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BRICS ready for larger role: report

By Chen Weihua in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-08-30 11:32

The BRICS Summit to be held in China next week will play a positive role in shaping the global system, especially in time of retreat by advanced economies such as the United States, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The report by the Standard Bank, which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, said the BRICS have an opportunity to assume a bolder global leadership role after two years of sliding fortunes, referring to the stagnant economies of some of its members.

BRICS includes the five major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The report said that the BRICS' heads of state will meet from Sept 3-5 in Xiamen, China, for the 9th annual summit, with their challenges in mind. "There remains clear and growing space for the BRICS to continue to nurture the enthusiasm and developing world emphasis that their formation arose to represent," said the report titled BRICS 2017 - Poised for New Relevance.

The proportionate global relevance of the BRICS has continued to rise. The BRICS' collective share of global GDP increased from 16 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2016. Over the past decade the BRICS have accounted for nearly 50 percent of the world's GDP growth, according to the report.

India and China are the two fastest-growing large economies in the world. The two governments on Monday announced an end of their 70-day border standoff following Indian border troops incursion into China's territory. On Tuesday, Indian External Affairs Ministry confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China.

According to a February report by the PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the top seven world economies in terms of purchasing power parity by 2025 will be, in order, China, India, US, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Mexico, four of which are current BRICS countries.

The Standard Bank report noted that the BRICS are still a collectively profound trading partner for developing economies in general and Africa in particular. It said the recent declines in BRICS-Africa trade must be seen with the context of a far more profound drop-off of US-Africa trade since 2012.

The report praised the functioning of the Shanghai-headquartered New Development Bank (NDB) as a concrete progress from past BRICS summits. NDB aims to provide an alternative

source of financial support and infrastructure financing for the BRICS and other emerging economies.

"Rhetorical and practical retreat by key advanced economies, in particular the US, from their commitment to global multilateral agreements on, for instance, climate change; as well as a recent rise in economic nationalism and protectionism provides the BRICS with the opportunity to boldly assume a new and profoundly constructive global leadership role in championing these same causes," the report said.

In a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, on Aug 22, US President Donald Trump praised himself for withdrawing the US from the "disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership" and "job-killing Paris Climate Accord".

And he said if the US cannot make a deal, it will probably terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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