NDB), an academic forum, a business council, a labor
forum and a civil society forum.”They have made great progress in
establishing institutions. BRICS have created political and economic
cooperation and a community which never existed. The Xiamen Summit should
take stock of how far they have traveled and the continuity,” she
said.Cyril Prinsloo, researcher of the Economic Diplomacy Program at SAIIA,
said: “There are tangible benefits for BRICS with establishment of the
Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank which South Africa
lobbied for.” While traditional funders like the Bretton Woods institutions
take two years to approve loans, the NDB only takes six months and is
lending in local currencies, he added.It is worth noticing that the
establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank has not only boosted the
common development of the five member countries, but has also injected
fresh driving force into the mechanism’s leading role in South-South
cooperation.Prinsloo added that the NDB will help with project preparation,
which is the major problem facing most African countries.

The summit comes at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is pursuing
protectionist policies of “America first”, calling for the renegotiation of
earlier treaties and reversing some.
As Trump threatened to expel and bar citizens of other countries from the
U.S. territory, Sidiropoulos said the Xiamen Summit should address topical
issues affecting the world and strengthen global governance.
“I expect them to discuss and come up with a strong statement on trade and
protectionism. China, the chair, seeks to bridge what was discussed in G20
and BRICS and take them forward. This is a positive and constructive
approach,” said Sidiropoulos.The expert also expects BRICS to discuss
global governance and reform of global institutions. The bloc has on
numerous occasions called for the reform of the United Nations Security
Council and the Bretton Woods institutions.

It is widely expected that the upcoming BRICS summit will usher in yet
another golden decade of development for the mechanism.Apart from its
accomplishments in the past ten years, BRICS is expected to play an even
more important role of enhancing and leading the world’s
future.Sidiropoulos said China has changed the summit’s formula by inviting
friends from developing countries such as Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico
and Thailand to be the guest countries of the summit.

The BRICS chair invites some countries in the region to meet the BRICS
leaders for discussion. Forging a more extensive partnership between BRICS
and other developing countries will make both bilateral and multilateral
trade more effective.Enhancing BRICS cooperation not only protects and
expands the interests of BRICS countries, but also helps explore ways to
build a new type of international relations in the future.
“As long as we follow the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness,
cooperation and win-win results, and work together to build closer BRICS
partnership, we will surely have the second golden ten years for BRICS
cooperation,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said when meeting senior
representatives on security issues from BRICS countries in July. – XINHUA