The Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa programme is a policy research and stakeholder engagement programme to strengthen the influence of pro-poor African coalitions at global economic governance fora.

BRICS (204)

Thursday, 07 March 2013 09:39

Building on the Brics bloc

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SA's relations with its African neighbours and fellow Brics members - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are set to get a boost. Government is placing increasing importance on cementing trade and investment ties in the region and with the Brics bloc to drive economic growth.Finance minister Pravin Gordhan proposed a number of measures to relax cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements on companies, making it easier for banks to invest and operate in other countries.
Cape Town:  Africa is our home, and it is our future. It is a market of over one billion people and it is growing rapidly. The National Development Plan acknowledges the global shift of economic power from West to East, and highlights the rise of Africa. Indeed, we have already begun to see our trade patterns shift from traditional partners in Europe and the United States to new markets in Asia and Africa. Africa now accounts for about 18 per cent of our total exports, and nearly a quarter of our manufactured exports. Over the past five years, the South…
On March 3-4, 2013 the Second Sherpas' Meeting will be held in Moscow within the framework of Russia's G20 Presidency.During the meeting Sherpas will discuss the main outcomes of the first Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meeting, which was held on February 15-16, 2013. Sherpas will consider such issues as implementation of the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth; financing for investment; reform of international financial architecture; financial regulation; and impact of structural reforms on growth.In the course of the meeting there will also be presented reports on the results of the working groups' meetings held recently -…

Event Info

  • Date Sunday, 03 March 2013
  • Location Moscow, Russia
by Oliver StuenkelSAIIA Occasional Paper No 123, December 2012Click here to download from the SAIIA website [pdf] (671.51 kB).The emergence of the Group of Twenty (G-20) has changed the structure of today’s global economic governance substantially, providing a more inclusive and legitimate framework than the Group of Eight (G-8). The inclusion of Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Saudi Arabia in the G-20 has assured that traditionally neglected regions of the world – such as South America, the Middle East, Africa and the Arab World – are now better represented in global forums. Faced with a growing presence of emerging powers,…
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 09:19

Brics’ summit banking on development

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The Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa business communities) development bank, which is likely to be launched at the Brics summit in Durban next month will probably only invest about 10 percent to 15 percent of its capital in Africa and be based in Shanghai not in South Africa, experts believe.They expect President Jacob Zuma and other Brics leaders – Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Manohan Singh, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin – to give the bank a formal “paper launch” at the summit. But it will take months, or years, before the bank gives out its first loan.Many important decisions about the bank may be deferred, including how much capital each of the Brics governments should initially invest.There is a proposal that they should each put in $10 billion (R89bn), but South Africa is apparently balking at that, saying it is…
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 09:28

SA plans to punt Africa at Brics summit

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The South African government intends to make next month’s Brics summit a Brics summit for Africa. But how much will that help the continent in practice? And how much will it help South Africa?This will be the fifth summit of the Brics bloc of major emerging nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – which South Africa joined late in 2010. It will be the first summit hosted by South Africa.And South Africa has decided to take advantage of the opportunity to bring Africa more forcefully to the attention of the Bric leaders who will attend the Durban summit, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Xi Jinping.The theme will be “Brics and Africa – partnerships for integration and industrialisation” and the Brics leaders have invited the heads of the AU and Africa’s regional economic communities to attend the summit for…
by Biswajit DharSAIIA Occasional Paper No 125, December 2012Download the PDF from the SAIIA website [pdf] (701.69 kB).The paper argues that South Africa’s inclusion in the BRICS will strengthen the organisation, since it is a natural ally of the three developing country members of the grouping. This argument is justified on the basis of the engagement that South Africa, Brazil, China and India have had in several international forums, most importantly those concerning trade and climate change. In the on-going Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, these countries have been able to co-ordinate their positions in several critical areas, including…
Monday, 25 February 2013 10:01

