BRIC a factor of stability in times of crisis: India


New Delhi : Ahead of the first BRIC summit in Russia next month, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Wednesday said the four-nation grouping, comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, will be “a factor of growth and stability” in the context of the global meltdown.

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Menon, who called for the democratisation of international financial institutions, was inaugurating the ‘Pre-BRIC Summit Preparatory Meeting’ here.

“As the global economy evolves and works its way through the present global financial and economic crisis, BRIC are a factor of stability and growth. This was already evident in our role during the G20 deliberations.”

The two-day conference, in which eminent experts from the four countries are participating, has been organised by the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-headquartered public policy think tank. The preparatory meeting is expected to set the tone for the first BRIC summit to be held in Yekaterinburg next month.

Underlining that the world was on the cusp of a new type of multi-polarity, Menon said it was “becoming clearer and clearer that international decision-making on global economic issues must necessarily be democratised to reflect present realities”.

Combined with our growing middle classes and the young populations that most of us enjoy, the BRIC can hope to be a factor of growth and stability in the world economy for decades to come, he said.

BRIC accounts for 40 percent of the world’s population, 25.9 percent of its total geographic area, and 40 percent of global GDP. According to Goldman Sachs, BRIC can become collectively bigger than the G7 by 2035.

Menon also stressed on the need for BRIC to make more efforts to add value to their partnership and make their collective voice heard on important international issues. “What we see is a situation where the major powers simultaneously compete and cooperate with each other, each with all the others, to a greater or lesser degree.”

Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan and Deputy Chief of Mission of Brazil to India Jose Carlos Fonseca Jr were also present at the inauguration of the conference. “BRIC is a platform for four countries to build consensus and achieve win-win situation. Like any countries, four countries may have differences in their focus, objectives and even interests on various issues,” the Chinese envoy said.

“But interaction within the framework of BRIC can provide the four countries with opportunities to coordinate and cooperate with each other to build synergy between them,” he said, while describing BRIC as “guardian of the interests of developing countries”.

The Brazilian diplomat stressed on the need for the four countries to strengthen their bilateral relationships that will enable them to be more effectives collectively on the international stage.