South-South Cooperation in the News

More than just a catchy acronym: six reasons why BRICS matters

There have been heated discussions over the role of BRICS recently. Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm, wrote an eye-catching article in the New York Times in late November, proclaiming that BRICS is nothing more than a catchy acronym.

The BRICS nations represent over 43 percent of the global population that is likely to account for over 50 percent of global consumption by the middle class - those earning between $16 and $50 per day - by 2050. On the other hand, they also collectively account for around half of global poverty calculated at the World Bank's $1.25 a day poverty line.

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Panned or praised, BRICS influence likely to grow

The end of the Cold War in the 1990s brought to an inevitable conclusion the geopolitical bi-polar chasm that existed between the West and the East, and established the US as the world’s only superpower.

But it also signaled the creation of geo-economics as lesser powers shuffled their energies to align political strategy with economic planning.
The seeds for the foundation of powerful political unions shadowing as economic blocs began to grow.

It was during this period, particularly in the wake of the first Gulf War, that the world order was repeatedly challenged. The first venue for this challenge was the United Nations where countries such as Brazil and India demanded reform and expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council.

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Brics can help reform multilateral institutions, says Davies

THE Brics grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is an important voice for emerging economies and developing countries in the world economy, according to Rob Davies, South Africa’s minister of trade and industry.

The grouping’s effectiveness has been questioned over the past few years, particularly for its lack of formal structures and clear long-term strategic objectives, although there are plans to establish a Brics development bank. South Africa was added to the group in late 2010.

Speaking last week at the Expert Group Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Mr Davies said the Brics, as an organisation, was not a closed shop.

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South Africa should look to the South

SAnews

Pretoria - South Africa's prospects for growth and development will depend increasingly on diversifying and strengthening of economic links with countries in the south, said Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Speaking at the expert group meeting at Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, Davies said that BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] was an important voice for emerging economies, adding that while South Africa's economic links with traditional trading partners remained important, prospects for growth and development will depend on diversifying and strengthening economic links with economies of the south, including Indonesia.

"The expansion of South Africa's trade and direct investment with the countries of the South, notably the BRIC countries, continues apace, with China and India at the forefront," he told the meeting.

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The state of South-South Cooperation

Report of the UN Secretary-General

Summary:

On the basis of a recent surge in South-South economic interactions driven by the fast economic growth and resilience of major economies in the global South, the present report calls attention to the transformative features of a rising South. These include its expanding middle class, connectivity and knowledge as promising new assets for developing countries to harness in renewed efforts to achieve sustainable human development in such areas as food, health and energy security. The report responds to resolution 66/219, in which the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit to it a comprehensive report on the state of South-South cooperation at its sixty-seventh session. Given the wealth of South-South exchanges at regional and subregional levels and the many emerging partnerships across the South, the report calls for multilateral forms of South-South cooperation that balance concerns for growth, equity and protection of the environment.


Read full report here:

http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/445/61/PDF/N1244561.pdf?OpenElement

 

About The Project

Funded by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA), the project focuses on the changing dynamics and implications of South- South cooperation, in the context of South Africa's avowed commitment to this cause in its international relations. The need to understand the complexities of South-South dynamics and their implications for foreign policy is particularly urgent for South Africa, which, while working to advance South-South multilateralism, must also contend with the corresponding need to remain true to other universal values underpinning its foreign policy as well as guarantee the specific interests of its immediate environment, that is, the African continent.

Key Themes

In recent times, South-South cooperation has received renewed attention, inspired mainly by the emergence of new southern clubs such as IBSA, BRICS and CELAC. This trend reflects a growing push by developing countries to respond to current global challenges in a coherent and concerted manner.

 

Aims and Objectives of The Project

The aim of the project is therefore to contribute, through critical research and dialogue, towards a nuanced understanding of contemporary South-South cooperation. In particular, it seeks to appreciate the basis on which countries in the South cooperate or compete with one another, and the implication of these dynamics for South Africa's policy.

 

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