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.
Not many nice things can be said about the apartheid regime in South Africa. It was racist, violent in the brutal oppression of many of its own citizens, and was despised around the world.
The five leading developing nations grouped in the BRICS alliance – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are planning to intensify efforts to collect accurate trade data, so they can get a better picture of trade flows.
Though the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has long held that trade between African countries is too low, experts at the South Centre, an inter-governmental think tank of developing countries, say intra-continental trade is already significant in manufactured goods and promises a new path to industrialisation.
Indonesia’s keen interest in becoming the newest member of BRICS – a bloc of emerging-market nations comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – has sparked off a round of debate on the future and efficacy of South-South groupings.
South Africa needs to stop agonising over whether it deserves to be in BRICS and start focusing on making the most of its membership to leverage better trade deals.
Trade ministers of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa – say that at the G20 trade ministerial summit later this month in Mexico they will try to ensure that attempts by industrialised countries to frame a new trade agenda do not drown development-led trade liberalisation and the World Trade Organization talks.
Brazil and South Africa have experienced a widespread contraction of their manufacturing industries, with the latter suffering massive unemployment as well, thanks to the rampant volatility and misalignment of dominant global currencies like the dollar, trade experts from the two countries say.
At their summit in the Indian capital on Thursday, leaders of the coalition known as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – made several noteworthy decisions that experts say hint at the converging of economic and political interests of a disparate regional bloc.
South Africa’s membership of the bloc of leading emerging economies and its unique position in Africa heralded the country’s role as a gateway into the African continent. However, trade experts question whether it can live up to this position as investors begin to increasingly look towards other African markets.
Trade envoys of India, Brazil, and South Africa have warned industrialised countries not to hijack the Doha multilateral trade negotiations by adopting the controversial plurilateral approach to liberalise trade in services.
By allowing a generic manufacturer to produce a patented cancer drug at a fraction of its current cost, India has declared that it is not about to abandon its role as the ‘pharmacy of the world’s poor'.
India, Brazil, and South Africa, the international grouping for promoting international cooperation among the three countries known as IBSA, along with China and several other developing countries, have denounced the ongoing attempts to craft an exclusive, plurilateral agreement to liberalise trade in services without concluding the multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization.
Decades after peasants’ networks have advocated for a new legal instrument to protect the rights of small farmers to land, seeds, traditional agricultural knowledge and freedom to determine the prices of their production, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) may decide to start drafting a declaration on peasants’ rights next week.
The 146-kilometre railway line to be established between South Africa and Swaziland will help reduce the cost of doing business between the two countries.