BRICS Summit to assess achievements, chart way forward, experts say

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Johannesburg

The ninth BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen, China on Sept. 3-5 should take stock of what has been achieved and also chart the way forward, experts have said.
The summit has attracted world attention to how Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will chart the bloc’s future course amid challenges and uncertainties stemming from global economic sluggishness, increased anti-globalization sentiments in Western countries, regional security and geopolitical blackswans, among others.
In an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, CEO of South Institute of International Relations (SAIIA), a South African think tank, said the BRICS Summit will try to build on what they have achieved so far as the bloc has established institutions like the New Development bank (NDB), an academic forum, a business council, a labor forum and a civil society forum.
“They have made great progress in establishing institutions. BRICS have created political and economic cooperation and a community which never existed. The Xiamen Summit should take stock of how far they have traveled and the continuity,” she said.
Cyril Prinsloo, researcher of the Economic Diplomacy Program at SAIIA, said: “There are tangible benefits for BRICS with establishment of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank which South Africa lobbied for.” While traditional funders like the Bretton Woods institutions take two years to approve loans, the NDB only takes six months and is lending in local currencies, he added.
It is worth noticing that the establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank has not only boosted the common development of the five member countries, but has also injected fresh driving force into the mechanism’s leading role in South-South cooperation. Prinsloo added that the NDB will help with project preparation, which is the major problem facing most African countries.
The summit comes at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is pursuing protectionist policies of “America first”, calling for the renegotiation of earlier treaties and reversing some.—Xinhua