BRICS: Transforming the global political and economic architecture

brics articleDr Petrus de Kock, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, speaking at the Brand South Africa and Gauteng Growth and Development Agency research roundtable on BRICS, on Wednesday 30 September.

Johannesburg, Wednesday 30 September 2015 – Since its inception, the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) forum has made great strides in challenging the traditional global political and economic paradigm.

Today, Brand South Africa in collaboration with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) hosted a research roundtable titled “Deepening the relationship between South Africa, Brazil, Russia, India and China”, which reflected on how the BRICS formation challenges the current global political, economic and social paradigm and the implications of this for the BRICS brand. Most notably, the BRICS has reached a high level of institutionalisation through the establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank.

Brand South Africa, the GGDA and representatives from various high commissions representing the Russia, China, India and Brazil discussed and interrogated evidence that argues that the increased formalisation of intra- and inter-BRICS interactions, including the establishment of institutions such as the BRICS New Development Bank, has led to the development of the BRICS brand, a collective image of the five member states.

General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock, said analysts expressed surprise at some of the successes of the BRICS – particularly in the context of the formation of the BRICS New Development Bank.

Dr De Kock said: “Based on research conducted by the BRICS Research Group, and other analysts, the BRICS have achieved a 70% implementation/compliance rate in terms of implementing Summit decisions. As a relatively young multilateral organisation, the high compliance levels by member states are a progressive indicator. This means that levels of co-operation are not only high, but that buy-in into the organisation and its objectives, is of strategic significance for all member states.”

The influence of the forum on political and economic developments cannot be understated. BRICS countries have expanded the scope of co-operation and put in place a multi-layered and all-dimensional structure of co-operation covering political, economic, financial, trade, social, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

The five BRICS countries currently represent over 3 billion people, or 42% of the world population. All five members are in the top 25 of the world by population, and four are in the top 10. The five nations have a combined nominal GDP of US$16.039 trillion, equivalent to approximately 20% of the gross world product, and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves. It is estimated that the combined GDP (PPP) of BRICS would reach US$50 trillion mark by 2020.

It is principally debated that the accomplishments and growing institutionalisation of the BRICS is enabling the Forum, to develop a brand personality, that consistently advocates for the implementation of the global developmental agenda.

And due to the collective influence of collaboration among the members, as the BRICS brand grows and develops (through, among other things, institutionalisation), the nation brands of the five members states stand to benefit not only in terms of trade and economic interactions, but also due to the impact the BRICS brand can have on global governance.

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