Projects between China and other BRICS countries get a boost following summit, showcasing strong cooperation wiliness
China remains driving force in bloc's contribution to global economy: expert
Published: Aug 29, 2023 08:48 PM
A banner advertising the 2023 BRICS summit hangs on the side of the Sandton Convention Center on August 20, 2023, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A banner advertising the 2023 BRICS summit hangs on the side of the Sandton Convention Center on August 20, 2023, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Multiple cooperation projects between Chinese enterprises and those from other BRICS countries have been boosted following the recently concluded 15th BRICS summit, which experts said underscores the efficiency of the bloc and that there is great cooperation potential between China and other BRICS countries.

Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on August 24 for the building of Metro Line 3 for the state, the company said in a press release sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

Rio de Janeiro is the first state that CRRC partnered with in Brazil, delivering a total of 604 passenger rail vehicles to the state over the past 15 years, according to the company.

"There is vast potential for the development of rail transport industry in Brazil. CRRC set up its first Smart City Cultural and Technological Exchange Center in Rio de Janeiro this year, serving as a bridge for China-Brazil economic cooperation and tech and cultural exchanges, as well as exchanges between Chinese enterprises," Liu Changqing, general manager of CRRC Changchun, was quoted as saying.

In addition, Chinese state-owned oil and gas giant China National Offshore Oil Corp signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras on Monday.

It said that the two sides will deepen cooperation in sectors ranging from refining and chemical engineering, green and low-carbon energy to crude oil trade, according to a press release sent to the Global Times.

Green cooperation also includes projects in other countries. Brazilian miner Vale said it has entered a cooperative agreement with two Chinese partners on the production of cobalt and nickel in Indonesia last week, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times on Monday.

"These projects underscore the efficiency of  the BRICS as well as member countries' common pursuit of cooperation amid unsteady geopolitics worldwide," Zhou Zhiwei, an expert on Latin American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Zhou said a series of partnerships among BRICS countries will further consolidate the cooperation momentum within the bloc, and inject stability and certainty to the volatile world.

"As one of the major sources of capital, China's status as a major driving force in the bloc's contribution to the global economy remains unchanged. The smooth implementation of these projects will contribute to these countries' economic recovery while strengthening BRICS' status in global economy," Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

China's foreign trade with other BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa - soared 19.1 percent year-on-year to 2.38 trillion yuan ($ 330.62 billion) in the first seven months of 2023, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. This accounted for 10.1 percent of China's total foreign trade value during the period, representing a rise of 1.6 percentage points.

"The economic and trade cooperation between China's Shanghai and other BRICS countries is resilient, strong and vibrant, and has become a new highlight of Shanghai's foreign trade growth," the municipal government of East China's Shanghai wrote in a statement on its WeChat account recently, vowing greater effort to fully release policy dividends and support high-quality growth of the trade cooperation with other BRICS countries.

Vast cooperation potential

China's State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission held a meeting on Monday, pledging to deepen and expand cooperation with BRICS countries. Efforts will be made to upgrade Chinese centrally-administered State-owned enterprises' cooperation with BRICS countries in traditional sectors, including energy, resources and grain, maintain supply security of key minerals and expand cooperation in emerging sectors such as the digital economy and green development, according to the meeting.

Zhou said there is great potential for BRICS countries to carry out economic and trade cooperation in various sectors, including energy, infrastructure, digital economy and finance. "Amid rebuilding of global industrial and supply chains, the effective connect of key supply chains will be a future direction of BRICS cooperation," he said.

In a historic expansion, six countries - namely Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - were invited to become new BRICS members, with their membership starting on January 1, 2024, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The trade and sharing of experiences with developing nations is a core of the BRICS right from the beginning," South African Ambassador to China Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele told the Global Times in a recent interview.

"In terms of making sure that we all rise, we don't develop at the expense of other countries. But we have a win-win development with the countries we are helping or trading with," the ambassador said.

After the member expansion, economic and trade cooperation within BRICS countries will be further diversified, as new members are located in various parts of the world and have different strengths, Zhao said.

In the Johannesburg II Declaration adopted following the 15th BRICS Summit, BRICS countries stressed the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between the BRICS countries and trading partners.

The use of local currencies in settlement within BRICS will not only strengthen trade exchanges between these countries and stabilize their macro-economy but also contribute to the reform of international monetary system centered on the US dollar, according to Zhou.

China and Brazil reached a deal in March this year to trade in their own currencies, ditching the US dollar as an intermediary. Meanwhile, the usage of local currencies between China and Russia is also on the rise along with the increase of bilateral trade, and the Chinese yuan is seeing more presence in Russia's economic activity, according to media reports.