BRICS: The way forward

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Drawing from the Sanya Declaration of the BRICS Leaders Summit held in China in 2011, five reputed policy research organisations have come together to form the Track 2 initiative called BRICS Trade and Economic Research Network (TERN) which will work on a range of issues on South-South cooperation.The five founding members Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil, Eco-Accord, Russia, CUTS International, India, Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Centre, China and the South African Institute of International Affairs are of the view that BRICS cooperation should move from policy discussions to delivering tangible benefits for the people of these five countries, in areas of sharing technology, increase in bilateral investment and trade etc. This development comes in the run up to the BRICS Leaders Summit which will be held in Durban, South Africa in March 2013.Representing the civil society among the various stakeholders, Pradeep S. Mehta, secretary general, CUTS International said BRICS countries should…
Johannesburg: Carrying the theme “BRICS and Africa - partnerships for integration and industrialisation” the fifth BRICS Summit will be held in Durban, South Africa between 25 and 27 March 2013. Taking a step back, this report focuses on the depth of intra-BRICS trade and commercial ties to frame many of the discussions which will take place in Durban.
One of the challenges faced by the Obama Administration has been to reconcile existing international organizations with shifts in global power. Growth in emerging markets and the slow resolution of the European debt crisis present different problems but suggest a unique linkage between them. The White House can overhaul global economic governance by supporting the demands of emerging markets for reforms in the IMF, provided that countries work more transparently and collaboratively. This bargain will strengthen the Fund in dealing with European governments and further ensure that it will continue to provide global public goods long into the future.
The GEGAfrica project is offering an introductory briefing for journalists within South Africa on the upcoming BRICS Summit 2013.Based on discussion and feedback from editors of key media outlets, the half-day briefing will be of practical, professional use to selected journalists attending. Both off-record, background sessions and on-record, reportable discussions with key individuals from government, academia, civil society and business.More information about the briefing will be circulated to targeted journalists closer to the date. If you are a journalist or editor wishing to participate, please contact">

Event Info

  • Date Tuesday, 19 February 2013
  • Location Johannesburg, South Africa
There are two fundamentally different ways of understanding the rise of the BRICS concept.The first is that Jim O'Neill's idea was successful because it merely articulated an already existing drive towards a 'rising power identity' and closer cooperation between these countries. Under this assumption, the BRICS would have started holding summits anyways, perhaps in a slightly different composition, even if O'Neill had never invented the BRICs term in the first place.According to the other perspective, Jim O'Neill not only invented the BRICs term, but also inspired emerging powers to work together and seek to develop joint positions on many important…
Suresh P Singh is a Policy Analyst, CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS CITEE). Web Site:; www.cuts-citee.orgSuresh P Singh has over 15 years of research experience. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Rabindra Bharti University, Kolkata, India. At CUTS, he works on issues such as international trade, climate change and agriculture, sustainable consumption and production.
Annex 1: BRIC(S) evolution and journey1989        Brazil emerges from military rule and puts in place a drastic economic stabilisation plan to reverse hyperinflation and boost privatisation;1991         India introduces sweeping economic reforms, ending the licence raj and setting conditions for sustained economic reforms in the following periods;1998        China emerges from the Asian crisis unscathed;1999        (December): After the Russian economy meltdown in 1998, Russia puts in place a strategy to rebuild and regain its lost economic status;2001        Goldman Sachs predicts the rapid rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) in the next 50 years;2001        (December): China…
The BRICS appears to be on its way to realising the predictions made in 2001, with the emerging dynamics over the last decade further establishing these predictions.Starting with a share of a little over 10% in world GDP, and less than 4% in world trade in 1990, BRICS now constitutes about 25% of the world GDP and 15% of world trade. The increase in GDP implies that the economic size of BRICS in terms of its share in world GDP has expanded by 150% in the two decade periods. In addition, all the BRICS countries have now become active members…
Given the divergences among the BRICS, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to create a power bloc that is formidable enough to be a guiding force in the 21st century. What the BRICS can hope for is significant influence that will grow as the group itself institutionalises trust and consolidates. To be a guiding force there is a need for the convergence of ideas on global governance. There is indeed a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of the BRICS but, as issues currently stand, the countries have different ideological approaches to how a new approach…
One of the criticisms levelled against the BRICS is the lack of an institutional basis, at least beyond the summit meetings. The biggest argument for institutionalisation of the group would be the facilitation of closer co-operation and co-ordination of positions on various international issues. This is especially because the BRICS countries are not a natural fit and may need this institutionalisation more than the developed country groupings. As the BRICS becomes more grounded, the question arises as to what kind of institutionalisation the group needs to make it more effective and to give it more content.
As much as the BRICS may have more differences than commonalities, the political economy benefits of this group should never be underestimated, and that is their biggest strength. A quick glance at the statistics reveals that in 2011 the BRICS accounted for 25% of global GDP, 30% of global land area and 45% of the world’s population.[1] The basic point of commonality among the BRICS countries is that they are regional leaders in their own right and they have fast-growing economies. South Africa’s economy, although not in the same league as that of the other BRICS countries, is the largest…
Monday, 11 February 2013 10:44

