The multi-polar world that BRICS nations seek is not a reality yet and the differences between them do exist. But the BRICS summit in September offers leaders an opportunity to examine a few important financial issues before they can dictate the global agenda
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India seems to have departed from catch-all, overarching initiatives in Africa to rather more nuanced ways of making its contribution felt, such as helping fashion G20’s ‘Compact with Africa’. Many countries are also keen to avail of Indian companies’ knowledge and experience of investing in Africa and the presence of the large diaspora—and such trilateral cooperation is to be welcomed
A conference of the BRICS 2017 Think Tank Forum, held in Beijing recently, showed that the grouping had progressed in influencing global governance despite some persistent intra-member differences
Speakers at the ‘1st BRICS Think Tank Forum on Pragmatic Cooperation’, held in Shanghai last month, discussed ways to tackle new challenges as globalisation moves into the next phase where the BRICS countries will take the lead
The year 2016 is the year of the divided electorate, so close were some of the election outcomes. Deep divisions lurk within voters coming from ostensibly “liberal” political cultures. The trend looks set to continue in the elections that will be fought in dozens of countries in 2017, where the votes could also be divided. Gateway House analyses these results through this infographic
The recent BRICS summit and BIMSTEC outreach highlighted some laudable maritime endeavours linking geographically distant, emerging economies within the grouping. The BIMSTEC platform is also crucial to India's efforts to create a peaceful Bay of Bengal community through economic and cultural linkages.
Prime Minister Modi’s tour of four African countries will seek to build upon recent high-level visits to the continent, providing fresh impetus for the reinforcement of India-Africa relations in matters of diplomacy, business, security, and energy while putting to rest criticism of India’s visibility deficit in Africa. However, the onus to harness this momentum now lies with other stakeholders.
At present, South Africa finds itself charting political and economic policy uncertainties. This is not to suggest that the domestic political crisis will see different trajectories unfolding with regard to its BRICS/IBSA engagements, or on a broader foreign policy path, but it will have repercussions at the international level, in terms of investor confidence, credit ratings, and currency volatility. Pretoria will face constant pressure to be seen as a credible actor, especially when it comes to its African identity.
Although the BRICS caravan is passing through uncertain times, its major leaders appear determined to continue the journey as doing so is in the collective interest. The world is likely to hear more - not less - about BRICS in the foreseeable future.
Oliver Stuenkel's book provides a well-researched account of the evolution of BRICS – starting from the forum’s inception in 2009 to the present – and the interactions between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on global issues.