BRICS can gain by working with China through B&R

By Toumert Al Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/3 21:18:40

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT



Established formally in 2009, the BRICS group - the five major developing economies - has demonstrated under the wise leadership of China that is possible to create a global economic platform. This weekend, the BRICS countries convened in Xiamen, Southeast China's Fujian Province, aiming at deliver an effective integration and use of global resources toward better economics.

Just by looking at the sheer numbers behind the concept of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) cooperation platform, we shouldn't underestimate the potentials of such a global forum.

The BRICS count for 3.6 billion of the global population, and the combined GDP of the five nations is valued about $16 trillion, or about 20 percent of the global GDP output.

With the above figures in mind and under the leading expertise of China, the BRICS announced in 2013 the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB), with the main objective of financing national projects that concern the social development of the five countries, protect the environment and are economically sustainable.

So far the bank has arranged loans worth $1.4 billion for the local economies of the BRICS, with $8 billion in lines of credit to be disbursed by the end of 2018.

The NDB is shaping up as a positive new institution in the world of finance, since it offers a practical alternative to the IMF or the World Bank. It is closer to the real needs of national governments, it invests in projects that will boost economic integration among its members, and it facilitates access to funding on the basis of equity and merit, not a credit rating.

However, the main feature of the BRICS grouping is its association with China.

China is the second-largest economy in the world, and its share of the BRICS' GDP counts for about 70 percent. This gives it a comfortable position in steering the group to achieve concrete results.

By association with China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa find themselves with a world of opportunities.

In China, they have access to 1.38 billion consumers, the top 10 banks in the world, mature knowhow in infrastructure building, proven transportation solutions involving high-speed rail and urban railways, world leadership in renewable energy, renowned breakthroughs in information technology and artificial intelligence, and an expanding reach in the space industry.

The BRICS nations also have a lot to gain by working with China through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is leading Asia in the field of finance, and by integrating with the Belt and Road initiative, which represents a vision of a shared economic, cultural and civilizational destiny.

We are at a very important moment in defining the 21st century's economic horizons.

The world is facing uncertainties, especially since the US is disengaging from its global economic and environmental obligations.

With that in mind, the group meeting in Xiamen is shaping up as the only viable alternative to an otherwise bleak outlook.

China is positioning itself as the guardian of free trade and a global economic order based on equitable solutions and access to all.

The beauty of this new emerging order is that China has already established the structures, institutions, funds and concepts behind it, with these principles in mind: collaboration, respect, exchange and learning from each other.

Let us integrate the Chinese dream, work with this nation of builders and hope, and let us hope the meeting can show the rest of the world that global integration is the only path ahead.

The author is director of Education, International Bachelor Program at the International School under China Foreign Affairs University. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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