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FUTURE OF BRICS-SCOPES AND CHANCES
The BRICS(term coined by goldman-sachs) which is a conglomerate of five countries-Brazil,Russia,India,China,South Africa-created interests among world communities since it’s inception.As it has become an effective platform of emerging economies,it’s future seems to be promising.Natural resources,intellectual power,cheap labors,great demography,spreading of modern technologies,military industrial complex-which are essential parts of development in modern era are very much present in those countries combining together. With 45% of global population,near about 30% of global economy and with 4% real GDP growth(whereas G7 countries have just 0.7% GDP growth),by large land-mass, the BRICS has every possibility to have a robust foot print in coming days multi-polar world order.
As of now BRICS is largely a discussion forum. But from this year, BRICS countries realized that their real future cannot be limited in just having talks and meets but there is an urgent need to consolidate the position, strengthen co-operation and institutionalize the relationship. Experts from BRICS group thus suggested to create BRICS development bank though no decision regarding this has seen daylight, but in near future it will come on the way of world economic order. In various international issues including Syria,Iran,North Korea,Arab spring-BRICS countries demonstrated a co-ordinated approach together though officially BRICS countries downplay the idea to counterweight the west or other forums led by first world countries.
The main problem of BRICS groups remain in the divergence of interests and perceptions on various issues. As India has a border dispute with China and china maintains close ties with India’s hostile neighbor Pakistan, India will not want to see extension of Beijing’s influence in the group, as a result when china wanted to promote Yuan as a common currency for BRICS development bank and proposed to create it’s headquarters in Sanghai,India vehemently opposed it. China also considers india’s proximity towards united states as a security threat to it. South Africa also wants to have the headquarters of BRICS bank on it’s own soil and in south Africa, there are some groups which prefer proximity to west and united states and cannot rely fully on the other BRICS nations though situation is fast changing towards intention of having much more close ties with BRICS group. China’s largest trade partner is the united states and Russia’s largest trade partner is European Union. Both Russia and China do not want to remain as junior partners of each other.Russia sometimes feel insecure about China’s growing influence in central Asia and possible land grabbing in Russian far east in distant future due to demographical imbalance.While Brazil,Russia,India,South Africa wants to form an effective strategic partnership China is much more interested in promoting it’s low cost goods and importantly Yuan.As India’s export market is largely dependent on USA and Europe, India does not want to irritate the west and USA by no means.Russia’s fate is much more tied with Europe and united states,as many Russian politicians favor Russia’s European integration pointing out the fact that Russia is essentially an western country which has much more cultural proximity to west in true sense.Russian export is also limited in raw materials ,nuclear industry and weapons. Brazil is also going to be a competitor to Russia in the field of aviation, military equipments and space industry. India has als o started to diversify it’s import of arms and space technology. The BRICS nations also could not agree about the individual contribution of fund in forming the BRICS bank as the debates goes on whether this should be done on the basis of size, population or forex reserve.When European Union was formed,the European countries by and large resolved most of their disputes but till now the BRICS nations have not shown any pragmatic maturity with real thinking. The alarming level of corruption among BRICS nations is also a contentious issue.
But positive scopes and chances for BRICS to emerge as a powerful block is much more than the negative ones. If it can create a free economic space, liberal visa regulation, people to people contact, less or no import-export duty, regional reserve currency basket to avert any kind of financial breakdown, they will be able to do miracle. In fact their economic situation and future potential are so enormous that they can walk extra mile than their American and western counterparts. The population and public perception of BRICS nation are grossly anti-western and anti-American due to various historical reasons. Mahatma Gandhi himself conducted anti-racist non-violent movement in south Africa, many parts of Indian history are enlightened by the writings of Chinese visitors like Fa-hien,Hue-en sung, Buddhism entered Tibet and china from India-in fact historically india and china shared a friendly relationship which did not allow cultural aggression like spreading of American dreams but allowed mutual cultural exchanges between the two ancient nations,india’s inclination towards leftist ideologies during Nehru period and establishment of non-align movement strengthened the ties with brazil and soviet union, soviet union helped India to maintain territorial integrity and saved from possible harsh measures through security council during the re-occupation of goa from colonial portugese government,also soviet union actively helped India to contain Pakistan by giving indirect help for creation of Bangladesh.In fact Indians remember soviet friendship as productive due to soviet help in India’s modernization of industrial sectors,defense and space industry and more importantly protecting democracy as for soviet support no groups dared to meddle into india’s internal affairs(if we take a look back at the condition of other Asian and African countries at that time we will see how west and us supported dictatorships ruled the so called American allies who were supposed to be preventing communism),in fact many Indian students received education from the former soviet union at free of cost. In return soviet union got foodgrains and a market of it’s product in india.China also enjoyed significant co-operation from soviet union till sino-soviet split in 1962-63.After the fall of soviet union,Russia actively supplied arms to Chinese military whereas west and the united states refused to supply arms to the Chinese citing security concerns.Soviet Union whole heartedly supported anti-racist,anti-imperialist,anti-colonial movements in south Africa,Brazil also enjoyed co-operation from soviet union and soviet union also got a powerful ally in latin America.The Brazil-Russian relationship is also continuation of that.Indo-Aryan group also immigrated from KYRGHYZ region during iron age.Most important factor among these nations are that these nations have a large tradition of respecting universal diversity,pluralism.They donot meddle into each other’s internal affairs and accept themselves as they are.That means their respect to each other is intact though sometimes coldness prevailed.The BRICS nations are also the houses of many religions.The young vibrant demography always secure the labor market and economy.The large domestic markets of those nations serve a reliable alternative and fruitful market.Political stability which is very much important for any kind of development,is very much prominent. The forex and gold reserve combining together is probably the highest in the world. In near future all these countries are going to be within top ten economies though China, India and Russia are already in top ten right now and if we combine them, they will be by far the largest economy in the world.The recent interest expressed by Egypt,Mexico to become the observer states of BRICS affirm the solid ground of the group.Both the positive historical factors coupled with present situation can shape the relationship in a meaningful way.
The initial goal of BRICS is to create an economic union with due respect to each other’s sovereignty,but in future,they will have the opportunity to co-operate with each other on various security issues considering their growing military clout.But what has been said earlier that they need to resolve their foremost differences or they need to ignore the differences for greater interests.Their respective media houses can take active part in promoting the idea among the public positively with proper analysis.The formation of BRICS cultural centres across these countries can strengthen and reignite the cultural ties.Student exchange programmes,scholarships,chance of easy immigration,establishing BRICS publishing house which would both print and promote literary works,lingual materials,academic publications among the member countries.We can safely say,that though there are some initial problems but as a whole the situation of BRICS looks quite ok if not bright.Time will tell what will happen.But the Durban BRICS summit which is going on now shows many optimistic visions and of course much awaited silver lining.