In recent years, BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have maintained sound momentum of economic and trade cooperation. With the growth in the rate of exports amid them exceeding the global average, BRICS countries have made important contributions to promoting global economic recovery and high-quality development.
The emerging-market bloc, whose gross domestic product (GDP), trade in goods, and foreign capital intake accounts for 23 percent, 18 percent and 25 percent, respectively, of the world’s total, has become an important force that cannot be ignored in the world economy.
In November 2020, the five BRICS countries adopted the strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025, which specified three key spheres of cooperation, including trade, investment and finance, digital economy, and sustainable development, and goals for cooperation in each sphere. This charted a new development path for deepening BRICS economic partnership in the next five years.
As the BRICS chair for 2022, China has host the 14th BRICS Summit and other activities. The country also looks forward to achieving a more robust, greener, and healthier global development by building a more comprehensive, closer, pragmatic and inclusive BRICS partnership under the theme of the 14th BRICS Summit: ‘Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development’.
Since the beginning of the BRICS ‘China Year’, the five BRICS countries have held more than 60 important events in key areas such as global governance, epidemic prevention and control, digital economy, sustainable development and people-to-people and cultural exchanges that achieved many positive results.
The BRICS Vaccine Research and Development (R&D) Center was officially launched in March; the BRICS Women Innovation Contest has successfully concluded, and the BRICS Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Cooperation Alliance was inaugurated.
More than 60 vocational schools from the BRICS countries confirmed that they would join the alliance, and several thousand contestants signed up for the 2022 BRICS Skills Competition. BRICS countries are conducting active discussions for the issuance of a joint statement on the multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) reform and have reached an important consensus on formulating documents for cooperation in the digital economy, industrial and supply chains, sustainable development and other fields. The combined forces of pandemic and major changes, both unseen in a century, have added to the complexity and severity of the international situation.
BRICS countries as representatives of emerging markets and developing countries, should deepen their strategic partnership, act as a stabiliser for the international and regional situation and be an accelerator for development. According to Ma Zhaoxu, China’s BRICS Sherpa and Vice Foreign Minister, the five countries should contribute solutions for safeguarding fairness and justice, inject strength into the stability of the global market, build a defence line for jointly fighting the pandemic, and provide the impetus for international development cooperation.
Ma stressed that the five countries should support improving global economic governance. He further added that China expects the BRICS countries to promote multilateralism, maintain the multilateral trading system with the WTO as the cornerstone and improve the international financial and monetary system, and make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. BRICS is an important mechanism for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries and a key platform for South-South cooperation.
Since its inception 16 years ago, BRICS has become a positive, stabilising and constructive force with rising international influence and appeal on the international stage and has always been closely linked to the destiny of emerging markets and developing countries.
The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) will provide financial support for more developing countries and increase its voice and influence in the international financial system. BRICS countries agreed that it is important to enhance cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries to further improve the representation of BRICS and make its voice in major international and regional issues more widely heard. The countries want to join hands to meet challenges and safeguard the common interests and development space of emerging markets and developing countries.
China actively supports the start of the BRICS expansion process and expanding ‘BRICS Plus’ cooperation. During the recently held meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, participants reached a consensus on the BRICS expansion process, which led to the first-ever ‘BRICS Plus’ dialogue at the foreign minister-level that fully showed that the BRICS cooperation is open and inclusive.
China will continue to work with BRICS parties to have in-depth discussions on BRICS expansion and determine the standards and procedures based on consensus. It looks forward to more like-minded partners joining the big family of BRICS.