Interview: South African expert calls for greater role of BRICS

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-04 08:56:59|Editor: Yang Yi
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by Prince Moyo

CAPE TOWN, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- BRICS countries should play a greater role in world affairs and give greater attention to the sustainable growth of the world economy and infrastructure development, particularly in developing countries, said a senior South African researcher.

Infrastructure development is unquestionably a key factor in boosting the world economy, said Oren Dayan, head of the Marketing Division at the School of Economics and Business Science, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

"Sustainable infrastructure development is definitely a key factor in improving the world economy," he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

A successful issuing of green bonds in China reinforced the world economy, he said. However, in order to make this process more efficient, BRICS countries should also collaborate with other economies and let them benefit from BRICS trade and obtain their financial support, Dayan said.

BRICS should not only focus on their own success factors, but also open up to the rest of the world as a major economic force, said Dayan.

Dayan said cooperation among BRICS bodes well for the world economy, and the world needs BRICS and vice versa.

He said the importance of BRICS should not be belittled despite the fact that all its member countries have domestic challenges.

Dayan urged BRICS countries to take advantage of the upcoming summit to work out measures to cement collaboration and support one another.

The researcher pointed out the economic slowdown in some BRICS countries, as well as challenges from the devaluation of the Chinese yuan and the downgrade of Brazil's sovereign rating by Standard & Poor.

Russia was reportedly suffering too and South Africa saw its own economic slowdown as a result of labor issues, rising costs and lowering commodity prices, Dayan added.

"Therefore, I would like to see a much closer collaboration among the countries as a result of the summit which will offer a fundamental opportunity for BRICS members to support one another," he noted.

Dayan said an important challenge for BRICS countries is to improve the living standards of their people.

South Africa specifically is trying to improve living standards for the next generations and this is a goal to achieve with the help of the BRICS, he added.

Africa is expecting to join the New Development Bank (NDB) and receive some more benefits and loans to improve economic growth and the living standards of its population, said Dayan.

The NDB, formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank launched in 2015 by the BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- to finance infrastructure projects, mainly in BRICS member countries.

"I think that the immediate success of NDB has raised the confidence of its members in the ability of BRICS to support projects of a large scale," Dayan said.

African leaders expect to start with improving infrastructure investment, the transportation and other productive sectors that will give the whole continent a boost, he said.