Foreign policy and BRICS: A look at Russia

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Over the past year, there have been many articles explaining the cohesion and staying power of the BRICS grouping. Repeated emphasis has been on the priorities shared as developing economies protecting their interests. However, the commonalities should not be confused for notions of a sort of monolithic ‘emerging economies bloc’.National interests still frame many rules of the game and if we look at Russia in the BRICS forum through this lens, the country hasn’t changed its outlook very much in the past three years. It saw BRICS as an anti-Western grouping and it can be said that this Russian BRICS-view…
The BRICS group is rapidly consolidating and becoming a force to reckon with in global governance.The March 2012 BRICS Summit in India also completed the hosting cycle of the original BRIC members and, with South Africa hosting the next BRICS summit in 2013, the hosting cycle will be complete for the entire group. If anything, this milestone is an indication of the group’s staying power. The 2012 BRICS summit, which was held under the theme of ‘BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity’, emphasised co-operation among BRICS countries on various economic and development issues, including trade and investment, food…
Over the years BRICS has emerged as a very important group in terms of many economic and demographic parameters. BRICS now constitutes the fastest-growing and largest emerging-markets economies. They account for almost three billion people, or just under half of the world’s total population. Their increasing share in GDP, FDI, and trends in economically active population might have a huge impact in shaping future economic and political world dynamics.
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.
The BRICS growing importance for the world economy is reflected by various economic and demographic indicators. These include, but are not limited to, their increasing share in world GDP; share in world trade; trade openness and increasing forex reserves; and their foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and outflows.
The BRICS forum has evolved and expanded after formalisation of the group. In addition to the four founder countries, it now includes South Africa, as discussed in section 2.During 2001–10, the BRIC countries achieved significant gains in both an economic and a political sense. As far as demographic and economic progress of the group is concerned, in 2010 BRICS countries collectively accounted for more than 40% of the global population and nearly 30% of the land mass. The group constituted a share of about 25% of the world GDP in PPP terms compared with 16% in 2000. This is expected…
The BRIC acronym, a concept floated for the first time more than a decade ago in 2001, represents the loose grouping of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The idea was coined by Goldman Sachs in a paper as part of an economic modelling exercise to forecast global economic trends over the next half-century. The main finding was that the BRICs would play an increasingly important role in the global economy.
Thursday, 07 February 2013 11:17

BRICS to partner rest of Africa

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South Africa’s inclusion into the BRICS group is key to the country’s “global economic strategy” says Rob Davies, the South African minister of trade and industry.“South Africa’s membership of the BRICS forum has become a vital element of our global economic strategy, and as the incoming BRICS chair, South Africa will play a key role in shaping the agenda for economic cooperation,” said Davies.The 5th BRICS Summit will take place in March in Durban, South Africa.The theme for the Summit is “Brics and Africa – Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”.South Africa sees this as a historic opportunity for the BRICS countries to champion a new model for collaboration for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development, said the minister.Before the Summit there will be a meeting between BRICS ministers of trade and economic development on March 26.The minister said the country has four strategic considerations to anchor their participation…
Abdullah Verachia, a Director at Fronteir Advisory, South Africa, is interviewed by the GEG Africa project ( on the role of India in the BRICS grouping.=======Since South Africa's accession to the BRICS group of emerging powers in 2011, there has been sustained interest in South Africa's role in the shifting dynamics of global economic governance. Given that South Africa will be hosting the BRICS Summit in 2013, this attention will only increase throughout the coming year.On 6th August 2012 the South African Institute of International Affairs and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria convened a symposium…


Wednesday, 06 February 2013 00:00

BRICS Guide 1: Summary

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"No one can resist an idea whose time has come." (Victor Hugo, famous French writer of the Romantic period). BRIC(S) was one such idea, when the term was coined by Goldman Sachs in 2001.The BRIC acronym, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China, originated in a Goldman Sachs paper – Building Better Global Economic BRICs – as part of an economic modelling exercise to forecast global economic trends over the next half-century. The main finding was that the BRIC countries collectively would play an increasingly important role in the global economy.
Monday, 21 January 2013 10:39

We need Brics – and the G8 too

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The BRics summit which South Africa will host in Durban at the end of March is going to be quite an event, with eight African heads of state invited to confer with the heads of the five Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and a host of other ancillary events.Jerry Matjila, director-general of International Relations and Co-operation, and Anil Sooklal, deputy director-general for the Middle East and Asia in the same department – respectively the “sherpa” and “sous-sherpa”(deputy sherpa) for the summit – briefed media about the summit this week.The “outreach” to the African leaders is part of South Africa’s aim to push Brics towards Africa. It is also hoping a Brics Development Bank – with initial capital of $50 billion (R438.5bn) – might be launched at the summit, which would greatly help Africa.South Africa had three main aims when it joined Brics in 2010…
South Africa’s foreign policy contends that our national interests are better safeguarded by not just focusing on our own national interests, but broadly, on the interests of our region and our continent.   Our country, as a member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa bloc, (Brics) is playing an important role towards the shifting and distribution of power internationally. This shift is expected to give rise to a multi-polar world order.Our interaction with fellow Brics states is premised on three levels of engagement:firstly, national, where we advance our national interests, secondly, regional, where we promote regional integration and interaction…
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