To face the crises in member nations, as in Brazil, two Chinese experts quoted by Xinhua Monday recommend that the BRICS member nations not give credence to any notion that the BRICS “is dead,” as some media assert. Rather, now is the time to strengthen cooperation to ensure economic development in the developing sector.
The Brazilian crisis, and ouster of President Dilma Rousseff, will test the BRICS’ resiliance, Xinhua notes, given that interim President Michel Temer has shifted foreign policy toward the United States and Europe and away from the BRICS. There may be a spillover from this, but, according to Zhou Zhiwei, executive director of the Brazil Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the BRICS countries should respond by strengthening their economic ties and making optimal use of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) to prevent domestic policy changes from adversely affecting cooperation.
Even the unfavorable external environment should be seen as an incentive for the BRICS to boost, not reduce, their cooperation, Zhou remarked.
“The fundamental strengths of the BRICS, such as the market and population mass, won’t go away due to the cyclical downturns of some BRICS members. They will still shine in future economic development,” he said.
Shen Yi, director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University, added that, since its founding, the BRICS bloc “has been more than just an economic concept. It is a platform for the emerging economies to exert their influence on the global economic arena.” He added that market access, foreign reserves and “counter-cyclical long-term loans” should be seen as a way for member nations to further cooperation.