Interview: BRICS brings level playing field for emerging markets, developing economies: expert

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-22 10:02:18|Editor: xuxin
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By Will Koulouris

SYDNEY, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A leading global expert has said the BRICS nations will bring a level playing field for developing economies and emerging markets.

The expert made the comments nearly 100 days out from the ninth annual BRICS summit to be held in Xiamen, China, from Sept. 3 to Sept. 5.

The BRICS summit brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that comprise its moniker, along with participants from across the globe. This year's event is themed "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future."

David Thomas, CEO of Think Global Consulting, spoke to Xinhua recently that the BRICS nations have been making tremendous strides in their engagement with global governance, but in a way that is unique.

"The BRICS are going in their own direction and they have got the power to do it, BRICS nations comprise just under half the world's population, and they are now trying to do their own things," Thomas said.

Earlier in the year, the coiner of the term "BRICS," Jim O'Neill, told Xinhua that the BRICS countries are already playing a major role in terms of governance despite the geopolitical partnership being still in its infancy, and wield the same influence as other similar global groupings.

"The way they have emerged, and the whole advent of the G20 was done to bring the BRICS countries into global governance," O'Neill said.

"So, they already are. I think it's pretty clear."

One of the most notable aspects of the successful BRICS partnership has been the level of cooperation the countries have been able to achieve, said Thomas.

"If you think about it, it was only Jim O'Neill's idea of BRICS that brought them all together. I know Jim quite well and he was as surprised as anybody when they started meeting as a group because they don't have natural advantages, or cultural and historical reasons to be a group."

"This is their ninth leadership meeting in Xiamen this year, and I think it is interesting because there is no real reason for them to collaborate, and I think it is interesting because they are."

The cultural exchanges and connections that have been developed between the countries are crucial to the ongoing success of the partnership, according to Thomas who said that the way in which the BRICS partnership is structured is allowing for more engagement between the nations.

"BRICS is running in a way which is top-down, bottom-up. Top-down is the leaders summit which gets all the attention, but there is actually quite a lot happening bottom-up," Thomas said.

Thomas said that a number of committees are now being formed between the countries in areas such as finance and innovation, that are allowing for lower-level collaboration, and mutually beneficial outcomes between the member nations, as well as establishing further connections and cultural exchanges.

"And so these ties are beginning to build, and you also notice this in global forums where you see the BRICS countries tend to vote together," Thomas said.

"Even though they wouldn't naturally agree on certain things, they are finding that there is more reason to agree, than not to agree."

Thomas believes that the potential institution of the "BRICS +" model will see a profound and positive change in the global economic makeup, with the progress that will be made as these countries are brought into the fold, leading to mutually beneficial outcomes for countries which he feels have been too often ignored.

"It's globalization. Further globalization. It is creating a level playing field where countries that we have never even thought of will start to become major global players."

"That is the main result of all this, a more level playing field."

One of the ways in which this will be achieved is through the BRICS nations setting an emphasis on developing growth and "win-win" outcomes for all, by promoting and developing the connectivity of infrastructure, trade and investment, and currency, said Thomas.

"If you are thinking 20 or 30 years into the future, it is going to be a very different world."