Trade Ties That Cut Out the West

Reuters reports on the annual meeting of the BRICS, which will be held on Hainan Island this week:

If trade is the mortar holding together the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and the newcomer, South Africa — the omens would appear poor for the grouping, which will hold its annual summit meeting Thursday on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

To its detractors, BRICS is an artificial construct — an example of life imitating not art but Goldman Sachs, which coined the acronym BRIC in 2001 for four fast-growing, politically diverse countries that it believed were reshaping the global economy.

A more optimistic view holds that the explosion in south-south trade, which leapt to 17 percent of the global total in 2009 from 7 percent in 1990, has a long way to run.

Moreover, some experts say the BRICS caucus has already shown its worth as a counterweight to the West in global talks on trade and climate change and, within the Group of 20 leading economies, on how to redistribute power in international financial institutions.


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