Actions that suit the words
SONG CHEN/CHINA DAILY
BRICS must cement cohesion and draw up and implement practical plans to diversify their cooperation
Countries grow, but with heterogeneous intensity and quality. The current external geopolitical environment differs substantially from the period when BRICS was created.
At the 14th BRICS Summit, hosted by China, BRICS leaders emphasized the need to make efforts to adapt the institution to face new challenges and seize potential opportunities in the current global context.
Our world is in a dynamic process of political, economic, and social transformations. Many of them involve protectionist actions and political provocations. The main objective of some world powers is to protect their economy and try to stop the growth of emerging countries.
In this context, the BRICS countries must carry out comprehensive and solid planning to adapt to the changes and advance toward achieving their goals.
China, which has successfully eradicated extreme poverty and achieved significant social and economic advancement, can serve as a reference for other BRICS countries to carry out the necessary adaptations.
Chinese planning encompasses national sovereignty and foreign policy, the economy, as well as educational and environmental policies and reforms. These themes cover dozens of goals and hundreds of actions. Based on this planning, strengthening governance and economic development are the two fundamental points that can serve as a reference for improving BRICS.
In the context of adapting BRICS governance, there are some objectives that the institution should reflect on and implement actions that can bring positive results.
First, improving the scope and diversification of cooperation. Concerning this matter, we should strengthen exchanges, in the areas of political, security, economic and financial stabilization actions, in the containment of the spread and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues.
Second, reiterating the commitment to implement global multilateralism. It is critical to ensuring peace and security, promoting sustainable development, and extending cooperation with mutual respect, justice and equality.
Third, assessing the process of expansion of BRICS. However, it will be necessary to assess the entry into the group of new members and new market areas. For all of this to occur, it will be essential to explain rules, criteria and operating procedures following the expansion process.
Fourth, acting on major current global issues. The constant transformations of the new era demand great managerial and technical flexibility so that the BRICS countries can intercede, when necessary.
For example, in the current context, it is essential to create actions to contribute to global economic governance to advance the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To build a multilateral open trade system, with a more outstanding commitment to sharing technologies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe effects on the world economy. To maintain the economy's proper functioning, the world's central banks increased liquidity. It resulted in significant global inflation, in line with the economic slowdown. In response, the BRICS countries should take adequate measures to mitigate these effects.
There are several actions that can be taken to promote the economic recovery.
First, work together to stabilize macroeconomic policies, according to the implementation of the defined strategies of BRICS 2025.
Second, the digital economy will be the big engine in the new era. It is helping mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and supporting the global economic recovery. The BRICS members are at different levels of digital development, so it is necessary to implement actions to reduce the technological development gap in some countries.
Third, by strengthening the intra-BRICS trade and investment, the members of the group can help achieve sustainable development and transition to new consumption patterns.
Fourth, BRICS should articulate more comprehensive and specific measures for consumer protection in the context of electronic commerce.
Fifth, the BRICS countries should improve the interconnectivity of their supply chains and trade flows. This is a fundamental issue. As seen in the pandemic, the global economy collapses when certain supply chains are interrupted.
Sixth, the cooperation of financial and related institutions is necessary. This will provide greater incentives for interbank cooperation mechanisms. This will provide significant support for BRICS economic and trade cooperation.
Seventh, apply new investments in infrastructure in tune with sustainable development. Public-private partnerships are an effective way to leverage the private sector to solve infrastructure financing problems.
Eighth, strengthen institutional financial security mechanisms through contingent reserve arrangements. Even though it is still in the process of improvement, it is hoped that there will soon be a more outstanding contribution to strengthening the global financial safety net and complementing international monetary and financial arrangements.
Ninth, realize energy security to achieve the sustainable development goals. In this context, it is worth mentioning the need for an energy transition period for each country, depending on its energy matrix.
Tenth, strengthen the role of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, whose participation in production networks and value chains are essential. In addition, they are responsible for providing most jobs.
Before anything else, it will be necessary to carry out deep and comprehensive planning, which defines the main objectives and actions.
Most important will be the institution's political will and the necessary flexibility to implement the transformations required to achieve its objectives.
The author is the director of the China-Brazil Center for Research and Business. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
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