IBSA

Chinese workers in front of five star 90-million dollar hotel in Malawi. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

China Keen to Reverse Negative Image in Africa

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.

Brazil and China, Oiling the Wheels of Business

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.

Michael Sudarkasa, chief executive officer of the African Business Group, says economic and social growth are at the heart of IBSA

Q&A: Less Politics, More Economic Development

Economic and social growth have become the heart of the development agenda of the bloc of leading emerging economies known as IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) since it began focusing less on politics.

Brazil Forging Strategic Alliance with Africa

The Brazilian government of Dilma Rousseff is taking firm steps towards stronger relations with Africa, such as the creation of a special fund to finance development projects together with multilateral lenders like the World Bank.

Badi sex workers await rehabilitation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Caste Blocks Revamp of Nepal’s Sex Workers

Social activists say that attempts to rehabilitate sex workers in this former monarchy call for special efforts to uplift the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution.

Smugglers Devastate Gulf of Mannar Marine Reserve

Forest officials of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve abutting the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka have reported a decline in marine wildlife, as smugglers exploiting lax conservation laws in the region tank up on protected species used in traditional Chinese medicines and fine dining.

India Serves Up Costly Cocktail of Vaccines

Ignoring widespread concern over the safety, efficacy and cost of pentavalent vaccines, India’s central health ministry has, this month, approved inclusion of the prophylactic cocktail in the universal immunisation programme in seven of its provinces.

Tribal Farming Beats Climate Change

Tribal farmer Harish Saraka has rediscovered the key to sustainable farming in this rain-dependent hinterland of eastern Odisha state – mixed cropping.

Cloning – Lifeline for Cashmere Shawl Industry

After scientists in Kashmir successfully cloned the pashmina goat, that produces the famous ‘cashmere’ wool, hopes are running high for the revival of the traditional shawl-making industry in this Indian state.

Indonesia Knocks at BRICS’ Door

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.

Argentina Discovers Africa

Under the banner of South-South cooperation, Argentina is seeking to consolidate its ties with Africa, starting with countries that are enjoying dynamic economic growth, such as Angola and Mozambique.

Cash-for-work schemes are greening arid areas. Credit: Keya Acharya/IPS

India’s Job Guarantee Scheme Under Strain

Standing on a patch of arid, degraded land, 100 km from southern Bangalore city, Ramapal, member of the ‘gram panchayat’ (local village administration), points to a roughly-dug canal feeding a narrow belt of green cultivation.

India’s IIT Elite Could Shape New ‘Asian Capitalism’

The rapid currents moving the centre of economic influence towards an emerging global order headquartered in Asia were evident at the PanIIT’s 2012 annual conference of alumni of the highly prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), which took place in Singapore over the Easter weekend.

Valerie Amos Credit: World Economic Forum/CC BY-SA 2.0

U.N. Taps Brazil’s Experience in Humanitarian Aid

On her first visit to Brazil, the United Nations humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos stressed the need to take advantage of this country’s experience in disaster response and the fight against poverty.

Trading Their Way Out of Trouble

Azhar Karimjee (52), an exporter based in Karachi, is eyeing the "huge market", comprised of the Indian middle class, for his Bermuda and cargo shorts and chino pants once trade links open between Pakistan and India.

‘Slum Cities’ Need Better Planning

Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo, the vibrant economic and administrative heart of the bustling island nation, is rapidly turning into a city of slums. Home to over 30 percent of the country’s population, one in every two people living in the Greater Colombo Area is a slum dweller.

South Africa Looking to Make the Most of BRICS Membership

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.

The G20 is not representative of the WTO because the poorest countries have no say in setting the trade agenda. Credit: Kim Cloete/IPS

BRICS Ministers Say New Trade Narrative Sinks Development

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.

Pipelines that transport grains from the Suape port in Northeast Brazil. In the background, Brazil

The Downside of China’s Lifeline to Brazil

Over the last decade, China has become Brazil’s main trading partner and source of foreign investment. But this apparent lifeline at a time of global crisis could actually aggravate longstanding problems faced by Latin America’s biggest economy.

South Africa

Brazil and South Africa Hit Hard by Exchange Rate Complications

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.

China’s trade minister Chen Deming opposed sanctions against Iran when rising oil prices were hitting BRICS. Credit: World Economic Forum/CC-BY-SA-2.0

BRICS Tighten United Front

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.

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