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Thursday, 07 February 2013 18:34

BRICS Guide 5: Trends In Intra-BRICS Co-Operation

Written by Suresh P Singh (CUTS) and Memory Dube (SAIIA)
BRICS Guide 5: Trends In Intra-BRICS Co-Operation Photo © Richard Busch

Trends in intra-BRICS co-operation are reflected by trends in intra-BRICS trade. Data clearly demonstrates that intra-BRICS trade has witnessed a significant increase over the last decade, as described below.

Trends in trade

Trade is one of the most important indicators of how co-operation between the BRICS countries is evolving. Data shows that intra-BRICS trade now constitutes 8.5% of total trade of these countries. Currently the intra-group trade figure does not appear to be high. However, if one considers the changing trade dynamics over the past two decades, especially in the context of bilateral trade agreements entered into by BRICS countries, the figure becomes significant.

Table 8: Trend in intra-BRICS trade (% of total trade), 2009–11

 

2009

2010

2011

Import

10.64

11.03

10.19

Export

7.61

8.60

8.36

Total intra-BRICS trade

8.9

9.2

8.5

Source: ITC Trade Map; Computed by the author based on ITC database.

 

Indications show that countries in the group are giving increased focus to intra-group trade. This is reflected specifically by trade data for Brazil and South Africa. Intra-group trade for these two countries is around 20% of total trade. In the other BRICS countries, intra-group co-operation in trade is also improving.

 

 Table 9: Trend in intra-BRICS trade (%), 2009–11

 

Country

Export (% of total exports)

Import (% of total imports)

2009

2010

2011

2009

2010

2011

Brazil

18.13

20.11

20.86

15.63

17.97

18.88

China

5.71

6.70

7.09

7.16

7.15

8.50

Russia

7.91

7.14

8.73

16.52

18.39

19.62

India

8.53

11.87

--

15.76

15.71

--

South Africa

15.36

16.95

18.20

18.51

19.71

20.12

Source: ITC Trade Map; Computed by the author based on ITC database.

 

Trends in intra-group exports at country level are reflected in Table 10. Within the group, China appears to have become a market of high potential for both imports and exports originating from the BRICS market. In fact, it has become the largest trading partner for Brazil, Russia and South Africa; and the second-largest partner for India. The trend is expected to continue in the coming years, making the group important not only for BRICS countries but also for many other economies.

 

Table 10: Trend in intra-BRICS exports, 2009–11

Brazil’s exports (% of total exports)

Countries

2009

2010

2011

India

2.23

1.76

1.25

China

13.20

15.58

17.31

Russia

1.87

2.10

1.65

South Africa

0.82

0.66

0.66

Russia’s exports (% of total exports)

Brazil

0.36

0.45

0.44

China

5.52

5.08

7.26

India

1.97

1.60

1.00

South Africa

0.06

0.01

0.02

China’s exports (% of total exports)

Brazil

1.17

1.55

1.68

India

2.47

2.59

2.66

South Africa

0.61

0.68

0.70

Russia

1.46

1.88

2.05

India’s exports (% of total exports)

Brazil

1.01

1.66

naa

China

5.87

7.91

na

South Africa

1.11

1.66

na

Russia

0.55

0.63

na

South Africa’s exports (% of total exports)

Brazil

0.66

1.00

0.88

 

China

10.53

11.38

13.36

India

3.84

4.17

3.63

Russia

0.33

0.40

0.33

Russia’s exports (% of total exports)

Brazil

0.36

0.45

0.44

China

5.52

5.08

7.26

India

1.97

1.60

1.00

South Africa

0.06

0.01

0.02

a Data not available (na).

Source: ITC Trade Map; Computed by the author based on ITC database.

 

Read on: BRICS Guide 6: What the BRICS GDP, Trade and Investment Mean To The World Economy

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