Despite rising uncertainties, BRICS nations have made remarkable achievements in cooperation, helping promote common development and global economic recovery.
BRICS, an emerging-market group which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, represents approximately 40 percent of the global population and accounts for about 25 percent of the global economy.
Wang Youming, director of the Department for Developing Countries Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said that BRICS cooperation in areas such as poverty reduction, food security, green development, industrialization, the digital economy and connectivity has met the needs and aspirations of many developing countries.
The BRICS-founded New Development Bank (NDB), headquartered in Shanghai, offers a glimpse into the group’s efforts to tackle the infrastructure and development challenges faced by emerging economies while advancing the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The bank had approved more than 80 projects in member countries by May 2021, with a total portfolio of some 30 billion U.S. dollars, it said.
Looking ahead, the bank said it will provide 30 billion U.S. dollars of financial support to member countries from 2022 to 2026, with 40 percent of the funds to be used to mitigate global warming.
Wang said the majority of NDB loans are used for clean drinking water, environmental sanitation and green energy, helping member countries achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
BRICS countries are important producers and consumers of agricultural products, playing an important role in the global food system.
As of May this year, three of the world’s four major food producers are BRICS members, and the BRICS countries’ total agricultural GDP accounts for more than half the world total.
The 12th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture, held via video link earlier this month, adopted a joint statement from BRICS agriculture ministers and a document on a BRICS food security cooperation strategy. It also announced the establishment of a forum on the agricultural and rural affairs development of BRICS countries.
In the eyes of Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, the BRICS partnership has not only injected impetus into global development cooperation, but it has also functioned as a new booster for global economic recovery.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, developing economies have increased their share of the trade in goods globally, and BRICS countries are playing a growing role in world trade, according to the Global Development Report released Monday.
“Goods exports and imports of BRICS countries made up 19.8 percent and 16.4 percent of the world totals in 2020 respectively,” said the report published by the Center for International Knowledge on Development.
In 2021, despite the prolonged impact of COVID-19, the total volume of trade in goods of BRICS countries surged 33.4 percent year on year to 8.55 trillion U.S. dollars, official data showed.
China is a key investor and trade partner in the BRICS group, and trade and investment cooperation between China and other BRICS countries exerts a very strong impact on the development of their economies, Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told Xinhua.
In the first five months of the year, trade between China and other BRICS countries recorded a 12.1 percent year-on-year rise to reach 195.96 billion U.S. Dollars, growing faster than China’s overall foreign trade in the same period, Tuesday’s customs data showed.
During a recent online shopping festival guided by China’s commerce ministry, a special “Buy in BRICS” section was launched, where the sales of chocolate and red wine from BRICS nations respectively skyrocketed 302.1 percent and 283.8 percent, according to the ministry.
Under the theme of “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development,” the 14th summit of BRICS, will be held this week in virtual format under China’s chairmanship.
“BRICS’ multilateralism is very important for today’s new world order,” said Phea. “I believe that the summit’s outcome will benefit not only the BRICS countries but also other developing countries as well as the whole world.”