Tue, June 16, 2009
China > China & World > President Hu attend SCO, BRIC meetings

Ignore group at your own risk: Expert

2009-06-16 03:23:42 GMT2009-06-16 11:23:42 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

India hopes to work closely with Brazil, Russia and China to come up with collaborative measures to tackle the global financial crisis as leaders of the four countries prepare for their summit meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia, later Tuesday.

Indian diplomats and experts also believe the four largest emerging economies, called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), will play an ever-increasing role in "more important issues" that pose challenges to the world.

"There is a very strong economic cooperation component which we hope will emerge from the discussions," Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said last Friday.

"India maintains that BRIC's potential importance lies in cooperating on global economy and economic governance issues, which require a coordinated approach through high level, continuous exchange of views," Nirupama Rao, the Indian ambassador to China, told China Daily.

Stressing that the four economies will contribute significantly to the world's economic recovery, Rao said India had introduced aggressive monetary and fiscal policies that will help the world's second most populous country maintain its growth at more than 6 percent this year.

However, she noted that many other developing countries were not faring as well as their investments and exports had dried up.

"India is advocating an increase in capital of international financial institutions and greater devolution of financial resources on easier terms for developing countries to help their economies grow," she said.

Rao said the Indian sub-continent has called on all countries to resist "protectionism and stand against the use of unfair trade practices which distort and inhibit international trade".

Swaran Singh, a professor of Diplomacy and Disarmament at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, the Indian capital, said: "The current global meltdown is the first time in history that the so-called great economic powers are depending on emerging economies to rescue the world from the unprecedented slide."

"BRIC countries are unique examples of economies growing at an impressive pace without fear of the recession, even though they do have their own share of difficulties," Singh, who is also president of the Association of ASIA Scholars (South Asia Chapter), said in an e-mail to China Daily.

Madhav Das Nalapat, director of the Department of Geopolitics at Manipal University, said: "BRIC countries need to stop idling away time talking and take some action."

In order to deal with the financial crisis, BRIC should put in place regulations that "prevent speculation and destruction of wealth and welfare of many to benefit a few", Nalapat, who holds the UNESCO Peace Chair, said.

BRIC countries should also "seek to impose tough curbs on speculation and on the devilish greed that has been the cause of the ruin of so many economies during 2008," he said, adding: "These economic devils want full freedom to destroy the global economy in a way that also destroys the ecology of the world."

More challenges

Ambassador Rao said the dialogue among the BRIC countries is "based on mutual trust and respect, common interests and coincidence or similarity of approaches toward the pressing problems of global development".

"BRIC countries have a strong commitment to multilateral diplomacy in dealing with common challenges for international security," she said.

Besides the global financial crisis, she said the four countries can also deal with other "challenges, such as such as climate change, energy security, food security, international financial structures, global development agenda, UN reform, terrorism and non-proliferation, more effectively".

Although BRIC's growth has won the world's respect, many believe their development any further would exceed " the ability of the global economy to supply".

Rao responded: "I do not think anyone can seriously question the right of developing countries to pursue eradication of poverty and raising living standards of their people."

"Let us not forget that when a poor Indian reduces his consumption, he dies of starvation, while when a poor Westerner reduces his consumption, all he loses is a potbelly," Prof Nalapt said.

Swaran Singh said endorsing BRIC's strengths and accepting them as vital global decision makers was "no longer a matter of choice for conventionally great economic powers".

"They can today afford to ignore BRIC but only at their own peril. Increasing recognition of BRIC is evidence that great economic powers understand this change as also BRIC's usefulness for global peace and prosperity."

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