What is BRICS?
BRICS is the acronym given for a federation of 5 rising national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa respectively. Its first summit was held in Yekaterinburg (Russia) in 2009.
What Africa, SA stands to gain from BRICS?
- South African President Jacob Zuma confirmed a 70% increase in South Africa's total trade from R268 Bn in 2011 to R382 Bn in 2014 with BRICS nations.
- BRICS' New Development Bank, or BRICS bank, is crucial to Africa as it will be the driving force to build Africa's infrastructure.
- Moreover, BRICS can facilitate the infrastructure programme by providing skills and expertise.
NDB ready for official launch
- One day before the 7th BRICS summit, BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) board of governors held their 1st meeting in Moscow.
- The legal framework was wrapped up, preparing for the official launch of the $100 billion bank at the summit.
- The NDB is being presented as a 'financing alternative' to the World Bank and one where the BRICS nations will have more autonomy.
Support to Russia by the BRICS nations
- Russia spoke to the 5 nation grouping, bringing them abreast with the ongoing battle with the blocks imposed over them over the Ukrainian conflict.
- Russia found validation in BRICS nations condemning "unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law".
- This position of BRICS seemed to also corroborate the grouping's support to Iran.
Strength of the BRICS grouping
The BRICS countries together make up almost 3 billion of the world population, committing almost 40% to the global GDP and 18% to the world trade.
Modi calls for deeper cooperation among BRICS
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for stronger and deeper cooperation between BRICS nations.
- In a subtle attack on the west, which has put sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, he said that the "unilateral sanctions" were affecting the global economy.
- Speaking about the BRICS New Development Bank, he said that it should sponsor projects which have 'cross-border collaboration' among the 5 member countries.
BRICS summit evades India's issue with Pakistan
- India had to face disappointment as the UN Security Council resolution 1267 did not surface anywhere in the BRICS Declaration at the 7th BRICS Summit in Russia.
- The resolution dealt with action against Pakistan for the release of the 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
- The BRICS members condemned the terrorist activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).