— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on September 4, Monday.
Critics have expressed that the unequal standing of BRICS countries, their geographical distance from one another etc. have affected their cooperation competence. Yet, despite these doubts, a recap of their developments over the past few years will show us that it has played an important role during the time when the global economic landscape was slowly changing. Firstly, this change could be seen in the economic development of individual BRICS countries.
As of end 2016, BRICS accounted for 23% of the world's total economic growth, while its contribution to the world's economic growth rate was more than 50%. Since its inception, BRICS have kept showing its economic development potential. In the past ten years, the combined GDP of BRICS nation grew by 179% while trade went up by 94 per cent and lastly, the urban population increased by 28%. As a result, the current total GDP of developing countries is more than 50% of the world, while its contribution to global growth is more than 80%. Indeed, what this shows is that emerging economies are on the rise.
Besides, the rise of the economy can also be seen through the rapid growth of freedom of speech influence on the international stage. This is the second change. In the past, we know that the demands of many developing countries were not met by the IMF and the World Bank. By setting up the New Development Bank and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, the BRICS cooperation has, to an extent, improved the international financial system and met the demands from emerging countries.
For example, in April this year, Brazil signed the first loan agreement with the New Development Bank, a total loan of $300 million for a period of 12 years. The loans will mainly be used for the development of Brazil's renewable energy projects.
Undeniably, the global economy is going through a slow recovery since the 2008 financial crisis. We are also seeing an escalation of trade protectionism and challenges of global multilateral cooperation, such as when President Trump constantly threatened to increase the border tax and renegotiate several trade agreements. Evidently, there is an apparent divergence of economic development between different countries, as well as, a change internationally.
[FRANCOIS GAMET, ASIA CEO OF STANDARD BANK] "President Xi is opening up to the BRICS and say guys, can you please take a lead role alongside China to be the leading advocate of free trade, the leading advocate of globalization, and that is very interesting because that gap is filled because the US retreated from those principles and to that extent, Europe and Brexit, with the Brexit affecting Europe and the United Kingdom."
Therefore, in terms of the next step, many people are looking forward for BRICS to deepen global governance and develop multilateral and diversified cooperation. One of which is the expansion of BRICS, known also as the "Brics-plus" concept, where it may potentially change the world economy in the future. The "Brics-plus" concept may see countries like Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc. joining the BRICS, allowing the BRICS cooperation to be more representative of emerging economies. It would also subsequently promote economic developments within these countries and develop a more powerful stance for various demands.
CNBC's Chen Qian reporting from Singapore.