Africa: Brics Summits Make Little Progress On Science Cooperation

July 21, 2014

Fabiola Ortiz – All Africa, 7/21/2014

Scientific cooperation among the BRICS countries lags far behind its potential, according to Brazilian experts speaking after last week’s BRICS summit in Brazil.

The 6th Summit of Heads of State and of Government of BRICS – a multilateral forum of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – held in Fortaleza and Brasília (14-16 July) has agreed to set up New Development Bank, which will emphasise social and economic inclusion.

The final declaration reinforces the commitment to strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation, and calls for “co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes utilising appropriate funding and investment instruments”.

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The New Development Bank: The start of a new economic consensus?

July 21, 2014

Erica Kliment – Brazil Institute, 7/21/2014

2014 BRICS Summit in Brazil

The leaders at the 2014 BRICS Summit in Brazil

Is the rest of the world ready for a new order upheld by developing nations? In 2010, when former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva invited then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to the Itamaraty Palace in Brazil, the meeting was highly criticized by the Obama administration. Lula, who had seemed to enjoy international acclaim when dealing with regional politics, was then chastised when he had reached too far out of the western hemisphere. His response was that he was merely attempting to better situate Brazil on the global stage, yet could the criticism have come from the fact that larger power players did not believe Brazil was ready to graduate from the role of regional babysitter?

Four years later, with an unexpectedly successful World Cup under Brazil’s belt and planning on another fruitful mega-event in just two years, the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the developed world seems slightly more willing to accept developing nations’ role in the international sphere. Individually, these nations’ global clout is diminishing with slowing economic growth rates, yet collectively, they have the potential to create a new platform upon which they and future developing nations can flourish. Towards the close of the most recent BRICS Summit, five of those countries reached an agreement that, depending on its success, could bring developing nations to the position they desire – the forefront of international affairs.

During the 2014 BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa jointly created the New Development Bank, a multinational fund of $150 billion in capital to provide stability and finance infrastructure for the five developing nations involved in the negotiations as well as future emerging markets. It will be headquartered in Shanghai with its first president from India, on a five-year rotating schedule, and with Brazil taking chairmanship of the board. Read the rest of this entry »

IMF congratulates BRICS for new fund, offers help

July 21, 2014

Alonso Soto – Reuters, 7/17/2014

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday congratulated the five BRICS countries for creating a new reserves fund that intends to challenge Western dominance in the global lender.

The IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, said the lender would like to work with the BRICS in the new fund, which pools together $100 billion in reserves from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

BRICS leaders on Tuesday launched the fund and a joint bank of the same size in a bold step to press for a bigger say in the global financial order centered on the IMF and the World Bank.

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China and Brazil Seek to Boost Ties

July 17, 2014

Kelwin Choi – The Diplomat, 7/17/2014

Xi Jinping is seeking to boost ties with Brazil with a state visit to the country this week.

While in the country for the BRICS summit, Xi is making a state visit to Brazil where he will meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. This is Xi’s first visit to Brazil since becoming president (he visited the country as vice president in 2009), and comes as China and Brazil celebrate their 40th anniversary of bilateral ties.

Before leaving for Brazil, Xi stated in a written interview that he attaches “great importance to growing the global strategic partnership with Brazil” and believes “China is ready to work with Brazil under the principle of mutual benefit to promote sustained two-way trade.” He explained that during his trip, he and Brazilian leaders will be discussing to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in all aspects of Sino-Brazilian relations.

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In Brazil, Five Nations Plan Future Together…Again

July 17, 2014

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 7/15/2014

Now that the FIFA World Cup is over in Brazil, it’s back to business in South America’s largest nation. And in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa made more declarations about how they will become a winning team.

There was more talk about creating a development bank to fund projects in each others’ countries, and declarations on teaming up with mega sporting events. The Summer Olympics takes place in Rio in two short years.

