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Monday, 05 August 2013 11:37

BRICS long-term vision: The pygmy that gave rise to a giant

Written by Francis A. Kornegay

SAFPI Policy Brief 37

The pygmy elephant in the room of the Overseas Research Foundation’s long-term vision (LTV) initiative for BRICS is a little focused on acronym, 'RIC' – as in Russia-India-China. They form the ministerial trilateral between the three Eurasian giants for sustaining a dialogue on their bilateral relationships within a sort of ‘strategic triangle.’ Hence: ‘pygmy elephant.’ It involves foreign ministers, not heads-of-state. But it is a pachyderm nonetheless, since this pygmy gave birth to that giant called BRICS. Forget about ‘Jungle Jim’ of Wall Street fame, the Tarzan of emerging market capitalism! Thus does RIC bear greater scrutiny than it receives. This is because within this triangle lay the contradictions that have a direct bearing on the BRICS potential as a vanguard emerging powers platform for advancing the developing world’s global governance priorities beyond a purely economic agenda.

Of course it doesn’t take much erudition to understand the real elephant caged within the RIC chamber. It is the ambivalent relationship between India and China full stop – the main contradiction that, by extension, will determine how far BRICS goes as well. There are Sino-Russian issues but these pale beside China-India issues and whether or not ‘Sino-India’ can actually become ‘Chindia’ - which, in turn, will determine the fate of BRICS and any long-term vision that might emerge therefrom.

Click here to download the brief from the SAFPI website.

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