Brazil will head to the polls in a runoff this month to choose its next president. Will it be incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, or former president Lula da Silva? Both are popular with their voter bases, but both have hurdles to overcome, most notably the economy, and have differences on their global political alignment – particularly important as Brazil will be the G20 President in 2024.
India will be president of the G20 in 2023. The world’s most influential economic governance body is facing an existential crisis, where the major powers have fallen out. With geopolitical currents redefining geo-economics, India needs to be ready to emerge as the chief global diplomat.
India is a young country and an old civilization. It began its new life 75 years ago with enormous equity stemming from its unique freedom struggle. A maturing foreign policy now enables it to move smoothly from being the leader of the ‘have-nots’; to being a responsible member of the group that manages world affairs.
India’s foreign policy is increasingly blended in with its domestic agenda – and vice versa. Prime Minister Modi’s past proactive foreign policy has paid dividends in bringing global attention to India, a fact young voters have noticed and approved. In his second term, what will India’s foreign policy look like? A continuum of the past, but also new frameworks for the future
Internal political constraints dog it currently, but if overcome, South Africa can be a good chairman to BRICS and IORA in 2018. It also has a tough balancing act to perform between two great Asian powers, China and India
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.
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.
The role of the emerging economies of Africa was discussed at the recent summit of the African Union. Africa’s resources are crucial to fuel such economic powerhouses as India, Brazil and China, and India must accelerate its trade and aid relationship with the continent.
The fifth BRICS summit will take place from 26-27 March with South Africa - a late entrant to the grouping - playing host. Although sceptics have questioned the salience of this bloc, the group is essentially a work in progress. Expectations, therefore, must be modest and pragmatic.
India is tied to West Asia by economic, religious and political threads. The ongoing social and political flux in the region can have adverse consequences for India and requires a serious rethink of its foreign policy priorities. How can India insert itself usefully into this geopolitical cauldron?