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BRICS, Bridge Building and Mercantilism

4 May 2017

In preparation for the upcoming BRICS summit in China in September 2017 and for planning of the next summit in 2018 in South Africa, the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) and the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) hosted a symposium in Pretoria on 20 April 2017.

Opening the symposium Dr Philani Mthembu Executive Director of IGD emphasized the need to promote the phenomenon of BRICS to the citizens of the respective countries. What value is there for Brazilians, Russians, Indians, Chinese and South Africans who make up this bloc?  How do ordinary people engage with these countries not only to support the formation but to discover opportunity and realise the potential benefits on offer.

The keynote was delivered by Mr Dave Malcomson – Chief Director for Regional Affairs for the Department of International Relations and a panel of distinguished experts, Prof. Serges Djoyou Kamga of the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute, Mr Francis Koregay of IGD, and Mr Ashraf Patel (SABTT Associate) presented on the topic: Situating the future of BRICS in changing global dynamics.

The discussion looked at the dynamics of the grouping, with Russia, China and India vying for influence while South Africa and Brazil are carving out a role for their respective interests.

Reaching out to other emerging economies of the South was also put on the table for deliberation.

The formation of Brics was seen as a counter to the current world hegemon, an alternative world vison, founded on self-interest and Mercantilism. Ultimately Brazilians, Russians, Indians, Chinese and South Africans should take their self-interest into account and leverage the opportunities that arise from the construction of BRICS.

By K Bhana

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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January/February 2020

 
 
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