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.[Special coverage]
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.
BUILDING ON FRUITFUL ACHIEVEMENTS
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.
STRENGTHENING GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
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.
As Trump threatened to expel and bar citizens of other countries from the U.S. territory, Sidiropoulos said the Xiamen Summit should address topical issues affecting the world and strengthen global governance.
"I expect them to discuss and come up with a strong statement on trade and protectionism. China, the chair, seeks to bridge what was discussed in G20 and BRICS and take them forward. This is a positive and constructive approach," said Sidiropoulos.
The expert also expects BRICS to discuss global governance and reform of global institutions. The bloc has on numerous occasions called for the reform of the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods institutions.
LEADING A NEW FUTURE
It is widely expected that the upcoming BRICS summit will usher in yet another golden decade of development for the mechanism.
Apart from its accomplishments in the past ten years, BRICS is expected to play an even more important role of enhancing and leading the world's future.
Sidiropoulos said China has changed the summit's formula by inviting friends from developing countries such as Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand to be the guest countries of the summit.
The BRICS chair invites some countries in the region to meet the BRICS leaders for discussion. Forging a more extensive partnership between BRICS and other developing countries will make both bilateral and multilateral trade more effective.
Enhancing BRICS cooperation not only protects and expands the interests of BRICS countries, but also helps explore ways to build a new type of international relations in the future.
"As long as we follow the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win results, and work together to build closer BRICS partnership, we will surely have the second golden ten years for BRICS cooperation," Chinese President Xi Jinping said when meeting senior representatives on security issues from BRICS countries in July.