The fifth BRICS summit – growing influence

The fifth BRICS summit took place in Durban from 26-27 March. The BRICS countries are made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and represent the fastest growing emerging markets in the world, accounting for 42% of the world’s population and 20% of output. Increasing cooperation between BRICS countries in key areas such as finance, culture, transportation links, and developing an integrated market for trade and investment were key objectives of the summit.

There were four major outcomes from the summit, represented in the following four agreements: to set up a BRICS Development Bank, a Contingency Reserve, business council and a think tank council.

Formal negotiations on a BRICS Development Bank BRICS-summitwere kicked off in Durban. The structure and operational elements of the bank are yet to be decided as is a figure for the total sum of the bank. However it is expected that these decisions will be reached during the period of South Africa chairing BRICS before the summit next year in Brazil. Questions also arose around which country the Bank would be based in and what the voting arrangements would look like. It is believed that China is in a favour of differentiated weighting of votes according to contributions to the Bank. An important attribute of a proposed funding model for the Bank is that it would support multi-country projects, something that the majority of existing development banks have failed to accommodate. This is a significant development particularly for the prospect of regional power projects, such as those discussed in the Southern African Power Pool.

Encouragingly a figure of $100 billion was agreed upon for the Contingency Reserve. This is intended to act primarily as a safety net in financial emergencies, although it still needs to be established which countries would be eligible to access this fund.

In order to strengthen collaboration between the governments of the BRICS nations and the private sector a business council has been formed. A top business executive in each country has been selected to represent the relevant countries on the council. Patrice Motsepe, the executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals is the South African representative. The council will Disse finner man i flere versjoner, inkludert fransk, europeisk, og «engelsk» rulett, blackjack casino med en eller flere kortstokker (for ikke a snakke om flere hender samtidig), og baccarat med hoy online casino og lav innsats. meet bi-annually with the aim strengthening business collaborations and fostering knowledge-sharing between academics and think tanks.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma outlined: strengthening trade relations; technology transfer, skills development, green economy, manufacturing, and industrialization amongst the core objectives of the business council. Furthermore energy was identified as a key new area for exploring cooperation.

Although the Fifth Summit may not have delivered all that was expected of it, the decisions of the BRICS countries will justin-bieber-news.info is apologizing for telling a racist joke when he was 15 . have important implications in the long term and should be paid attention to. For the African continent an important development from the Durban meeting is the eThekweni Declaration and Action Plan outlining the vision for the involvement of BRICS in Africa. A retreat entitled “Unlocking Africa’s potential: BRICS and Africa Cooperation on Infrastructure” will take place in the coming months for African and BRICS leaders to participate in discussions of how to further develop collaboration between BRICS and African countries.

The influence of the BRICS countries is clear, but what does it mean from a climate change perspective and for South Africa? With infrastructure and sustainable development being highlighted as future priority areas of the BRICS Development Bank, the Bank has the potential to act as a valuable resource for South Africa to draw upon for its investments to build a more climate compatible economy. At the summit the countries showed their commitment to addressing climate change by signing a multilateral agreement on climate cooperation and the green economy. A focus of the agreement is on the technical and financial support required by developing countries to respond to the challenges of climate change. Education, energy, food and health care are seen as key areas of concern. Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff expressed the commitment of Brazil to climate compatible development by drawing attention to the country’s investment in non-fossil energy projects. For South Africa with over 90% of its electricity coal-based, energy is chief concern for South Africa and a sector that would benefit from being a subject of the Bank’s investment focus.

The improving levels of development in BRICS countries (particularly China and India) have been accompanied by significant elevations in their emissions profiles, with China now the largest emitter in the world. The political decisions made by BRICS countries in the coming years and the degree to which they align with climate objectives will play a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of the global response to climate change. Watch this space to see how the path unfolds.

 

Some useful links:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2013/03/brics-summit?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/lackingmortar

http://www.brics5.co.za/brics-can-re-shape-africa-funding/

http://mg.co.za/article/2013-03-28-00-brics-lay-down-a-solid-foundation