BRICS eyes new opportunities in B&R Initiative

Belt & Road
It is believed the synergy between BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative will produce a chemical reaction benefiting more countries, especially the developing ones and the emerging economies.

Belt and Road PortalUpdated: August 31, 2017

BRICS leaders will hold their ninth meeting in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province from Sept. 3 to 5. It is the second important international event hosted by China after the Belt and Road Forum of International Cooperation in Beijing in May.

It is believed the synergy between BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative will produce a chemical reaction benefiting more countries, especially the developing ones and the emerging economies.

Over the past decade, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa's combined contribution to world economic growth was over 50 percent.

Over the past 10 years, their economy's share in the world total has risen from 12 percent to 23 percent, their share in the international trade has increased from 11 percent to 16 percent, and foreign bound investment's share is up from 7 percent to 12 percent.

Experts say that developing countries have been enjoying greater voting and speaking rights in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in recent years, and that is one of the main achievements of the BRICS cooperation.

Chu Yin, a researcher of international studies with the University of International Relations in Beijing, said that the spirit of the BRICS cooperative mechanism —openness, inclusiveness and win-win results — is in line with the concepts of the Belt and Road Initiative — collective consultation, shared benefits and joint construction. The synergy between the two is an irresistible trend.

Since the BRICS concept was proposed in the 2009 Yekaterinburg Summit in Russia, the bloc has increasingly become an active advocate and participant of global governance.

The 2012 Delhi Declaration clarifies BRICS' appeal to global governance reform and a more representative international financial framework.

Since the New Development Bank was founded in 2014, the BRICS cooperation has become more pragmatic and productive. The BRICS emergency storage mechanism is established, and a new BRICS rating mechanism is being discussed.

Synergizing the Belt and Road Initiative will give BRICS more vitality and opportunities to bring benefits to more countries, especially the emerging economies and the developing countries, Chu said.

The bloc must never stop exploring its way ahead. And the Belt and Road Initiative provides it with new possibilities, he added.

Although BRICS countries have met some problems in their joint development, the international agencies are still positive with their development prospects.

The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook predicts China's growth this year will be 6.7 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher than its prediction in April.

Besides, the IMF forecasts the economy of Brazil and Russia will possibly recover in a few years and India will keep a moderately high-speed growth for a comparatively long period of time.

China and Russia have compared notes on the synergy of the Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. China's National Development and Reform Commission set up a development fund of 100 billion yuan (US$15 billion) to promote regional cooperation between China and Russia.

The new concept "BRICS+" is to expand the bloc's connections and influence across the world, said Bai Ming, a researcher of international trade with the Ministry of Commerce.

He said BRICS should engage in more cooperation with their neighbors, especially those along the Belt and Road routes, so as to promote economic globalization and strive for a greater voice in the world economy as an increasingly powerful bloc.

Bai takes China-Africa cooperation as an example. China announced in January 2015 that it will help Africa to build a comprehensive transport network, consisting of railways, bridges, ports and roads, to improve the interconnectivity of the whole continent, which will benefit all partners of Africa, including all members of BRICS.