Brazil, Russia, India and China have been meeting together for the past six years. South Africa is only a recent partner in what has become an emerging markets G-5 of sorts, with presidents hammering out growth ideas. Historically, the U.S. and former colonial powers in Europe have been the prime source of funding — and still are. But in the last seven years, for instance, China has replaced the U.S. as Brazil’s biggest market, thanks to soybeans and iron ore. And China continues to invest heavily in South Africa mining. Meanwhile, Russia has been touting its growing relationship with Chinese energy companies looking for natural resources and access to new technologies. On balance, however, the BRICS are still beholden to foreign investment from advanced economies, be it portfolio investors or multinationals based in the U.S. and E.U.

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BRICS sign deal to create development bank

July 15, 2014

Al Jazeera, 7/15/2014

The BRICS group of emerging powers have launched a $50bn development bank to be based in the Chinese city of Shanghai, according to a joint declaration.

The bank will have an initial subscribed capital of $50bn followed by an authorised capital of $100bn, equally shared among the BRICS members – Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.

The New Development Bank’s first president will be from India while the board’s chairman will be Brazilian, according to the declaration released at a summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

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What to Watch at the BRICS Summit in Brazil

July 15, 2014

Molly Elgin-Cossart – Center for American Progress, 7/14/2014

While the drama and sportsmanship of the World Cup has captured the world’s attention for several weeks, an international gathering of a different kind is set to begin in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15. After attending the final soccer match at the invitation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, or the BRICS countries, will meet for their sixth summit.

The summit is likely to be more show than substance—but never underestimate the power of a good show. For a group that began as a mere Goldman Sachs acronym, the BRICS has slowly asserted itself as an economic entity. During this week’s summit, the group is likely to announce its own BRICS development bank with starting capital of at least $50 billion, and it is also cautiously wading into political territory.

What is the BRICS?

The BRICS began as BRICs—or Brazil, Russia, India, and China—an acronym coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill as shorthand for the developing economies with high projected growth. The countries took this constructed association seriously and began meeting formally in 2006. South Africa joined the club in 2010.

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China Looking to Play Larger Role in Funding Brazil’s Infrastructure

July 14, 2014

Paulo Trevisani and Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 7/13/2014

When China’s President Xi Jinping travels through Brazil this week, he will see airports and other projects financed mainly by the Brazilian government.

But, with Brazil’s economy slowing and government accounts strained, China is looking to play a larger role in funding critical infrastructure to help move South America’s largest country forward.

In Brazil for Monday’s start of a meeting of the so-called BRICS nations in Fortaleza, Chinese officials are expected to announce investments in Brazil’s transportation, energy and food sectors in coming days.

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BRICS to launch bank, tighten Latin America ties

July 14, 2014

AFP – The West Australian, 7/12/2014

Brasilia (Brazil) – The BRICS group of emerging powers will launch its own development bank at a summit next week, using its growing influence to establish a counterweight to Western-dominated financial organizations.

Fresh from the World Cup final, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hosts the leaders of Russia, India, China and South Africa in Fortaleza on Tuesday before an unprecedented meeting with South American leaders the next day in Brasilia.

On the diplomatic front, the summit will mark the first face-to-face meeting between India’s new Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jiping.

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Modi to head to Brazil for BRICS summit after budget

July 7, 2014

Suhasini Haidar – The Hindu, 7/7/2014

Within days of presenting his first budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will head for their first big international visit for the BRICS summit in Brazil, with development and the BRICS bank at the top of the agenda.

Mr. Modi will be meeting more than 10 heads of state during the visit from July 13-16, including leaders of the BRICS countries: Russian President Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma as well as host Brasilian President Dilma Rousseff in Fortaleza for the summit starting July 15.

Focus on meet with Putin, Xi

The BRICS summit will be followed by a trip to Brasilia, where President Rousseff has invited leaders of South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuala and Surinam to meet with them as well. It is unclear how many bilateral meetings Mr. Modi will have, but the focus will be on his meetings with President Xi and President Putin. President Xi is also expected to visit India in September with a host of bilateral announcements and infrastructural deals on the cards.

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