Stronger macro policy coordination to boost BRICS cooperation

Updated 2017-08-23 16:03:38 Xinhua

Strengthening macro policy coordination among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will provide a "booster" to deepen ties among the bloc, a senior Chinese academic has said.

Reviewing the first decade of the bloc's existence, its rise from a concept to a multilateral force with a certain say in the world is largely attributed to strong desire and pragmatic spirit of its member countries for cooperation, Wu Baiyi, director of the Institute of Latin American Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

When the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States spilled across the world in 2007, hitting developed countries in Europe and other regions hard, the members of the bloc have increasingly realized the importance of their macro policy coordination and joint efforts to resist outside risks, Wu said.

The establishments of the BRICS New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement to address global financial pressures and risks, among others, all have testified to the constant improvement of macro policy coordination among the BRICS countries, he said.

BRICS, as a grouping, trace their first meeting among their foreign ministers on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York in 2006. South Africa was admitted by the other BRIC leaders in 2010, adding the "S" to the acronym of the original grouping.

It now has brought together five major emerging economies, comprising 43 percent of the world's population, and contributed at least 23 percent to global GDP and at least 16 percent to world trade.

The West once believed that it was difficult for the BRICS countries to really walk together due to the differences in their economic and political systems, he added.

"However, facts have proven that the BRICS countries form a cohesive force, instead of a discrete one, over the past 10 years of exploration," Wu said.

This year marks the beginning of the next "golden decade" for the BRICS. The bloc has a common orientation for cooperation as well as a stronger desire to dock its development strategies through coordinating the macro economic policy of each country, Wu said.

Because the level of trade and investment between the BRICS countries is still low, the potential for economic and trade cooperation remains tremendous, Wu noted.

This calls for the countries to further improve macro policy coordination and jointly participate in international regulation-making processes regarding trade, services, investment and e-commerce, Wu said.

To that end, Wu suggested the BRICS countries begin negotiations on free trade agreements to better open up their markets to each other.

BRICS and China's relations with Latin America together make up South-South Cooperation, and China's bilateral ties with Brazil play a weighty role in both multilateral frameworks, Wu said. The expert added that there's plenty to learn from the China-Brazil relationship.

Brazil, as the core country in China-Latin America cooperation, may share its experiences with China with other Latin American countries, while working together with China to advance the regional relationship.

Wu expects that the upcoming BRICS summit, scheduled for Sept. 3-5 in Xiamen, a coastal city in southeast China's Fujian Province, will further strengthen the cohesion of the BRICS bloc and strengthen South-South development.

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