BRICS Forges Ahead after a Decade of Achievements




With the theme “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future,” the Xiamen BRICS Summit scheduled for September will review the cooperation experience of the past decade and outline the vision for future development to usher in a new decade for the BRICS mechanism.  


During the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, the foreign ministers of China, Brazil, Russia, and India held a meeting, starting the BRIC cooperation mechanism. In its first decade, BRICS has evolved from merely a simple concept in a financial institution’s report into a substantial mechanism. Starting with economic governance, BRICS has begun to exert remarkable influence in global governance and grown into an important representative for developing countries.


This past decade was one of mutual benefit. BRICS accounted for 23 percent of the global economy, up from 12 percent in its first days; its share in global trade rose from 11 percent to 16 percent, and that in investment in foreign countries grew from seven percent to 12 percent. As living conditions of their three billion people continue to improve, the BRICS nations are rising in their status and influence on the global stage. In the meantime, people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in education are thriving, consolidating public support for BRICS cooperation.   


In the past decade, BRICS has been a big factor in the continuous growth of the world’s economy. At present, the member states not only maintain a great momentum for development, but have also grown into a major locomotive for global growth. BRICS can be seen as an indispensable force for curbing the imbalance in world economy and for facilitating comprehensive progress. The contribution of the BRICS countries to the world economic growth has surpassed 50 percent in the past 10 years.   


Furthermore, global governance has been improved with the efforts made by the BRICS countries. This is reflected in their voting power in the World Bank, which has been elevated to 13.24 percent, and their quota shares in the International Monetary Fund, which have risen to 14.91 percent. Moreover, they have established the New Development Bank – the first-ever multilateral financial institution solely set up by developing countries – to support infrastructure construction and sustainable development in the BRICS countries and other emerging markets and developing countries.


In addition, through mechanisms which include meetings of high representatives for security issues, meetings of foreign ministers, counter-terrorism working groups, and work groups on cyber security, the BRICS members speak with one voice on major global and regional affairs. They strive to enhance the speaking right of developing countries within the international community and improve international order to be more just and equitable.  


It was not an easy task to realize these achievements against the backdrop of sluggish global growth and a rising trend of anti-globalization and unilateralism. Despite these difficulties, the BRICS nations have become more united, and the mechanism continues to be refined to set an example of multilateral cooperation.   


When meeting with foreign ministers from other BRICS countries on June 19, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that cooperation among BRICS nations is an innovative practice that has surpassed the outdated mentality of political and military allies. Instead, the partnership is built on mutual trust and common development.


The key to successful BRICS cooperation lies in carrying forward the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation. Put forward by Xi at Fortaleza BRICS summit in 2014, the spirit has developed into a consensus among the BRICS members. Additionally, principles including equality, extensive consultation, effective cooperation, joint contribution, and shared benefits also ensure the effectiveness of the BRICS mechanism. Among them, equality is always the formost one. The interests of each BRICS nation is fully respected and considered based on equal consultation regardless of its scales of economy, population, and territory – a major difference from cooperative mechanisms of developed countries. 


Nevertheless, we have to be aware that the world is still confronted with challenges and conflicts in many ways. BRICS is expected to continuously adhere to its spirit and principles to strengthen the world with greater openness, jointly tackle global challenges, safeguard fairness and justice, as well as inject new impetus to cooperation using new ideas and measures.


Embracing the second decade of the mechanism, BRICS will make contributions to achieving sustainable and balanced global growth, improving the international order, and establishing a new type of international relations through win-win cooperation.