Beijing: Despite recent difficulties, BRICS, a bloc that groups some of the world’s largest emerging markets, still has enormous potential and will maintain the upward trend that it has enjoyed over the past decade.
As the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are facing temporary difficulties in their economies, voices from those who have rooted for the failure of the bloc from the beginning are becoming louder and even sound plausible.
But those people are wrong. Some of them are short sighted, unable to recognise the enormous potential of BRICS behind the current problems.
The others, however, harbour ulterior motives and are not glad to see a unity of emerging markets grow stronger, which they believe is a threat to their dominance of the global economy.
Facts speak louder than words. Statistics and facts nowadays have proven that the bloc as a whole is still the powerhouse of today’s world growth despite economic difficulties facing its member states.
The five countries have contributed about 50 percent of global growth over the last decade. And trade among them in 2013 totalled $350 billion, making up about half of the world’s total.
Blessed with relatively complete infrastructure and stable society, the BRICS countries are still the forerunners of the emerging markets. Their economies may falter for a time against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy, but certainly will not fall at all.
More importantly, closer cooperation within BRICS can unleash even greater potential, as the five countries share a common ground for many major interests and their economies are complementary to each other.
The BRICS countries, which are located in four different continents and are vastly different from each other in geology, demography and culture, each have their comparative advantages. Strengthening cooperation within the bloc will help each country to make better use of those advantages.
The just concluded BRICS summit in the southwestern Russian city of Ufa is scheduled to chart a course for future collaboration as well as to discuss the establishment of another financial tool, the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which shows the world BRICS’ endeavours to improve their economies.
The difficulties for the bloc are true. But as Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the Ufa summit: “The more difficulties we face, the more confidence we must have.”
He also noted that any progress is not made along a straight line, but with twists and turns.
The BRICS countries enjoy abundant natural and human resources, vast domestic markets, huge development potential, and plenty of policy space, so the upward trend of BRICS will not change, Xi said.
(Wang Shang is a writer with China’s official news agency Xinhua.)