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Officials foresee greater BRICS coordination

Updated: 2012-03-28 07:18
By Fu Jing in Brussels ( China Daily)

The European Union and the United Sates should work to foster cooperation among the countries collectively known as the BRICS to redevelop international governance and effectively deal with the difficulties facing the world, say senior European politicians and scholars.

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, the former vice-president of the European Parliament and now a member of that body, has been asking the EU's executive arm to foster more coordination among the 27 EU member states in response to the increasing policy coordination seen among the BRICS countries, which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The BRICS have been coordinating their positions on issues such as climate change, global regulations, the access to raw materials, terrorism, sustainable development, political stability and security. They take their meeting in India this week as an opportunity to make their stances on these issues public again.

"The EU should take note of this new phenomenon, which is that the BRICS group has started to coordinate foreign policies, besides the economic parts in their relationship," Saryusz-Wolski said.

He said the EU and the US should find a way to talk with the BRICS and other countries about forming a new global governance system.

"Without an inclusive new global governance system based on close consultation and cooperation with the BRICS and other emerging economies, there will be little incentive for international cooperation and concerted action on major global issues," Saryusz-Wolski said.

Saryusz-Wolski is a strong advocate within the EU for the forging of closer relations between the EU, the US and the BRICS.

In his recent report on the EU's policies toward the BRICS and other emerging powers, he predicated that seven emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey - are collectively projected by 2050 to have larger economies than the G-7 countries, made up of the US, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

His report said China is projected to become the largest economy in the world measured by GDP before 2020 and that India could become the fastest-growing economy in the world before 2050.

By 2050, China, the US and India could together make up 50 percent of the world economy and the EU could be of a comparable scale to any of those countries if it acts as a strong and unified political entity.

"So my proposal is not to treat those countries only separately in bilateral relations, but to look in a coordinated manner at their joint initiatives and react to them, and also to study to what extent they converge or diverge from the policy expectations of the EU," Saryusz-Wolski said.

"I am saying in my report that we are looking with hope at emerging economies. Countries that are bigger and more developed can co-shoulder with us the problems of the globe."

He also called on the US to take note of the increasing coordination among the BRICS countries.

Glyn Ford, a former European Parliament member, said the BRICS countries are all in different positions with the US. Among the BRICS, he said, India may have an easier position than China, and Russia and China might be the only two countries in the group that have a more difficult relationship with the US.

"The two countries are regarded more as major players and have the same opportunity and potential to become competitors of the United States," Ford said.

Ford also said the EU and the US have similar positions on many global issues. For that reason, they may often take the same approach to the BRICS group.

"However, in terms of trade, they are in more of a competitive situation," Ford said.

David Fouquet, director of Brussels-based Europe-Asia Research Network, said at the BRICS meeting in New Delhi that there may be a number of issues to watch.

"I have been struck by the proposal made by China to extend yuan loans to the other BRICS members," Fouquet said.

"This could have far-reaching implications for the international status of the yuan and the world monetary order."

Tan Xuan contributed to this story.