Intergovernmental organisation BRICS, which originally comprised Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, can still exist with or without the G7 Group of countries, noted Victor Gao, vice president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalisation (CCG), and chair professor of Soochow University.
Gao noted, “This is because these member countries of BRICS want to have independence and equality. They want to have their voice heard at the international stage.”
“China accounted for more 50% of BRICS economy to start with...when there were only five member states. China did not dictate terms to other BRICS members. All the five members operated in equality with each other. Now, we have 11 members in BRICS,” Gao said at a panel session at the Doha Forum Sunday.
“I think this equality and independent decision making of each of the BRICS members will become even more important. And this will serve as a greater incentive for all the other BRICS applicants.
“Because they see BRICS as a platform of equality...a platform where they can cooperate to the extent possible and really achieve greater efficiency.
Gao noted, “Some 40 years ago, the size of Chinese and Indian economies was on par. Today, one China equals about six India. The fact that India is growing rapidly should be congratulated. Eventually, India will be among the top three economies of the world. I hope it will be quicker rather than slower.
“It is expected that by the middle of this century, Chinese economy is will be double that of the United States. Chinese economy is still larger than the US by Purchasing power parity (PPP). In future, China will double the US economy, but I don’t think China will dominate any country.”
He emphasised that BRICS is a framework for unity. “You can overcome diversity and differences of opinion sometimes to achieve a common goal. BRICS should not be caught in the framework of geopolitics for confrontation or conflict with anyone, but to promote what matters most– economic development, overcome adversities and achieve financial connectivity, currency cooperation specifically.
“It will take a few years for financial connectivity. But don’t be surprised if one day there will be a major announcement for financial or currency cooperation within the BRICS framework,” Gao said.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry, Ethiopia's State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mesganu Arga Moach and Erika Mounyes, chair, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Advisory Council also spoke at the panel session.
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