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BRICS to continue promoting global peace

Source: China Daily | 2019-11-14

[Photo by Shi Yu/China Daily]

By Shi Xiaohu

The 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, which concludes on Thursday, ushers in the second "golden decade" for the grouping of five emerging market economies. At the summit in the Brazilian capital, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will discuss how to deepen cooperation and strengthen BRICS' role in global governance, which of late has been facing major challenges.

BRICS countries have been exploring new approaches to boost economic development, in order to make more contributions to the international community.

The BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution was an important agreement the five countries reached at the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, last year, as it will help maximize the opportunities offered by the fourth industrial revolution. The importance of the partnership-and the digitalization of industries-was underscored by the BRICS informal leaders' meeting in June this year.

The economic transformation of BRICS countries, especially China, has added vitality to the global economy while giving the grouping a bigger say in international economic governance.

According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, BRICS countries maintained their momentum of development. For instance, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, China ranks 28th in the competitiveness report, topping the BRICS grouping. Russia occupies the 43rd place. And South Africa has jumped seven places to rank 60th. Thanks to their rising competitiveness, BRICS countries can inject new vigor into the global economy.

BRICS has also been making efforts to reform the global economic governance system in order to make it more inclusive and representative, and deepen cooperation among emerging market and developing economies.

The BRICS Plus mechanism is an innovative and open platform that would strengthen South-South cooperation. The New Development Bank, which was established by BRICS in 2014 and started operations in 2015, has been widely praised for providing long-term financing for infrastructure development projects in fields such as transportation, renewable energy and water resources. In August this year, Japan Credit Rating Agency gave the NDB an AAA rating, which will promote the NDB's operation.

China is facilitating global economic cooperation by further opening up its economy, improving its business environment, and promoting the Belt and Road Initiative based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Also, the two editions of the China International Import Expo have promoted trade and economic cooperation between countries and regions, with the Chinese market playing an important role in global digital trade and cross-border e-commerce.

Despite the deepening intra-BRICS cooperation, however, the grouping faces challenges due to the geopolitical games being played by some countries and the changing nature of international relations. For example, the United States' unilateral and trade protectionist measures are hurting the global economy. By contrast, cooperation and development are the shared goal of BRICS countries.

So BRICS countries should expand cooperation in various fields, and safeguard multilateralism by strengthening coordination under the framework of organizations such as the United Nations and G20.

By working under the UN framework, BRICS countries can enjoy a bigger say in key international issues, promote a new type of international relations, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Since promoting global trade is an important part of BRICS' agenda, the member countries should make sincere efforts to conclude the ongoing global trade negotiations as soon as possible, so as to develop a more sustainable and fair, and non-discriminatory trade pattern.

They should also continue their pragmatic cooperation in digital technology to accelerate innovation while deepening cooperation in the energy, finance and environmental protection sectors with the aim of protecting themselves from external risks. Plus, the five countries should seek more support from the international community, especially the developed countries, to adapt to and combat climate change.

Besides, BRICS countries should protect the interests of developing countries by increasing their say in global governance. And since security risks have increased from not only traditional sources such as terrorism and transnational crimes, but also the outer-space arms race, BRICS countries should work together to minimize such risks and safeguard global peace.

As long as the five countries remain determined to promote cooperation, BRICS will continue to make valuable contributions to world peace and development.

The author is dean of the School of International Relations, Beijing International Studies University.