For years, it was the power chamber at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva - the Director General’s Conference Room, more popularly known as the Green Room, where a handful of delegates would gather for important discussions and meetings.
The eighth G20 Summit convened in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5-6, 2013 was dominated by the Syrian crisis, deflecting attention from the mandate of the gathering to serve as the premier forum for international economic coordination.
The global economy is awash with successive waves of liquidity generated over the past few years by the four most advanced economies, viz., the United States, the European Union, (EU), Japan and the United Kingdom, known as the G4. This liquidity has taken the form of “quantitative easing” (QE).
Cyprus is finalising capital control measures to prevent a run on the banks by depositors anxious about their savings after the country agreed a painful rescue package with international lenders.
On Tuesday, leaders of five large emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, known as the BRICS – will gather in Durban, South Africa to discuss harnessing their formidable resources on behalf of faster development progress in Africa and elsewhere.
As tourism between the emerging nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa starts to increase, South Africa is determined to weld the iron while it is hot.
African nations and other emerging countries are expected to soon outperform the developed world, and South Africa wants to take advantage.
A leading South African economist and investment strategist has warned that national priorities may be a more compelling factor influencing business decisions in the BRICS group of countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – than the prospects of increased market access through the alliance.
As the five members of the BRICS group of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – tighten ranks and seek to expand their global influence, the inevitable trade spats have begun.
South Africa plans to boost links between Africa and its partners in the Brazil, Russia, India and China alliance at a landmark summit, which will be held in this country in March, Xavier Carim, deputy director general at the Department of Trade and Industry, told IPS.
China’s presence in the leading developing nations alliance of Brazil, Russia, India and China has given the bloc an advantage that another developing nations club, India, Brazil and South Africa, has hitherto been lacking, according to Peter Draper, one of South Africa’s leading experts on international relations and trade.
Politicians in the leading developing nations have been active in boosting mutual ties, as one way of counterbalancing the influence of the developed world. But the economic success of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and the India, Brazil, and South Africa groupings will depend on the extent to which businesses take advantage of the new opportunities which are being created.
Today, approximately 125 countries have laws that penalise domestic violence - a great advance from a decade ago. Yet 603 million women around the world still live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime, and up to seven in ten women are targeted for physical or sexual violence, or both.
South Africa and China are partners within a club of leading emerging markets, and it would seem natural that exports of South African wine to the Chinese market should be surging.
Will the BRICS expand into the BRICSIT?
In the aftermath of last week’s elections to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s executive board, Brazil and others are expressing frustration that a reforms process aimed at increasing the representation of developing countries is being stymied by European countries.
For many years, the European Union (EU) and its individual member states counted among the strongest advocates for free trade, arguing that it would boost economic growth and welfare both at home and abroad.
The reality of Indian and Chinese investment in Africa is much more complex than the good cop, bad cop image of Asia’s two emerging economic giants.
China's voracious demand for energy has prompted it to embrace Brazil as a major oil partner, fuelling the dramatic expansion of Chinese companies in this South American country. But while some see this as a boost to the Brazilian economy, others fear that it poses a risk to this country’s future self-sufficiency.
As Russia’s new president Vladimir Putin begins a new phase of economic growth, trade experts are keeping a watchful eye on Moscow’s policies with the African continent, which they see as a huge, untapped source of economic opportunity.