Xinhua – The 14th summit of BRICS, an emerging-market group that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will be held this week in virtual format under the theme of “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development” under China’s chairmanship.
Over the past 16 years since its establishment, BRICS has become an all-round and multi-level framework, with practical cooperation carried out in dozens of areas, upholding the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation.
As the world is faced with numerous uncertainties, including a pandemic unseen in a century, the five major developing countries are expected to contribute their wisdom and efforts to promoting global development.
PROMOTING COMMON DEVELOPMENT
BRICS countries are an important driving force for regional and global economic and trade growth. Despite the prolonged impact of COVID-19, the total volume of trade in goods of BRICS countries reached nearly 8.55 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 33.4 percent, official data shows.
Meanwhile, China’s bilateral trade with other BRICS countries totaled 490.42 billion U.S. dollars, up 39.2 percent year on year and higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade in the same period.
Worldwide, BRICS countries account for 18 percent of trade in goods and 25 percent of foreign investment, statistics show.
To tackle infrastructure and development challenges faced by emerging economies, the New Development Bank (NDB), with its headquarters in Shanghai, was founded by BRICS countries and formally opened in July 2015.
From renewable energy projects in Brazil to railway network upgrade programs in India and new toll roads in Russia, the NDB had approved more than 80 projects in member countries by May 2021, with a total portfolio of some 30 billion U.S. dollars.
According to the bank, from 2022 to 2026, it will provide 30 billion U.S. dollars of financial support for member countries, with 40 percent of the funds to be used for mitigating global warming.
Functioning as a new and strong impetus for development, the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) Innovation Center was launched in Xiamen, east China’s Fujian Province in December 2020 to provide a foothold for BRICS countries to make use of technological innovation and digital transformation.
TACKLING HEALTH CHALLENGES
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, BRICS countries have supported one another with medical supplies and carried out extensive cooperation on infection prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment protocols, and vaccines and drug research and development.
In March, the Butantan Institute of Brazil inaugurated a factory in Sao Paulo for the production of the China-developed CoronaVac vaccine starting from 2023.
The achievement of BRICS cooperation has not only enhanced the say of emerging markets and developing countries in the world, but also made BRICS an important platform for promoting South-South cooperation.
In 2017, China proposed the “BRICS Plus” cooperation model, which aims to strengthen the unity and coordination among BRICS members for greater cohesion and, at the same time, to keep broadening the BRICS “circle of friends” in a joint pursuit of shared development and prosperity for all emerging markets and developing countries.